The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has announced an exploratory partnership with the Global Esports Federation (GEF), with a goal of developing a Commonwealth Esports strategy.
The partnership will see the CGF and GEF work together on areas aligned with ‘Transformation 2022’, the Commonwealth Sport Movement’s Strategic Plan.
The CGF announced the initial focus of the partnership will be to conduct an analysis of the status of Esports in the Commonwealth and its capacity to support and advance the CGF’s vision and mission through the joint development of a values-based Commonwealth Esports strategy.
In addition, the CGF will explore and develop athlete-centred, sport-focused initiatives and campaigns that harness and elevate the principles of equality, diversity, inclusion, integrity and innovation, in esports across the Commonwealth, and explore the development of sustainable esports properties that could benefit Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) and the wider Commonwealth through partnerships and promotional opportunities that connect and serve athletes, citizens and communities.
CGF president, Dame Louise Martin, said this partnership is exciting given the rise of popularity and participation in esports.
“In recent years, we have seen the dramatic rise of Esports in terms of popularity and participation, particularly the participation of young people,” Martin said.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in esports globally has continued to increase significantly which demonstrates an important characteristic of connecting people during a difficult period.
“For some time now, the CGF has been looking for a way to formally engage with esports, to explore how it can align with the Commonwealth Sports Movement and its support of the sustainable development of digital infrastructure, connectivity and commerce across the Commonwealth.
“In the Global Esports Federation, we know we have the right partner to help us undertake this exciting piece of work,” she said.
GEF president, Chris Chan, said this partnership will help both the CGF and GEF achieve the GEF’s goal of establishing the credibility, legitimacy, and prestige for esports, working to build an inclusive platform to maximise the potential for esports and its participants.
“We are honoured to embark on this strategic partnership and support the Commonwealth Games Federation,” Chan said.
“This partnership further strengthens the Global Esports Federation’s mission of convening the world’s Esports ecosystem.
“The GEF board and I look forward to working together with Dame Louise Martin and the entire Commonwealth Sport Movement.
“We congratulate the CGF for the work they do every day, developing sports across the 71 Commonwealth nations and territories, and beyond.
“This partnership allows us to develop a pathway together for an inclusive, progressive, and visionary future for the youth and the entire Commonwealth, North to South, East to West, reaching across a third of the world’s population.
“The future of esports continues to be bright, and we look forward to developing great collaborations across the world, elevating esports based on the traditions and values of sport and the principle of harnessing technology for good,” he said.