Commonwealth Esport Championships

For the first time ever, esports will be included in a major sporting event, with this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England offering a pilot event of three games potentially en route to esports becoming a full medal discipline in the 2026 iteration of the Games. 

Titled the Commonwealth Esports Championship, the event will feature three esports, Valve’s Dota 2, Konami’s eFootball and Psyonix’s Rocket League. All three companies have extended pedigrees in the esports scene and are working closely with the Global Esports Federation to ensure a high-quality event, which will run parallel to the main Commonwealth Games at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham over the 6th and 7th of August. 

As a member of Sport New Zealand and the official organisation for esports in Aotearoa, the New Zealand Esports Federation are excited to announce official qualifying events for the upcoming Championship. Taking place in early May, registrations for the qualifiers are currently open and will close on Monday April 11th. Registrations will only be open to NZ citizens and residents, and further information will become available after registrations close. 

For those that triumph in our nationwide online qualifiers, they will be invited to join our inaugural High Performance Training program and work with a dedicated coach in an attempt to battle their way into the Birmingham event via global online qualifiers. If our players are able to place in the top 8 teams, or top 16 individuals in these online qualifiers, they will then be invited to participate in the event as New Zealand’s first Commonwealth esports representatives, with all expenses paid for them to attend in person. 

The online qualifiers will consist of two stages, firstly an open online event where teams will attempt to qualify for a further Grand Final event. The winners of that event being awarded the prestigious position of New Zealand’s first Commonwealth athletes

Registrations Closed

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Only the top 8 teams globally will compete at the Commonwealth Esport Championships. This means the top:

– Top 8x Dota2 Open Teams
– Top 8x Dota2 Female Teams
– Top 8x 3v3 Rocket League Open Teams
– Top 8x 3v3 Rocket League Female Teams
– Top 16x Mens eFootball
– Top 16x Female eFootball

This event will be to determine which teams can be selected to represent New Zealand. There is a possibility the winning team(s) will have to compete against other international representative teams to earn their spot. 

We do not currently have any more information on this international qualifier, where, or when it will be held. We expect to learn more after 6th of May and will update the appropriate teams.

Yes. Accommodation, local travel and per diems will be included for all qualifying teams. This funding does not cover managers or coaches.

Return flights to Birmingham up to the value of $10,000 NZD will be sponsored for one team, or in the event of multiple qualifying teams, flights may be partially subsidised for all teams. 

These dates are still being finalized. Registered teams will receive an email with the information once it becomes available.

We must have teams confirmed by the 6th of May and so the tournament will conclude before that date.

Yes. Coaches and managers may attend the Commonwealth Esport Championships however they will not be covered by the NZESF funding.

Yes. Teams can gain sponsorship for this event, however we are unable to guarantee what level of exposure or visibility any team sponsor may have.

The Commonwealth Games Federation, Global Esports Federation and New Zealand Esports Federation will all have unique branding requirements and may not be able to have commercial sponsors on international jerseys, or conflicting sponsors with global right holders.

Possibly. We believe in supporting local esport organisations in their growth, and as such as will work to ensure you get to represent New Zealand while maintaining your identity. 

You will have to wear our black Team NZ / E Black jersey, but if we have the opportunity to include your team logo, we would love to do so.

Yes. The Commonwealth Games Federation have announced a women’s track for each of the three titles. 

All female teams may enter our NZ Open Qualifiers and even if they do not win the entire event, depending on performance we may choose to offer these teams a chance to compete as a Team NZ Women’s team.

In partnership with High Performance Sport NZ, we will be choosing individuals from each team (up to 5 in total) to participate in a high performance sport training program.

This program will include access to world class health facilities, dieticians, personal trainers, sport psychologists and much more. The same resources our other national teams and Olympians have access to. 

We will also be using this opportunity and one of the five slots to train a NZ based head esport coach to assist and pass on these teachings to our esport communities.

Unfortunately not. Due to the short notice of the event, we will be running all qualifiers online including the final.

Yes. This event is only open to New Zealand residents, citizens and passport holders. 

If you choose to compete in this event you must be willing and able to travel without restriction and will not be able to represent any other country in future commonwealth events.

You are able to register one substitute player for team events. However, the final competing team will need to be decided before travel to Birmingham.

We will only be able to fund the competing players. If you wish to self-fund a substitute player, we can work on this as the need arises.

Hold tight! 

We will be releasing rulesets, dates and qualifying events as we learn more about how many teams will be competing.

Registrations close on the 11th of April, after that all registered individuals will be contacted with further details.

You need a full team with all player details before you can register.

Unfortunately we do not run a player/team matching service at the moment, but feel free to join our Discord community to look for a team.

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