This year, for the first time ever, the Commonwealth Games featured esports as a pilot event. Better yet, our parent companies, Nottingham Trent University and Confetti Media Group delivered the qualifying rounds of the championship, with our hospitality team on hosting duties.
For those not already in the know, esports (or electronic sports) is competitive video gaming – whether for fun between friends or between professional and highly-trained players, and can be played individually or as teams. Although it’s a fairly new concept compared to other sporting tournaments, esports attracts a huge amount of spectators and revenue from other regions and countries, and as such can generate significant inward investment to a host city like Nottingham.
On Monday 1 August, a convoy of 134 players from 20 Commonwealth nations arrived in Nottingham for the inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championships (CEC). Like professional athletes in traditional sports, professional players require high-end training facilities with consideration given to all areas of performance such as nutrition and sports psychology. Competitors were put up at an Olympic style village created at NTU’s City Campus, complete with accommodation, a nurturing community space, and access to cutting edge esports training facilities at Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies.
The qualifying rounds of the CEC took place over a number of days, with our in-house Confetti Media Group tech teams working alongside one of the largest competitive gaming platforms in the world, FACEIT, in providing broadcasting and live streams. Championing their ‘Do It For Real’ ethos, many Confetti students got the opportunity to gain hands on experience in supporting the event production and broadcast.
As part of the CEC, Confetti held a special demonstration match for journalists from across the participating Commonwealth nations at their new, purpose-built esports venue, Confetti X. Also in attendance were Antenna tenants like Andy Afford from STENCIL Creative Agency, and the Board of the Global Esports Federation (GEF), an organisation that promotes the credibility, legitimacy and prestige of esports worldwide. GEF were entrusted by the Commonwealth Games to organise and oversee the CEC, and following the recent CEC finals in Birmingham on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 August, the Commonwealth Games will conduct an independent review to consider what the future of esports at the Games could look like.
NTU and Confetti Media Group’s involvement in the CEC comes off the back of a new partnership with the Global Esports Federation. Together they aim to provide the best, most relevant and most inspiring creative industry education and training, and advance the creative and technological industries for the better. Speaking on the impact the partnership will have in putting Nottingham on the esports map, Chief Executive for Confetti Media Group, Craig Chettle said:
“Esports is built around communities and our long-term partnership with GEF will enhance our global network, which will bring many wider economic and cultural benefits to Nottingham and the UK.”
Following the conclusion of the qualifiers, we held a celebration event in our Antenna Restaurant, treating guests from across the Commonwealth nations to some delicious, locally sourced food and drink – the meal was a fitting send off for competitors involved in such a pioneering event.
“Thanks very much for all of the catering – lunches ran extremely well with great food and the dessert on Saturday was a favourite!” – Eleanor Hayes, Senior Events Manager for the CEC
To find out more about the CEC and Nottingham esports in general, you are best to check out Notts TV’s recent Notts Today broadcast. Notts TV were a fly on the wall throughout the week, capturing footage of the many competitive matches, along with interviews of key players and representatives from Confetti and the Global Esports Federation. You’ll find the coverage beginning here at 25.50 on the Notts TV website.
With aspirations for esports to become a full medal event in 2026, we were delighted to be involved in this prestigious tournament.