Esport's new pilot event at this year's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

It might be the dream for many teenagers, playing computer games all day and winning a gold medal for it.

Well that's going to be the reality at this year's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with a new pilot esport event in development.

Sam Johnson is an esport athlete.

"They kind of just run around and fight each other," Johnson says.

While his game of choice is a video one, he competes with players around the world. And with titles to defend there's a lot of training and practice.

"It would be 12 to 14 hours every day in the lead-up to a competition," Johnson says.

And fans take it seriously too packing out arenas to watch top gamers fight for a top finish.

It's proven so popular, an esports tournament will run alongside the Commonwealth Games set to take place in Birmingham in August.

"Being an internationally recognised event it opens up loads of opportunities for your younger players," Johnson says.

Data suggests that 16 to 24-year-olds are more likely to watch esports tournaments over traditional ones, and 44 percent say they live stream games online.

The Global Esports Games held last December attracted more than 500 million views.

"We've been involved in supporting the local scene since it was just a bunch of sweaty dudes in a scout hall, so to see it explode… we've never been selling so many computers," Playtech NZ's Greg Burrows says.

But is it really a sport? 

"The main concepts of sport, they're all the same, you know. Esports, you've got all the comradery, you've got your team, you're all working together," Johnson says.

"These are probably some of the most advanced mental athletes in the world and to get to that level you need your physical activity, you need to be in your top peak mental and physical condition," New Zealand Esports Federation CEO Jonathan Jensen says.

The event in Birmingham is a pilot and will run separately from the main games.

But if successful Kiwi esporters could one day stand alongside our most decorated athletes.