The US Army has revealed its innovative esports team at Pax Arena at the sold-out Pax West gaming convention in Seattle. Around eight thousand soldiers enlisted for the sixteen slots on the team. The esports team will compete in tournaments across the country.
Maj. Gen. Frank Muth said:
“The U.S. Army has a passion for all things esports.”
Muth also said it could be key to meeting the Army’s recruitment mission.
“There are so many folks that don’t know about the Army and what the Army does and what the Army can offer, so this is another venue to start the discussion.”
KIRO 7 first told you about the Army’s recruitment challenges in January and how it was making an unexpected recruiting push into several liberal-leaning cities including Seattle. The shifting strategy included more social media to appeal to young people. Well, it’s not enough to just be online.
By showcasing itself to the video game community, the Army hopes to generate interest among gamers. At Pax West alone, the Army expects to get up to 1500 new leads. Compare that to just 350 at a more traditional event.
“We’re all about breaking that mold,” Sgt. 1st Christopher Jones said.
In addition to competing at tournaments across the country, the Army esports team is tasked with talking to the public.
“We want them to take away we’re just like everyone else. We just have a different profession. We have the same shared passion,” Jones added.
Gamers KIRO 7 spoke agree that it makes the idea of being a soldier more applicable.
Giovanni Nickerson said:
“It’s not like all serious. You can still have fun doing something you’re passionate about,”
“I think it’s really neat. I really like the Army supports them having a hobby on the side since they get to serve our country as well,”
Makailah Bodden said.
The services learned playing video games, according to Maj. Gen, Muth, can easily handover to the military.
“Teamwork, communication, spatial understanding, multiple screens, quick decision making, communications,” he listed. “Those are all things we use in the Army every day.”