The Army is hosting an e-sports tournament. No, we're not kidding.

Jake Hughes
August 02, 2018 - 11:02 am

(Image Courtesy of Dreamstime)

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It’s always sad when the military tries to be “cool.” No matter what branch, any time they try to show how “hip” they are, they always come across as the middle-aged dad who shows up to his kids’ parties wearing a backwards ball cap, Jynco jeans, and a faded AC/DC shirt. Never a good look.

This applies to video games, as well. Remember back in the day when the Army released its own video game? America’s Army was a slightly pathetic attempt to reach the nerd class through first-person shooting, letting players “virtually explore the Army at their own pace and according to their interests to determine if soldiering matches their needs, interests and abilities.” The game was focused on infantry, and nerds… well, let’s just say that most nerds I’ve met... ain’t exactly infantry material.

Now, the Army is trying to get into a new arena: e-sports.

Army Entertainment, a part of the U.S. Army's Installation Management Command, is hosting a world-wide e-sports video game championship series for Street Fighter V. Its open to all active-duty and retired Army service men and women. The tournaments are being held at eight army bases, and will be randomly seeded with double elimination bouts.

The first one was held at Fort Bliss, TX on July 28, and was broadcast live on the Army’s Twitch channel. Yeah, the Army has a Twitch channel. Who’da thunk’it? The stream was watched by over three thousand people. On August 11, the second round will be held at Fort Gordon, GA, followed by Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA on August 18 and Fort Wainwright, AK on August 25.

The Army is, apparently, taking this very seriously. The final will be held at PAX West. PAX, if you don’t know, is kind of like a mini E3. It was originally started by the guys behind the famous Penny Arcade webcomic, and these days is a hotspot for video, arcade, and tabletop gaming. Every year they host tournaments, and this year it will include the Army’s.

The winner of the tournament will win Twitch gear, a two-night stay at the Mandalay Bay MGM resort, an exclusive Army Entertainment E-sports jersey, a tournament coin (because, of course, they have a coin for this) and a $500 gift card.

But let’s say you’re not the Street Fighter type, or the video game type at all. Well, don’t feel left out. There is a sweepstakes running until the final tourney at PAX, and the winner will get a two-night stay at the Mandalay Bay MGM resort, an exclusive Army Entertainment E-sports jersey, a tournament coin and a $250 gift card.

You can find the Army’s Twitch page here, or you can go to this website to sign up for the sweepstakes.

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