FORT BLISS, Texas – Five professional gamers from Complexity gaming, a professional esports organization, put their consoles down and a rucksack on as they spent a day in the life of a Soldier at Fort Bliss on June 14.
The event was a partnership between the Exchange and U.S. Army Installation Management Command, which are bringing esports tournaments to installations around the world.
Esports has become a focus of the Army, and leaders recently created an Army esports team to compete in tournaments nationwide to attract potential recruits.
As part of the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) initiative, Complexity gamers lived and trained like Soldiers, learning skills such as discipline and resilience.
“My normal day I’m waking up at 10 or 11 o’clock, and today I was up bright and early at 5 a.m. to get ready for PT at 6,” said Complexity gamer Sam Hatch. “There’s so much that goes into being a Soldier. Until you walk a mile in their shoes you don’t understand how tough it is.”
Testing their gaming skills
Besides spending the day as a Soldier, the gamers also conducted a meet-and-greet and hosted an open play event in Fort Bliss Exchange’s PowerZone, giving Soldiers the opportunity to test their gaming skills against some of the best in the business.
“These events are a great way to spark Soldier curiosity and interest in esports and provide an outlet for them to recharge from the stresses of their everyday life while also strengthening retention and recruitment,” said Paula Bradford, Fort Bliss Exchange store manager.
The tables will turn later this month when 15 BOSS Soldiers travel to Complexity’s headquarters in Frisco, Texas, to get a first-hand look at what it takes to be a professional esports gamer.
MSI Computer Corp. has been announced as the presenting partner of the esports program.