The US Army is fielding esports teams for Fortnite, Overwatch, and more

    
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In an apparent effort to connect with America’s youth and drive up recruitment numbers, the United States Army has announced that it will be fielding its own esports team. The announcement comes in the wake of a lackluster recruitment year, as military-centric news organization Stars and Stripes reports that the Army fell “about 6,500 recruits short” of its recruitment goal for the most recent fiscal year, and it’s now hoping to “expand its ranks to more than 500,000 in the next four years.”

The Army is of course no stranger to using video games as a way to appeal to its target recruitment demographic, as it attempted to do with the release of America’s Army in 2002, but this is its first foray into the modern esports scene. Polygon reports that “there is interest in fielding teams for Fortnite, Call of Duty, Tekken, League of Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Overwatch, FIFA, the Madden series and the NBA 2K franchise.”

Although applications for the Army esports team are still ongoing, its first competition is scheduled to be a Tekken tournament on December 8th, with the winner going on to represent the Army at PAX South in January, 2019. There are also plans to build “two 18-wheeler trailers” outfitted with esports-ready gaming tech “to be hauled to college campuses around the country,” into which college esports teams “would be invited . . . to compete remotely against the Army’s esports team” stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

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flyingltj
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flyingltj

I still don’t care about esports.

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rosieposie

Oh no, the sky is falling, we are running out of mercenary drones to fight our manufactured wars for the benefit of the rich…. I mean, to Protect Our Great Country!

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Randy Savage

and to protect your freedom to bash it

Ernost
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Ernost

ROFLMAO, The last time Americans armed forces were actually ‘protecting freedom’ was World War II.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

NOPE! Korea. Everyone forgets the Korean War. Also the First Iraq War. Iraq invaded Kuwait and they asked for help. Granted, THE OIL was why we responded so swiftly but it doesn’t negate the fact we were asked for help. Freedom in both cases.

Course you might even (I do) include our actions in the Bosnian War as well as in 1995 US aircraft engaged as a part of NATO. I’m sure the families of the people their that were being killed by Milosevic would agree their freedom and lives were protected.

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Randy Savage

That’s the thing people don’t seem to understand. Because America has prospered for centuries, it has become a moral obligation to help defend freedom around the world because when you see evil things happening and you’ve got the power to do something about it but you sit on your hands and do nothing, that unto itself is bad.

People want to cynically say it’s about oil or whatever, but the much bigger picture involves creating reciprocal alliances to increase stability and relative peace throughout the world. We don’t always make the right moves in the right ways but at least we’ve been trying to be a force for good in the world.

The amount of military support and financial aid America continues to provide to the rest of the world makes it the most philanthropic nation in human history. If folks want to stay home and play video games while bashing their country online, it is well within their rights to do so, but their point of view is incredibly myopic.

Most Americans who do any real length of traveling abroad are fully aware of just how good we have it here and how sheltered and naive we’ve become because of it. Even our poorest citizens have better living conditions than a large percentage of the world. We take so much for granted and have become completely oblivious to what our freedom and luxury actually costs.

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

More jobs = less recruits

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Randy Savage

Kids these days would rather play Call of Duty than answer the call to duty.

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Hirku

In the army, we pwn more before 9am than most noobs do all day.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

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Zora

And you call that a headshot, private? Didn’t your mommy love you enough?!

Drop down and give me ten lootboxes, NOW!

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Schlag Sweetleaf

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Utakata

…and that’s the scene where things didn’t end well? :(

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starbuck1771

To be honest as a tester for America’s Army I am surprised they don’t have a new version made and enter it into esports. It had stats that were tracked on tourney sites like http://www.battlestats.com back in the day.

Line
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Line

Don’t they have better things to do?
Like scrapping some more social security nets to force people too young to drink to join?
Maybe they could generously offer scholarships and keep all those pesky peasants from going to universities and taint them with their melani- their poorness, I mean.

Join the Army, it needs more meat shields to prop up dictatorships in Call of Duty.
Yes… in Call of Duty. Totally not elsewhere.

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starbuck1771

I guess you never heard of the G.I. Bill. You may want to do some research. The military has offered financial assistance for college and on the job training since 1944 through the VA. Currently they are having issues though because the systems holding the databases is 50 years old and need replaced.

Line
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Line

Oh, indeed they offer good education and healthcare options.
Because the entire system is rotten to the core.

Sending an army of puppets to kill some foreigners to keep friendly dictatorships going and deposit elected governments should never be the role of an army.

They don’t do shit to protect the American people, they’re here to protect economic interests.

And if we talk about old times… let’s not forget what happened to veterans that had too much melanin in their skin.
And how much their masters, especially Republicans, care about veterans.
Plenty of money to be dumped for propaganda like in those Esports though! Need to get them young, before they could have ideas and vote for their own good.

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starbuck1771

Games are not a new tool in recruitment. They used simulators even in the 1980s for recruitment. My first attempt to join the Army was when I was 16 in 1987.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

The fact that there is a standing Army protects the American people. If we didn’t have one Kim would have float a 5 man team over here on a paper raft by now and taken over.

The correct and legitimate issue here is with the civilian politicians that people like you elect. Every organizational entity recruits in some fashion or another. Knowing the Army as I do the “plenty of money” is the same piss poor allowance the Army has for recruiting given to it by Congress. Same amount of money to use, just shifting the way it is used.

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Bryan Correll

Maybe they could generously offer scholarships and keep all those pesky peasants from going to universities and taint them with their melani- their poorness, I mean.

Offer scholarships to keep them from going to universities? You didn’t really think that through, did you?

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Even getting free college “later” doesn’t absolve all the other expenses of a vet. You only get the degree if you can physically afford to live like a student when you’re discharged, and you probably can’t because if you have the means to do that, you probably didn’t go into the military in the first place (or you got your degree first and fast-tracked to OCS). It’s only gotten harder for vets in the past few decades. Most people need to get to work to survive, in a time where work for no-college vets is declining, and if they’re very lucky, they squeeze in time at a night college. Which is what my dad did. Which is why I didn’t see him for years.

It’s more than fair to be cynical of military recruiting tactics and motives and who’s really getting what out of the arrangement. Google “how many people take advantage of the GI bill” and you’ll see how depressing this particular gamble actually is.

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Bryan Correll

I’m not bothered by the expression of opinion. But if you’re going to grind an axe make sure you’re holding it properly. I don’t like half-coherent polemics whether they’re from an orange president or from the opposition.

Sincerely,
A Filthy Moderate

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Sorry, I think I wasn’t explaining well – what I meant was, they offer the equivalent of a scholarship after you’ve served, knowing you will be even less in a position to use it then, knowing it preys the most on the poor. Financially, they’re counting on it too. It’s a gross tactic.

(I don’t think it’s about being a moderate though? My dad is retired now ofc, but my brother is still in Kabul, both hardcore secular conservatives, and they get way more angry about military abuses than most lefties.)

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Bryan Correll

By “half-coherent polemic” I wasn’t referring to your comment, but to the one I was originally calling out. The poster had made an assertion that, on it’s face, was self-contradictory.

Add in his apparent overall dislike of the military and his insertion about the military preying on African-Americans and I think it’s safe to say he’s a lefty. Plus he specifically called out Republicans.

I would also argue that while job opportunities for high-school only vets are poor, they aren’t worse than for civilians with the same education. Fresh out of the military without a degree looks better on a resume than just fresh out of high school. If nothing else vets will be seen as more disciplined and less likely to need coddling.

Line
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Line

Wasn’t the clearest, I was talking about social nets here.
Like, you know, education paid by the state.

Instead of deliberately helping the terrible for-profit model ongoing for higher education to keep the masses stupid… and offering them the privilege to get a basic right if they help kill some brown people somewhere. Or just keep bad ideas in check, like wanting more democratic representation in Bahrain, not being ethnically cleansed, etc.

The Army is exactly like the for-profit prison system, a disgusting perversion of the original goal to enrich a few and protect interests that actively go against the will of the people of the country – and more so against foreigners.

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Armsbend

Are they going to field a bunch of Korean kids like Overwatch’s fake city leagues?

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starbuck1771

Most likely not. Since it is going to be used for recruitment most likely only domestic people will be on the team.

Got no life feel free to try out for the team kid if you’re good at games. Sign up for world travel while you’re at it. Get to meet people from other lands and possibly shoot them.

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

Cyberforce is needed

laelgon
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laelgon

Sure kids, join the army, you’ll get to play Fortnite all day.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

If you’re a 92Y, quite possibly.