Not gonna lie, when I first saw the subject line for the press release, the first thing that leaped to my mind was who asked for this – assuming, incorrectly, that it referred to Leeroy Jenkins of World of Warcraft fame. But nope! In fact, World of Warships has added Leroy Jenkins as a playable commander. The real Jenkins served on the USS Kidd during the Korean War and is now now a curator at the Naval museum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“The World of Warships team first discovered Leroy Jenkins volunteering at the museum ship in 2017, and learned of his naval adventures, service to his country, and volunteerism through an interview,” the studio says. “The community loved learning about the USS Kidd through Jenkins’ historical stories, so Wargaming made the decision to honor him further and add him into the game.”
Wargaming acknowledges that it has a chance to parlay a common meme into something better: “Naturally, a lot of our players are fans of Navy history, but for those players more in tune with internet culture and who associate the name with the meme, hopefully this will inspire them to learn more about Naval history and the real veterans who served like Mr. Jenkins.”
If you’d like to pick up your own playable Jenkins, you’ll have to finish off a mission chain to earn “either a 6 or 10 skill point Commander Jenkins trained for the USS Kidd.” More wholesome stuff like this please.
Do note that the servers and website are struggling today following an outage, so you may not be able to leap right in.
At this time, the NA portal and server are still down due to technical issues in the data center. We are currently working on a fix. In several hours most players will be able to join the game, while other in-game web services will take additional time.
Full restore est. 1 day
— World of Warships (@WorldofWarships) April 23, 2021