The British Army launched its first eSports event recently with a win for the British Army team.
A great evening of entertainment kicked off with an inter-corps match between the Royal Engineers and the Royal Signals, where the Royal Signals came out on top, followed by the British Army taking on the Royal Air Force. All teams played over Counter Strike: GO.
COVID-19 has meant that plans for a physical live event needed to be amended to ensure that all gamers could take part in the event remotely, with spectators catching the action live in their own homes. Thankfully gaming lends itself perfectly to this scenario. A large audience engaged in the action with lots of questions and comments posted throughout the event.
With a large proportion of the Army currently supporting the COVID-19 response. Gaming is keeping some of our soldiers engaged whilst they remain ready to support the nation. Major Tim Elliott has been the driving force behind the growth of eSports in the Army. He said: ‘The Army has realised it needs Gamers, they have mental determination and agility, excellent problem solving skills. No matter what your cap-badge or rank every soldiers needs these skills in the modern battlefield. The Lions League is the Military online playing field, that allows us to play the games we want and that can be easily accessed and watched by the general public. Last night we were delighted with the response from the internal audience and also the general public who tuned in to watch the action.’
Corporal Tyler Daysh, Royal Engineers and an Army Gamer explains how eSports brings soldiers together: ‘British Army esports brings together likeminded soldiers across all Corps and across all platforms, so they can play as a single community with people all over the Army, who are just like them. It was great to play as part of a formed Corps team last night.’ This is particularly important whilst individuals are dispersed.
Soldiers have expressed a long desire for eSports to be recognised by the Army and for the Army to provide a competition framework where they can compete. Last night was the first step into making this a reality. For anyone who wants to get involved the Army encourages you to check out the growing eSports community on Defence Connect, #ArmyeSports, and make sure you keep an eye on the action at the home of military gaming www.lionsleague.co.uk.