Whilst most people switch off their computer at the end of the day, Combat Medical Technician Jonah Jupp switches it on.
He is one of the Army’s top Esport gamers and casters, who attended the action-packed Armed Forces Day Esport championships in Scarborough.
ESports, which is short for electronic sports, has taken gaming to the next level with matches between talented gamers broadcast live, often through the popular video streaming platform Twitch.
Private Jupp is one of hundreds of soldiers who are part of the British Army Esports community who train and compete when off-duty, whilst balancing their Army careers and personal lives.
The championships offered civilian gamers the opportunity to play against gamers from all three services in fast-paced Rocket League matches.
“My first competitive match was playing Tom Clancy’s: Rainbow Six Siege in 2016. When I joined the Army, I thought that was my time gaming over. However, I had seen an advertisement for British Army Esports on social media and decided to see what it was about.” Private Jonah Jupp, British Army Esports
Expert civilian Esport gamers Pixell Bar came out victorious, beating the Army, Navy and RAF gamers to win the first official Armed Forces Day Esports championships, watched by over 7000 people on social media.
Army Esport players can still serve in the military and still enjoy their passion for esports during their time off.
Private Jupp (21) began gaming at the age of six when he started playing the Playstation. He said: “I would sit behind my dad and watch him play. The first game I played was Crash Bandicoot on PlayStation 1.
“My first competitive match was playing Tom Clancy’s: Rainbow Six Siege in 2016. When I joined the Army, I thought that was my time gaming over. However, I had seen an advertisement for British Army Esports on social media and decided to see what it was about.”
Private Jupp took on the role of Caster at the championships. He said: “The Caster will commentate on the game. They will give a running commentary on what is happening and provide explanation on what happened and why.
“I will give my thoughts and opinions on the decisions the players make and analyse anything they could have done differently. I also act as a host for the community and am now a familiar face for people within the community, for people to come to with questions about esports, Twitch and casting.”
Private Jupp likes to play a wide range of games, the one he currently spends most times playing is Arma 3. He said: “Esports allows an escape from real life stresses and increases mental stamina and skills like quick decision making, communication and increased reaction time which are all beneficial to my job.”
When he’s not playing computer games or spending time with his family, he also plays traditional sports including cricket, volleyball, golf and dinghy sailing.
Head of Army Esports, Major Tim Harcourt said: “Events such as this enable us to reach out to members of the community that we may not have a chance to do in other ways. It’s been great to have the opportunity to bring military esports to the public, especially those who may previously have had a very inaccurate understanding of what the Army and its personnel are really like.
“It also brings benefits to our soldiers who play. The Army has a duty to nurture the passions of its people, especially when those passions encourage personnel to communicate, to develop teamwork, and to take on roles and responsibilities in the British Army Esport community." Major Tim Harcourt, Head of Army Esports
“It’s about building bridges. It’s an opportunity for young people to meet young people who enjoy gaming just like them but are also members of the Army. Gaming opens up a conversation in their own environment where they are happy to ask questions.
“If The Army is to remain a modern and agile organisation, it must understand and appeal to the modern, technologically minded population. Esports is one of the few platforms that allows us to do this.
“It also brings benefits to our soldiers who play. The Army has a duty to nurture the passions of its people, especially when those passions encourage personnel to communicate, to develop teamwork, and to take on roles and responsibilities in the British Army Esport community." Soldiers like Pte Jupp are given a platform to demonstrate management and leadership qualities that might not often be appreciated in their day job. I’m consistently impressed by the dynamism and competence of our junior soldiers.
He concluded: “Today might just look like people playing Rocket League, but there is an awful lot going on including engagement, morale, personal and professional development and teamwork, and it’s all good news for the modern Army.”
Any serving or veteran military personnel can join the 3,500 members in the “British Army Esports Club” on Discord, as can partners and dependents. There they can join groups for their favourite games and their corps, and they can find out about games, competitions, and events.
Civilians interested in knowing more about what British Army Esports are getting up to can follow them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Discord, and watch their streamed games and events on their Twitch channel. Find all our social links here: https://linktr.ee/BritishArmyEsports
You can also listen to the Military Esports Show on BFBS, live at 1830 every Tuesday on BFBS radio or online at https://www.bfbs.com/bfbs-esports-live , hosted by popular esports journalist and BBC radio host OJ Borg.