US Army Starts Esports Teams to Boost Recruitment

The United States Army has started some esports teams from within its ranks. It looks as though the teams are seeking to recruit from those on active duty, reserve, and even veterans.

According to the independent news site from within the Department of Defense, Stars And Stripes (via Polygon), the military is looking to boost recruitment through esports. This comes after it failed to meet the target bringing new soldiers for the first time in 10 years.

An online form being used to curate members for its upcoming teams suggests the Army is looking for players from a variety of games and platforms. The games listed are Fortnite, Call of Duty, Tekken, League of Legends, PUBG, Overwatch, FIFA, Madden, and NBA 2K. There’s even a spot for other games.

Polygon also pointed to an interview where staff sergeant Ryan Meaux explained the initiative is hoping to further army’s brand.

“We’re hoping to generate awareness and we’re hoping to recruit some more people.” Meaux says, which was followed by a wink at the camera.

Meaux also states this will all kick off this December starting with an internal Tekken 7 tournament where the winner will go on to play at PAX South representing the U.S. Army.

This will not be the Army’s first foray into using video games or esports for recruitment. It’s no surprise this will only grow as esports become more mainstream. Earlier this year it also held a Street Fighter 5 tournament much like the planned Tekken one. It also launched its own first-person shooter called America’s Army which has gone free-to-play on Steam.

Eventually, the plan after starting these esports teams is to have their own travelling esports trailer. This will travel to campuses around the country and likely other events, allowing college teams and maybe other potential recruits to compete against the Army’s team, which will play remotely from Fort Bragg in North Carolina.