The U.S. Army is getting into the world of eSports after failing to meet its recruitment target for the first time in more than 10 years.
The hope is that the move to eSports will help the Army connect with young people, after falling short of its 76,500 target by 6,500 recruits, reports Stars and Stripes. The U.S. Army is also putting together a “functional fitness” team to compete in CrossFit events that will serve the same purpose.
A Tekken tournament has already been scheduled, and going by the titles listed on the online application form, it looks like there are plans to form teams for Fortnite, PUBG, Overwatch, FIFA, League of Legends, Call of Duty, Madden, and NBA 2K.
Eligible applicants include active duty troops, reservists, and veterans. Members of the eSports teams will become a part of the Army’s Marketing and Engagement Team.
“They will be in a support role to help young people see soldiers in a different light and understand the many different roles people can have in the Army (and) help the Army address the growing disconnect with society,” said Army Recruiting Command spokeswoman Kelli Bland.
The first event has already been scheduled for December – a Tekken tournament that will see the victor head to PAX South next year to represent the Army.
Staff Sgt. Astin Muse elaborated on future plans in a Facebook video that include building two 18-wheeler trailers that will visit college campuses, giving college eSports team the chance to hop in and play against the Army’s teams at Fort Knox.