Overwatch

The US Army has a surprisingly good Overwatch team

by Michael Gwilliam

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The US Army isn’t exactly who you first think of when you imagine an esports team, but they have some serious skills in Overwatch and other games. 

As a newly uploaded video from the US Army’s esports Twitter shows, Blizzard World is a battleground they know quite well. 

In the clip, off-tank player Czarcas7ic on the D.va and Symmetra main MageOW can coordinate amazing combos just as well as anyone else on ladder in organized play. 

D.va's ultimate can lead to amazing multi-kills.

With the enemy team trying to retreat, Czarcas7ic activated his self-destruct ultimate while MageOW places a teleporter sending the exploding mech right into the enemy backline for the impressive quad kill.

How did the US Army get into esports?

In 2008, John Talaske helped launch the United States Army’s Warrior Zone Program, an initiative which inserted gaming into Recreation Centers. This project was launched after Talaske saw  the success of his ‘Fort Lewis Soldiers’ Counter-Strike server. 

When the army was looking to build a new type of recreation center, they asked young soldiers what activities they were looking for. Gaming topped the list. 

Warrior Zones are pretty much high-tech recreation centers with TVs, poker and pool tables, high-speed internet, and a bar that serves draft beer. Of course, there’s game setups too.

In a 2018 interview with Shoryuken, Talaske said fighting games were “at the top of preferred tournament play.”

The Army now participates in a bunch of games from Call of Duty and Street Fighter to Overwatch and CS:GO.

Capcom/Street Fighter
Capcom/Street Fighter
The US Army likes Street Fighter quite a bit.

Some of the benefits to this program is that it can enhance a soldier’s focus and strategy by allowing them to work together on something intended to be fun. And as the above clip proves, it seems to be working quite well. 

Next time there’s a D.va bomb suddenly in your backline, it may just be the US Army.