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Military Gaming League brings eSports tournaments to JBLM

Military Gaming League, an eSports gaming league exclusive to military members and veterans, is sponsoring two upcoming eSports tournaments at JBLM this August. Photo credit:

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Every Friday afternoon, squad leaders across Joint Base Lewis-McChord tell at least one person in their unit to drop the PlayStation or Xbox controller and get out of the barracks for the weekend. The warning against getting too much screen time has become a regular occurrence at weekly safety briefs, despite that gaming is increasingly popular among young servicemembers. But this summer, servicemembers can appease their squad leaders and get their gaming on by participating in one of two upcoming eSports tournaments at JBLM, both of which are supported by Military Gaming League (MGL).

That's right, there's a Military Gaming League, and it was started by servicemembers, for servicemembers, including active-duty, Reserve, and National Guard military members and veterans. Membership is 100 percent free to all servicemembers.

"We're the only eSports league exclusive to military servicemembers and veterans," said specialist Travis Williams, co-founder of MGL and a linguist in the Army Reserve. "eSport leagues are extremely competitive, and often military members don't have the same amount of time to practice and hone their skills as much as civilians or professional players ... So, we made a league where everyone is on the same playing field in terms of how much time they can invest ... which gives them a better shot at winning against players of similar skill levels."

MGL is one of the sponsors for the upcoming Street Fighter V eSports Tournament & Live Production Saturday, Aug. 18. The tournament will be held at JBLM Warrior Zone and will be professionally produced on Registered participants will receive T-shirts, goodie bags, free food and drink, and will compete for prizes. The first place winner will receive a PS4 Pro, two nights at the MGM Resort in Las Vegas and advances to compete at PAX-West. Registration is limited to 128 individuals, though, so interested servicemembers should head to the event page to register as soon as possible. 1-8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, Warrior Zone, 11592 17th & D St., JBLM Lewis North, 253.477.5835, Facebook Event Page (

MGL is also a sponsor of an eSports tournament at JBLM's Single Service Member Day (SSMD) Aug. 30. The tournament will be held at the Warrior Zone, where a pool tournament will occur simultaneously. Other activities included in SSMD include a morning fun run, sports (football, softball and dodgeball), carnival games, a dunk tank, music and prizes. 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 30, Lewis North Athletic Complex & Warrior Zone, 253.967.5636,

Despite only launching last March, MGL already has over 325 members and continues to grow each month. Its members span the United States and live, work and/or are stationed as far away as Japan and Italy. Spc. Williams founded the organization alongside Army veteran Daniel Ball after the two met and served together at the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade in Germany. It wasn't until Spc. Williams exited active-duty Army service from JBLM and became a reservist in 2017 that he and Ball decided to start MGL.

"I loved my experience at JBLM, so being able to host an event on base with MWR is really exciting for me," Spc. Williams said.

"Being in the military is really stressful, and sometimes people get really down and out. A lot of our members have told me that being is this league helps them on the day-to-day level. Being able to be a part of a community and come to an event, take a load off and de-stress in a safe environment, is helpful. Being able to help servicemembers and veterans who are feeling stressed or down-and-out is important to us."

Servicemembers interested in becoming a member of Military Gaming League can register at

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