By Fort Sill Tribune staffOctober 8, 2019
FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Oct. 8, 2019) -- They get up early in the morning. They hit the gym together, and then go eat a healthy breakfast at a dining facility. After that it's anywhere from six to hours of intense training at their jobs.
It sounds like the daily regimen of a Soldier, but it's also a typical day for professional gamers with compLexity Gaming, an e-sports organization which has its headquarters in Frisco, Texas.
Six compLexity players visited Fort Sill Oct. 4-5, as they learned how Soldiers are trained, and they also met with the Lawton-Fort Sill community to give gaming tips, and engage in friendly competition.
Fort Sill Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) president Sgt. Ernesto De Jesus said the gamers are here because of input from Soldiers about what they are interested in.
"Gaming is an instrumental part of recreation in FMWR," De Jesus said.
He noted that the Army recently created an eSports team at Fort Knox, Ky., as an Army Recruiting Command outreach effort.
Installation Management Command's Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) partnered with compLexity to bring its gamers to posts. The MWR BOSS program is a big part of the partnership, said Sooki Park, compLexity Partnership Activation director. compLexity gamers have visited Fort Bliss, Texas. Other forts and National Guard units are on their schedule.
The partnership shows gamers what it's like to be a Soldier, and introduces Soldiers to gamers, she said. On their visit the gamers performed physical training with BOSS Soldiers, ate at the Guns and Rocket Dining Facility, visited the USO, and spent time with 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Soldiers.
Conversely, Fort Bliss BOSS Soldiers visited compLexity's headquarters to spend a day in the life of a professional gamer.
compLexity is an eSports organization that was founded in 2003. Its owners include Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys owner; and real estate CEO John Goff. The gamers train near the Cowboys' facilities, Park said.
compLexity players compete in 10 games, said Park. It brought some of its Apex Legends, and Fortnite players to Fort Sill.
Pro gamer SSNSanta said he saw how aspects of some Soldier jobs are similar to what gamers do.
"It's cool to see how Soldiers practice and how they build up before they go into battle," said SSNSanta, age 20.
"They were talking about their 24-hour shifts where they have to pay attention looking at a screen. For us, when we're streaming we're sitting down for hours, looking at a screen, and working together as a team."
On Friday, the gamers met with the community at the Fort Sill Main Exchange. Charles Eaves, PX store manager, said gaming merchandise is a big seller.
"Gaming consoles are extremely popular, but lot of people are streaming (downloading) the games online," he said.
At the open gaming session Sunday, 16 consoles were set up so visitors could play a variety of games. They could also watch a big screen as a pro gamer played a game.
"We're giving Army families a chance to interact with our players, and see what eSports is like," Park said. "Basically, showing them that gaming is cool."
Spc. Jashannon Banks, A Battery, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery and his unit BOSS rep, was at the gaming session.
"Gaming is fun and it helps with your eye-hand coordination, and improves your reaction time," Banks said. He said he began playing when he was 5 years old; he's now 21. His favorite games include "Borderlands 3" and "Call to Duty."
compLexity gamer Gabe Brunelle, who game name is Gabeismon, played Apex Legends at the session as an audience watched his skill play on a big screen.
"Gaming at its core is all about having fun, that's why I started doing it," he said.
"It's fast-paced and methodical game play," he said. "It's very diverse and requires extensive skill and ability."
After visiting Soldiers, Gabeismon said he realized how popular gaming is in the Army.
"These guys are as big as gamers as us, they love it," he said.