JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Department of the Air Force Gaming League is back with a new format and a new league for family members and retirees.
The new format consists of three unique seasons – spring, summer and fall, expanding opportunities for more competitors to participate, said Capt. Oliver Parsons, Air Force Services Center Deputy Chief of DAF Fitness and Sports.
“Air Force Gaming has grown over the last three years and is now open to numerous groups across the Department of the Air Force,” Parsons said.
For two seasons, since it debuted, the inaugural DAF Gaming League has steadily added participants. More than 25,000 Total Force gamers participate, to include active-duty Airmen and Guardians, the Guard and Reserve, as well as Defense Department civilians. The DAF Gaming League’s first Armed Forces esports championship takes place 28-29 May.
With the success of the DAF League, and based on customer requests, AFSVC officials decided to expand the program by adding a second league, called the Minor League. The Minor League allows for gamers of all ages, including retirees and young family members.
“This is the first season we are allowing wide spread participation,” Parsons said. “Anyone at an installation; any Air Force ROTC and U.S. Air Force Academy cadet, dependents ages 13 and over and any Civil Air Patrol and JROTC cadet can participate.”
The AFSVC launched the DAF Gaming League to support resiliency and retention efforts, said Col. Christopher Parrish, AFSVC commander.
“Air Force and Space Force Gaming is a 24/7 grassroots organization empowering our community to practice and compete to build camaraderie, leadership and connectedness throughout the season,” he said.
Airman 1st Class Jason Collier, a gamer with the 31st Maintenance Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy, uses the competition to alleviate stress in life.
“I've always found my way back to gaming. It's one of those things that gives me that social battery I need,” said Collier. “For some people, it's just like going out with friends.”
If the growth of DAF Gaming every season is any indication, the demand for more egaming opportunities is strong.
“With over 86 percent of Airmen and Guardians between the ages of 18-34 identifying as gamers, the community has grown after two seasons,” said Maj. Aaron Tissot, AFSVC DAF Fitness and Sports Division chief. “With the format changes this season, we will certainly build on the more than 25,000 men and women we’ve connected through gaming.”
DAF Gaming League will be part of the inaugural FORCECON22 event hosted by Port San Antonio and ASM Global at the new Tech Port Center + Arena over Memorial Day weekend, 28-29 May. During the event, three live esports competitions planned over the weekend with the Armed Forces Sports Championship, featuring Halo: Infinite, on May 28, and the $10K Halo Showdown and Air Force Gaming Minor League Championships on May 29. For more info on the event visit https://airforcegaming.com/forcecon.
Be on the lookout for more competitive events and Armed Forces branch battles throughout the remainder of 2022! To keep current on the upcoming season or to join, visit https://airforcegaming.com/, or see the latest highlights from the season on Facebook and Twitter.