Hill e-sports league wraps up successful first season

  • Published
  • By Richard Essary
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- If you’re an avid player of video games, you might be interested in joining Hill’s e-sports league.

The newly formed gaming league recently wrapped up its first season where teams of players from across the installation faced off in the video game Call of Duty: Cold War Black Ops.

“The first season was a unique experience and we were excited to see the community growing around e-sports here at Hill,” said Staff Sgt. Erik Jacobson, 367th Training Support Squadron and one of the league’s organizers.

Jacobson said he and Staff Sgt. Brian Mitchem, 367th TRSS, established the league to connect people over the common interest of gaming.

The world of competitive video gaming known as e-sports is a growing spectacle. In fact, streaming services and live tournaments around the world are turning casual gamers into serious players who earn money from sponsorships, endorsements and league salaries.

The competitors play popular games such as Call of Duty, Fornite, and Madden NFL just to name a few.

Jacobson said they consulted with other bases and tallied votes from gamers across Hill AFB before settling on playing Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War for the league’s first season.

A total of 45 players on 11 different teams played more than 60 video game matches on three different gaming platforms between June 17 and Aug. 14.

At the end of the season, Team Randoms (1st Lt. Ben Helman, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, and Senior Airmen Kenneth Cardenas, 388th Maintenance Squadron, Tre Pinnick, 75th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Corey Weakland, 75th Medical Operations Squadron, and Joshua Wilcox, 388th Logistics Support Squadron) were crowned champions.

As their name suggested, the winning team was a collection of players who never gamed together before.

Jacobson said they worked with 75th Force Support Squadron Sports Director Jimmy Murray and 75th FSS Marketing Office to establish the groundwork for the league.

Staff Sgts. Antonio Cooper, Brian Mitchem, Jared Powers,Tyler Wallace, and Airman 1st Class Christian Garcia, 367th TRSS, also supported the league in different roles in order to live stream the main matches to the league’s Facebook and Twitch platforms.

With a first season in the books, Jacobson said they are hard at work planning a second that will be announced in the near future.

“There are a lot of new games coming out in the next few months and many games from our previous survey that had a lot of support,” he said. “We are also working to see if the University of Utah will host us in their e-sports arena.”

Until then the new season is announced, interested players can participate in a free “Smash Bros Ultimate” tournament at 1 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the Airman Recreation Center. Registration for two-player teams is still open and prizes will be up for grabs.

For more information, visit “Hill Gaming League” on Facebook or contact Murray at james.murray.31@us.af.mil.