JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – What do you get when Air Force Gaming hosts a Rocket League tournament in the Asia-Pacific region?
Three Airmen from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson swept the board, besting teams from across the Pacific Air Forces and taking 1st overall in the Fall of 2022.
But how did these Airmen from distinct enlisted tiers unite to overcome the competition?
“On the Air Force Gaming and JBER Gaming Discord servers, rank doesn’t matter,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kyle Keilitz, section chief of network operations assigned to the 673d Communications Squadron. “We go mostly by gamer tags and that’s one of the best things I like about this. It allows Airmen of all ranks to get together and play whatever game they want without having to worry about staying within their rank tier.”
Air Force Gaming’s founding members started the organization as an initiative to help Airmen and Guardians of all ages, ranks, and backgrounds find common ground through video games, while also promoting mental acuity, fine motor coordination, and competitive excellence.
“[JBER Gaming isn’t] an official private organization but we have roughly 200 members,” said Keilitz. “This has actually given me the ability to work with two people who, if I wasn’t part of this community, we never would have crossed paths.”
Keilitz met Senior Airman Isiah Monroe, a signals intelligence analyst assigned to the 381st Intelligence Squadron, when he went to the JBER Gaming Discord server looking for a second individual to compete with him and his brother in an iteration of the Online Soldier Showdown. This competition was a worldwide online esports tournament put on by the U.S. Army’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Programs that Keilitz was able to participate in due to being stationed at JBER.
A month after playing in the Online Soldier Showdown, Air Force Gaming held their fall tournaments. Monore reached out to Keilitz to create a new three-man team and take on other competitors in the Asia-Pacific region in the team’s videogame of choice: Rocket League.
Staff Sgt. Wyatt Randolph, a digital network analyst assigned to the 381st Intelligence Squadron, was brought on to the team by Monroe to replace another individual who had dropped out an hour before the first match. Randolph maintained the team’s eligibility and helped Monroe and Keilitz secure victories against five other teams competing against them.
Despite disadvantageous circumstances such as match times beginning at 2 a.m. and connection instability due to playing on regional servers more than 3,000 miles away, the team, led by Senior Airman Monroe, was able to take home the gold.
“Air Force Gaming is for the masses,” said Keilitz. “It’s not only open to active duty, they also have tournaments they put on for dependents and basically anyone who has base access and veterans as well.”
Air Force Gaming has announced their featured games for the Department of the Air Force Gaming League Spring 2023 Season, bringing back their Rocket League tournament. Only time will tell if Monroe, Keilitz, and Randolph will reunite, triumph over the Asia-Pacific region, and cement the Arctic Warriors of JBER amongst the Air Force Gaming community.
|Date Posted:||12.30.2022 20:10|
|Location:||JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, AK, US|