By Airman 1st Class William Tracy
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 50th Space Communications Squadron triumphed over the 50th Operations Support Squadron during the 2018 Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, “League of Legends” Championship Intramural Finals in Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 6.
“League of Legends” is a team-based video game in which players from both sides fight to control various points on the game’s map in order to gain an advantage. Each team member plays as a “champion,” a specialized character with his or her own unique set of abilities.
The championship was in a best-of-three format, each complete match counting towards the final score, ending in a score of 2-1 in favor of the 50th SCS. Their victory will contribute to the team’s standing in the Commander’s Cup.
While some may not think of “League of Legends,” or video games in general, when the term “sports” comes to mind; since the game lacks in physical exertion. However, it still requires the same team coordination, communication and strategy as many other recreational sports.
“Having a team of five-to-ten people and maintaining a roster, requires a lot of effort,” said 1st Lt. Raymond Adams, commander’s action group with the 50th OG and event organizer. “Like other traditional sports, there are opportunities for Airmen to step up in leadership roles as well.”
Playing multiplayer video games competitively for spectators is known as “esports,” a rising entertainment medium that is a byproduct of the rapid growth of the now billion dollar video game industry.
This is the second year Adams helped organize an esports event for Schriever AFB. He said like other sports, teams must work together and every player needs to contribute.
“Everyone has to step up and work out challenges,” he said.
Additionally, like most competitions, there was a degree of friendly banter between opponents. When one of the 50th SCS team member’s computers encountered problems, their opponents chimed in asking if they had tried “turning the computer off and turning it on again.”
This was rebutted with a boast of the 50th SCS’s victory in the previous match.
“Once you get that competitive rally going, you have to show the other team you mean business,” said Airman 1st Class Nathan Shumer, network administrator with the 50th SCS. “It’s all part of the fun.”
At the end of the day, both teams congratulated each other on a game well played.
“After winning the second match, we were right there with 50th SCS in terms of being able to make good shot calling,” said 1st Lt. Brian Beatty, officer in charge of standardization with the 50th OG Standardization and Evaluation Division and 50th OSS team member. “It wasn’t enough; however, 50th SCS rotated their characters well and ended up winning.”
Shumer complemented his opponents.
“The 50th OSS were great competition,” he said. “They definitely threw some curveballs at us and were fun to play against.”
Adams says as he hopes to continue to grow Schriever AFB’s esport scene, the competitions will have broader implications outside of the games.
“The folks here, they have a passion and drive for gaming,” he said. “These events give them an opportunity to really connect and come together. It really opens up a spectrum of opportunities.
“Not only does this help them learn how to better communicate with each other, it helps them bond as a unit,” he added.
The next esport tournament will be an Overwatch Intramural Tournament beginning with a coach’s meeting June 21 and running throughout the month of July. For more information, call Adams at 567-4471.
Current Commander’s Cup standings:
1. 4th Space Operations Squadron – 1200 points
2. 50th OSS – 1005 points
3. 50th SCS – 680 points
4. 6th SOPS – 540 points