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U.S. Airmen with the 31st Fighter Wing compete in a monthly gaming tournament at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Feb. 22, 2020. The Aviano Gaming Group started the monthly tournament to increase morale for all Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Thomas S. Keisler IV)

U.S. Airmen with the 31st Fighter Wing compete in a monthly gaming tournament at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Feb. 22, 2020. The Aviano Gaming Group started the monthly tournament to increase morale for all Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Thomas S. Keisler IV)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy --

The first Aviano Gaming Group free monthly gaming tournament was held for Aviano personnel on Feb. 22 at the La Bella Vista Club.

 

The tournament for this month was a single elimination-style Call of Duty tournament which included eight teams of four players. The teams faced off for two hours until one team was declared a winner.

 

The gaming tournament was started as a way to boost morale for all Airmen and to provide an opportunity to get them involved in the eSports community throughout the Air Force.

 

“This community is growing as we speak and will soon be backed by the entirety of the Air Force,” said Airman 1st Class Joshua Maynard, a postal clerk with the 31st Force Support Squadron. While this brings more benefits to gamers specifically, any type of person will enjoy Aviano Gaming Group’s events.”

 

The monthly tournaments are funded through non-appropriated funds. The funding made it possible to purchase nine 144 Hz monitors, eight headsets, four custom awards for each player on the winning team and one plaque with the names of the monthly winners engraved on it. Players need to bring their own PlayStation 4 or Xbox One consoles to the tournaments until the group will purchase the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X that are scheduled for release later in 2020.

 

“Video games provide a different experience for an audience that is typically harder to target when pertaining to boosting morale,” Maynard said.

 

Aviano Gaming Group will host different monthly tournaments. Anyone wanting to sign up or learn more about future tournaments can follow Aviano Gaming Group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Aviano-Gaming-Group-107817787415339/