US Army Esports sparks controversy with Smash Ultimate tournament - Upcomer
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The US Army Esports Team recently announced an online Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament with a $5000 prize pool. However, the tournament has prompted backlash from many members within the Smash community.

Many gamers have condemned the United States military’s attempts to recruit via esports and Twitch streaming. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez previously proposed a bill to limit military recruitment via Twitch. However, the bill failed to pass the House of Representatives, and the US military maintains its esports presence.

In a series of since-deleted tweets, Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma announced his entry into the US Army Smash Ultimate tournament, then quickly rescinded his decision. He stated that “esports and military should never be combined” and that he was “sticking by that forever.”

More about the US Army Esports Smash Ultimate tournament

Hungrybox is not the only Smash Ultimate player to step away from the US Army Esports tournament. Gabriel “Epic_Gabriel” Romero noted that he had registered for the tournament without knowing who hosted it, then subsequently dropped out.

Nevertheless, several stop players still appear on the list of attendees for the event. These include Spencer “BestNess” Garner, Kolawole “Kola” Aideyan, Raffi “Raffi-X” Azar, and Ricardo “Sinji” Mathison, along with 500 other players. It is unclear how many of these competitors will actually play in the tournament this weekend.

This upcoming tournament will not be the US Army Esports’ first foray into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The organization sponsors Yezre’el “Yez” Askew, an Army soldier ranked No. 36 on the Wi-Fi Warrior Rank v5. Yez is also currently registered to attend the Army’s upcoming Smash event.

The US Army Esports Smash Ultimate tournament will take place from September 26 to 27. In addition to Smash, it will include brackets for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone. Both of the Call of Duty brackets feature a $2500 prize pool.

Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.