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Luke Airmen to compete in inaugural gaming event

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Dominic Tyler
  • 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz.-- Luke Air Force Base has been invited to participate in the first ever Air Force Gaming Western Regional Esports Invitational on Sept. 22-23, 2023, at Hill AFB, Utah. The invitational is scheduled to include tournaments featuring Super Smash Brothers, Rocket League, Magic: The Gathering, and the main event, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, 4v4 Search & Destroy.

“This unique event is a testament to the strength and diversity of the Air Force community,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony McAlum, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron shift supervisor and Luke AFG ambassador. “We believe it will strengthen our relationships and foster friendly competition and look forward to seeing our community come together for this remarkable event.”

In the beginning, what began as a small Discord server in 2019, evolved into a service-wide competitive program designed for resiliency and retention.

The Air Force Gaming program cultivates a community of Airmen of different ages, ranks, and backgrounds to compete, volunteer, and connect over their mutual passion for gaming.

“This is an essential outlet for some of our guys,” said McAlum. “Work can be demanding at times and after a long shift, some of our Airmen just want to come home and decompress by gaming with friends.”

Over 15,000 Airmen and Guardians have joined AFG, a website that serves as an esports hub, built specifically for the Department of the Air Force. On the gaming website, Airmen can find various competitions and gaming events to attend, ranging from casual Friday game nights to multi-week tournaments, and information on opportunities for temporary duty station assignments.

Most recently, McAlum competed with his team in the 2023 AFG Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Spring Minor League tournament.

“There was a total of 27 teams from bases all across the United States,” said McAlum. “In the Stage 3 playoffs, we went undefeated to win the championship. The guys on my Call of Duty team aren’t even from Luke. We’re all scattered across the U.S. and we all met on AFG.”

The team went on to represent AFG in a Call of Duty match against the French Air Force, winning 3-1 in a best of five set tournament.

“This Air Force program supports Airmen with a resource where they can connect and compete with other gamers on a global level,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Parker McKenna, 56th Force Support Squadron formal training manager and Luke AFG ambassador. “When I’m assigned to another base, I make sure to reach out to the base AFG ambassador to get spun up on the local gaming community there.”

Airmen interested in getting involved can join the AFG discord community or reach out to the Luke AFG ambassadors. For more information on upcoming events visit