Train2Game ESports beneficial for children


The British Esports Association, the not-for-profit national body set up to support grassroots competitive gaming, has found that esports can be a beneficial activity for children when played in moderation.
The Association partnered with Westminster City Council and DinoPC for a free two-hour after-school esports training club, running every Tuesday for a month at Maida Vale Library.

The idea was to bring in 10 different children each week from local schools, aged 8 to 14, and give them a taster session on esports, including the careers available and the skills it can develop. The training club featured games of Rocket League, coaching, casting (aka match commentary) and journalism segments, followed by a Q&A.

British Esports has published a video and extensive PDF report reviewing the event, stating some of the key findings.

The pilot scheme was a sellout, with more children and parents signing up to attend than space would allow, showing there is real demand for more regular clubs in schools and libraries in the future. It also secured national and specialist press coverage.

Children and organisers identified several benefits and skills that the esports pilot promoted, including strategic thinking, teamwork, communication, leadership, performance skills and confidence. These skills are transferable and can benefit children in other areas, such as schoolwork, physical sports and general wellbeing.

Nic Carnelutti, marketing manager for DinoPC – which provided the systems for the esports sessions – said: “We believe the educational aspects of what the British Esports Association aims to achieve are highly beneficial to children and younger audiences.

“This scheme encourages young people to learn teamwork and participate in a challenge – building up their social skills which can then be used in other aspects of life.”

British casters Harry “DocDa” Evans and Ryan “Flakes” Oliver were on hand to teach the children commentating techniques.

One of the children, 13-year-old Mohammed Badamasi from Paddington Academy, added: “I think it was extremely fun and I really enjoyed casting and working with my team to win. Commentating is fun, Rocket League is fun – we had to work as a team to score. I would absolutely love to do this again 1000%.”

All of the children that took part in the pilot scheme said they would like to take part in a more regular esports club, either at their own school, nearby library or at a similar event in their area. For more feedback from the participants, please read British Esports’ full library PDF report.

Nick Fuller, Tri-borough Libraries Children’s Services Manager, Schools Library Service, Maida Vale Library, commented: “The new initiative between The British Esports Association and Westminster Libraries offers children a new and exciting experience, which is not only popular and fun, but also develops important skills for such as their strategic skills, emphasizing the need for teamwork and making computer gaming more social. 

“The initiative will help to raise the profile of libraries to young people and a wider audience that libraries are a community space, offering new, exciting and fun activities that many would not associate with libraries. It also gives the children involved the opportunity to mix with other children from different schools and backgrounds.

“The Library Service is hoping that the partnership with British Esports will grow and that the esports offer can continue and be rolled out to more libraries, envisioning thriving leagues and competitions in libraries and across the service.”

Each child received a British Esports certificate, T-shirt and cap after the event.

Going forwards, the Association aims to help other schools and libraries roll out their own esports clubs for children.

Dominic Sacco, Content Director at the British Esports Association, said: “The idea is to better educate Britain regarding the benefits of esports, and to show parents, teachers and children there are viable career paths within the industry.

“There is a real demand for regular clubs at libraries and schools. And by targeting the younger demographic, we are looking at the bigger long-term picture with the goal of creating more British esports talent in the future.

“Also, with the likes of Ukie hosting the Digital Schoolhouse children’s esports tournaments, and several universities starting to offer esports modules, it’s a very exciting time for esports in Britain. We look forward to future developments.”

Train2Game News 2D Animation Engine 


​Midas Touch Interactive, a groundbreaking physics based animation and VR/AR interaction technology studio, today released its latest product, Midas Creature – a Directable Automated Animation Engine and workflow for quickly and easily creating complex 2D animations for video games and other creative applications. 

As part of the product rollout, the company is also launching a new website that contains product information along with a purchasing shop.

Midas Creature was developed by Jiayi Chong, a former Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios whose experience includes working on many feature films, including Toy Story 3, Wall-E, UP, Brave, and Monsters University. Chong’s role at Pixar spanned ten years and involved developing physics simulation tools and engines, including simulations for rigid body dynamics, deformable solids, cloth, hair, fluid dynamics, and skin simulation tools. In his role as Technical Director of Animation for Midas Touch, Chong leads his team on creating cutting-edge animation pipeline and service, such as Midas Creature, that is made available to both internal projects as well as licensing partners.

“Midas Creature is the ideal pipeline for game developers and anyone else looking for a more powerful, efficient, and easy-to-use 2D animation process,” said Kevin He, CEO of Midas Touch Interactive. “The Directable Automated Animation Engine of Midas Creature allows you to create animations you might have previously thought impossible with key frame or flash animation. This includes motion like hair and cloth fluttering in the wind, as well as 3D-to-2D Mocap transfer.”

Video game developers and others can use Midas Creature’s powerful Skeletal Rigging and Animation tools to build, pose, warp, and bring their art to life. These tools are made to streamline the user’s workflow, reducing time and money spent while maintaining high-quality results.

“We’re very excited to have Jiayi on our team as he brings tremendous passion and expertise,” continued He, “which he utilizes to build and implement our next-gen AI driven physics based animation pipeline helping to further establish Midas Touch Interactive as a burgeoning immersive entertainment technology expert developing cost effective and deeply interactive content creation services.”    

Midas Creature caters to 2D developers of all sizes with its “Creature Enterprise” and “Creature Indie” levels. Enterprise is a premium offering that gives users everything they need to get started using Creature for their company and projects. This is the full-featured version of the tool and gives users a license for Sprite Bump, a normal mapping tool that gives 3D lighting effects to 2D images. Unlimited support tickets are included in the Enterprise package. And for first-year Enterprise customers, a Creature Lead Engineer will offer one hour a month of feedback on their projects. “Creature Enterprise” is offered as a subscription, renewed annually.

Indie is designed for small-scale development teams who prefer more flexibility without an annual commitment, while still offering product complete features and support for indie teams to realize their animation needs. The “Creature Indie” license is available to those with less than $100,000 in gross revenues in the current year, and can be purchased for $19.99 per seat for a 30-day license and to be renewed month-by-month. Committed to inspiring young and aspiring creative developers, Midas Touch is also offering students a version of Midas Creature that allows them (with proof of enrollment/student ID) to use the tool free for one month.

Midas Creature is a blend of traditional tools and new technologies. Both premium levels will have comprehensive customer support to aid user needs.  Early adopters have used Midas Creature and seen positive benefits, including a 10x increase in speed of art pipeline performance (source PlayStudios).

Midas Creature is available at the shop page: http://www.creature.midasphysics.com/shop

Train2Game News UK Games Fund

​Consider yourself the next Kojima? Ready to become the next Rocksteady? Maybe you’ve got the skills to become a future Meier?
UK games developers could be in with a chance of securing up to £25,000 of government funding, as the hunt begins to find the UK’s next big video game.

The UK Games Fund is inviting developers to apply for the grants in a bid to support video games projects and help develop new talent.

The fund, which in now its third round, has so far helped 50 developers from across the nation see their gaming dreams transformed into reality thanks to more than £1.3m in government grants. 

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock MP said:

“The UK is a world leader when it comes to making video games, and we’re determined to make sure this continues long into the future.

“Our UK Games Fund has already helped many young games companies turn prototypes into a reality. Together with the Government’s video games tax reliefs this shows how we’re supporting this dynamic sector to attract further investment and new talent.”

The UK’s video games sector plays a vital role in the country’s thriving creative industries, which contributes £84 billion to the economy.

Video games developer Sensible Object, who successfully applied for funding from the first round of the UK Games Fund, have brought their game “Beasts of Balance” to life thanks to the government grant. About to be launched in retailers including John Lewis, “Beasts of Balance” is an ambitious mixture of a physical tabletop and digital game in which players stack beast-shaped pieces into a balancing tower that’s scanned by a connected smartphone or tablet.

On a visit to the Sensible Object studios in Somerset House, the Minister was shown how the developers have developed their designs and are now bringing them to market.

Alex Fleetwood, Sensible Object founder, said:

“Launching any venture is fraught with risks, but creative businesses like game companies come with even more challenges and the UK Games Fund is a very timely form of support for those that hope to grow and succeed in that area.

“The fund is well-run, straightforward to apply for, and clear in its decision-making, making it a valuable asset to game companies like ours and the industry as a whole.”

The Government’s UK Games Fund is aimed at supporting new video games businesses, encouraging talent, accelerating growth in regional games clusters and complements UK’s video games tax relief. Many small businesses lack the capital to help develop their ideas and attract private investment. The Fund has been created to help bridge that gap and help developers take their ideas from the drawing board and into production.

Paul Durrant, head of the UK Games Fund, said: “We’re really excited about this funding round, given the high demand and the quality of projects we’ve seen so far. It’s also good to see the success stories arising from our support. Sensible Object’s rapid progress shows just what we can achieve when we assist the UK’s top games development talent.”

  Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie,  said: “The UK is home to some of the world’s best and brightest creative games talent, and support from the UK Games Fund has already helped many projects get a much needed boost towards development and funding. The fantastic games that have already emerged from previous rounds shows what a huge asset this fund is to the games sector in the UK, and Ukie is proud to continue supporting the project through this next round.”

To apply for funding visit: ukgamesfund.com

Train2Game News Pokémon GO Europe release coming soon

Th​e Pokémon Company International and Niantic, Inc. are excited to announce the launch of the long-awaited mobile game Pokémon GO, which is now available for download at no cost on the App Store and Google Play. 
Pokémon GO is currently available in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and will be coming soon to Canada, Europe and South America.
In Pokémon GO, players around the globe will explore their surroundings to find and catch wild Pokémon hiding in their midst. Some wild Pokémon appear in their native environments—for example, Water-type Pokémon may appear near lakes and oceans. Once players have encountered a Pokémon, they can catch it by using their smartphone’s touch screen to throw a Poké Ball. Poké Balls and other special items can be found at PokéStops located at interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers and monuments.

Pokémon GO’s features include:

·         Catch Pokémon: Pokémon GO invites players to step outside, walk around and catch wild Pokémon. As players increase in level, they’ll be able to catch more-powerful Pokémon and gain access to more-powerful items. While working to complete the Pokédex, players will be able to evolve Pokémon by catching multiples of the same species and can even find Pokémon Eggs which hatch after a player walks a specific distance. Players are encouraged to keep exploring and encountering the many different Pokémon needed to complete the Pokédex!

·         Join a Team and Battle: Players can join one of three teams, Mystic, Instinct or Valor  and assign Pokémon they have caught to an open Pokémon Gym location or to a Gym claimed by a fellow team member. Teams must battle against the defending Pokémon in their rival teams’ Gyms to lower a Gym’s Prestige and claim the Gym for their own team. Cooperation amongst team members is important in securing as many Gyms as possible.

·         Share the Fun: Activate the camera feature to take photos of Pokémon encountered in the world. With their real-life surroundings providing a backdrop for these photos, players will be able to share these memorable moments with their friends.

·         Customise the Trainer Avatar: Players can choose from a range of apparel and accessories to match their in-game avatar with their personal style. The customised avatar will appear on the map as players move around, as well as on their profile page. Trainer’s avatars will also appear in Gyms under their team’s control.

·         Soundtrack by Junichi Masuda: Pokémon GO will feature all-new music composed by GAME FREAK’s Junichi Masuda. Mr. Masuda has worked on Pokémon video games since the very first games and has composed many of the classic and memorable songs that have inspired fans for decades.

In-app purchases will be available for players who would like to enhance their Pokémon GO experience. Players can purchase PokéCoins, the in-game currency of Pokémon GO, which can then be exchanged for power-ups and extra items.

The Pokémon GO Plus device is a portable accessory that will enable Pokémon GO players to enjoy the game even while they’re not looking at their smartphones. This optional device connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth and notifies the player about events in the game using an LED and vibration. In addition, players can catch Pokémon or perform other simple actions by pressing the button on the device.

A brand-new launch trailer for Pokémon GO can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmhyG_d1QKU

For more information, and for details on compatible devices, please visit www.PokemonGO.com .

Train2Game News UK Games Fund

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy has today announced the successful applicants to the second round of the Government’s UK Games Fund.
The UK Games Fund attracted an incredible 235 applications for the second round of the Fund. The 23 businesses winning grant funding are located all over the UK – including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Belfast, Bristol, Brighton, Guildford and London, and represent the best of the UK’s emergent games development, innovation and creativity.

The £4 million, four-year UK Games Fund is accelerating the growth of games clusters around the UK – by helping creative young businesses develop new games idea and by supporting talent. The Fund will run until 2019 and will provide grants of up to £50,000 to support video games projects, create jobs and help develop new talent.

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy said:

“The UK’s creative industries are one of our greatest success stories, generating more than £84bn a year for the UK economy. Our video games industry is world-renowned, but we know that many small businesses sometimes lack the capital to help develop their ideas and attract private investment. Our fund is helping bridge that gap and help developers take their ideas from the drawing board and into production.”

The talent element of the UK Games Fund – the Tranzfuser™ initiative, has also got off to a flying start.  A total of 19 teams of eager young graduates have been chosen to develop their games ideas over 10 weeks this summer, hosted in 10 regional centres covering the breadth of the UK. They are all working towards a showcase of their working games prototypes at a leading consumer-facing games forum in September. http://tranzfuser.com/

Paul Durrant, Managing Director, UK Games Talent and Finance CIC said:

“With 235 applications, there was unprecedented demand for our funding in this round so these successful applicants really do represent the best of the UK’s emergent games development talent. Now that the success stories from our first round are just beginning to emerge, we’re expecting to see a similar level of success from these projects.”

The successful applicants to the second round are:

Brightrock Games Ltd, Acid Nerve Ltd, Penny Black Studios Ltd, Draw and Code Ltd, A Brave Plan Ltd, Rekim Ltd, Mode 7 Ltd, S2 Entertainment Ltd, Skoogmusic Ltd, Fireblade Software Ltd, Twisted Tree Games Ltd, Beatnik Games Ltd, Broken Fence Games Ltd, Kinesthetic Games Ltd, Auroch Digital Ltd, Rhizome Games Ltd, Damp Gnat Ltd, Talony Games Ltd, Me, We Studios Ltd, Oddtales Ltd, SMAC Games Ltd, Silo Games Ltd, Inlifesize Ltd

The UK Games Fund is managed by UK Games Talent and Finance CIC and works with organisations such as Digital Catapult, BAFTA, Ukie, Tiga, Creative England, Creative Scotland and BFI.

More information on the next round of funding will be released after the summer. Follow @ukgamesfund for the latest information.

More details can be found at www.ukgamesfund.com

Train2Game News British eSports Association

Following authority from the UK Government, today sees the  of the British eSports Association.

Located at Pinewood Studios, British eSports, acting as the National Governing Body for eSports in the United Kingdom, will work in conjunction with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to help and represent players at all levels; develop a grassroots competitive video game scene that will nurture future talent; support existing professionals and provide the infrastructure to create future British global champions. 

The activities for British eSports will be easily accessible at www.BritisheSports.org , a portal providing the latest news on events, teams and leagues, alongside impartial advice for both players and parents.

“The establishment of the British eSports Association is an important initiative in furthering the credibility of the eSports industry in the UK. Pinewood is excited to be part of this National Governing Body for eSports and is aiming to have a new National Training Centre for eSports to help with grassroots and future British Champions,” commented Jules Robinson, Head of Business Development, Pinewood Studios.

The not for profit organisation, British eSports will be chaired by Andy Payne OBE, with Chester King in the role of acting CEO. The next three months will see a consultation period, during which British eSports will be gathering feedback from the UK eSports sector to ensure it fully represents the interests of individuals, teams, game publishers and broadcasters alike.

Andy Payne, chair of British eSports, added, “I am an admirer of the work of other sports associations such as British Cycling, and I am very confident that if we welcome and embrace all parties in the UK eSports scene, we can deliver a range of benefits to all players, from professional to amateur in the UK over time. These are exciting times in eSports and the time is right to build this organisation from the grassroots up.”

Thoughts and ideas can be sent to info@britishesports.org .

Train2Game News The first ever Game Marmalade spread thick with talent

Game Marmalade

Game Marmalade a complete success in its initial year

Game Jam organised by Train2Game students had a spread of talented entries and some great games are coming out of the event.

This year saw the launch of Game Marmalade, the student organised Game Jam for Train2Game students. It was well attended and the games produced impressed event organisers. The next step in the process will be the judging.

The event was a great chance to meet new people and learn new skills. Organisers can’t wait to see the games finished that had such huge potential. There were four teams in total with three games produced for judging. The theme chosen at random was – The End Is Just The Beginning.

Some unfortunate drop outs meant team members had to adapt to new roles. Three out of four games were completed but the unfinished team are still working to finish its project. The attendees of the Jam are continuing to work on their titles or beginning new projects together.

The event was created and managed by Train2Game forum member Slinks. She was extremely happy with how the event went, especially with the games the students produced and the networking opportunities created.

The next step is the judging process, and then announcement of the winner. There’s potential for another Game Jam in the future but that’s not confirmed at this time.

Train2Game student and Game Marmalade organiser, Slinks: ‘Game Marmalade was an excellent success and from all the positive feedback I’ve had, everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learnt a great deal. It’s been very rewarding organising Game Marmalade and I’ve learned so much about putting an event like this together. Everyone who took part should be really proud of themselves and what they achieved and I’m sure we will see some awesome games being developed in the future.’

‘Before the event I asked my fellow students to send me their suggestions for a theme and received lots of great entries. The suggestions were put into a hat and I picked one out at the start of the event. The theme chosen at random was – The End Is Just The Beginning.’

‘There are so many awesome things which have come together as a result of Game Marmalade. Two studios have been formed so far who are either continuing to work on the games they entered, or work on future projects.’

‘More students are now in contact with each other, which was the ultimate aim of the event for me. My Teamspeak channel has grown which means we have a greater student to student support network. We’ve had the opportunity to get to know our Tutors, who are all awesome and gave up so much of their own time for the event. But I think the best thing was that everyone really enjoyed it, everyone who took part worked well together and everyone learned so much about game creation.’

‘Most of the teams are continuing to develop their games and are also working on future projects, so the positive energy generated by the event has certainly been good for getting things started and I’m very interested to see where everyone takes things from here.’

‘We had one team drop out and one developer who was unable to make it, but 3 out of the 4 teams managed to enter executable games. The team without a developer still worked really hard on producing all the assets needed for a full game and the artists did a really superb job.’

‘The designer of the team put in a colossal effort trying to learn how to program a game engine, with little previous knowledge and it’s a real shame he didn’t quite make it. However the team are determined to see this project through to the end and hope to put the game together over the next few months.’

‘The next event in the Game Marmalade calendar is the Judging. This will take place on Sunday 12th June in Teamspeak and there will be 5 judges giving us their marks and thoughts on each game. It should be a good evening with much discussion and we’ll find out which teams game has won.’

‘If I did it again, there are a few things I’d do differently to improve the event, but they are small changes which wouldn’t affect how the event ran, as it was pretty much a complete success. As to doing it again, I’m really not sure, my priority right now is working on my portfolio and passing the City and Guilds exam.’

‘There is still plenty of time to play the games and vote for your favourite on the website http://slinkydink68.wix.com/game-marmalade#!entries/zboej The Loonys are currently in the lead but it’s neck and neck with the Psyber Sprites. I’ve been keeping an eye on the Straw Poll and it’s been neck and neck between these 2 from the start, exciting stuff.’

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Read the Train2Game blog at www.train2game-news.co.uk Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.gamatier.com

Train2Game News Twin Town SpecialEffect Challenge Success

SpecialEffectOne hundred cars costing less than £500, laps around Silverstone and Abbeville circuits, a street party in Le Touquet plus lots of fun and games over the May bank holiday weekend, helped the Twin Town Challenge 2016 to raise over £250,000 for SpecialEffect.

The cars left Blenheim Palace on Friday 27th May and headed for Silverstone before crossing to France and on to Le Touquet, Witney’s twin town. During the weekend they undertook a series of fun challenges like blind driving, car boxing and car booty as well as a treasure hunt. There were also bonus points for the best-dressed car and team, which provided some amazing decorations and outfits from pink suited men, Christmas trees, Mexican bandits, golfers and shell fish.

On the Sunday night, French and English gathered together for a street party in Le Touquet with a live 10-piece band called The Village Idiots who had travelled from Stonesfield in Oxfordshire to play for Twin Town 16.

The welcome home party on Monday 31st May was hosted at Abbott Diabetes who provided a British bake off style tea with cakes made by the staff. Over half the cars were donated for auction at West Oxfordshire Motor Auctions in aid of the charity.

Twin Town is the brainchild of SpecialEffect Vice President Brendon Cross and is organised by a team of volunteers, over 50 of whom acted as marshals, fundraisers, minibus drivers, mechanics, scorers and generally managed the 500 people taking part in the event, both in the UK and in France.

Fundraising also included an online auction of money can’t buy prizes, bucket shakes in Le Touquet and donations from the teams, many of whom also held their own TTC16 events. Brendon said, “When we were planning Twin Town 16, we thought a target of £250,000 was quite ambitious, but with the amazing support of the Twin Town community, the teams and everyone involved with the event, we have not only reached this figure, but are likely to completely smash it.”

The money will be used by Charlbury based SpecialEffect to help more young people with disabilities to play computer games. Dr Mick Donegan, founder and CEO of SpecialEffect, commented, “The success of the amazing Twin Town Challenge 2016 has left the SpecialEffect team both stunned and humbled, not only by the remarkable funds raised but also from the feel-good factor generated by volunteers, sponsors and participants during a weekend that none of us will ever forget. We cannot thank Brendon and every single person involved enough for what they have done to help those who benefit from our life-changing work.”

Event sponsors included Playground Games, King.com, Sumo Digital, SEGA, Ghost Games and Turn 10. Teams from the games industry taking part included GAME, Gamer Network, Sumo Digital, Atomhawk, Green Man Gaming, Insight Studios, Playground Games, Hutch Games and Red Kite Games.

Train2Game News BAME in Games Network

Tanya_Laird_Kish_Hirani_Adam_CampbellThe United Kingdom games industry today launches an advocacy group to encourage more diverse talent to work in the games and wider entertainment industry.

The group will manage a professional network to encourage discussion and collaboration on diversity and make available speakers for conferences and events.

The network is free to join and open to everyone interested in the entertainment sector at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/BAME-in-Games-8459302/about .

Creative Skillset’s Employment Census 2015 for games and other Creative Media sectors published in March showed that the representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups remains disappointingly low at 4.0% down from 4.7% in 2012. The UK average for BAME employment across all industries is 30% in London and 10% nationally.

David Smith, Founder of Women in Games and now BAME in Games, explained “We would like to provide some focus on the talent that the games industry is failing to attract. Games and the wider entertainment industry should attract the very best from all backgrounds. We want to nurture more talent from minority groups. We can also do more to promote the benefits of a diverse workforce.”
The first Chair of the group is Kish Hirani who has worked at the BBC, THQ, Microsoft and most recently, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. He is supported by two vice chairs, Tanya Laird of Digital Jam and Adam Campbell of Hopster.

Kish Hirani, Chair of BAME in Games commented “Diversity brings so many advantages. It makes creative sense. It makes business sense. And games creators can truly represent the diversity of those who play games. Help us build a network that makes the games industry a place that attracts talented people from all walks of life. We want everyone in games to join us in any capacity they feel comfortable, starting with simply joining our professional network on LinkedIn.”

Train2Game News eSports vet joins Operation Supply Drop

Operation Supply DropToday Operation Supply Drop (OSD) announced that Stephen “Snoopeh” Ellis, former professional esports player and Co-Founder of the Esports Player Resource Center, joined their advisory team.

OSD is the world’s most generationally relevant support organization for veterans and active duty military. Ellis joins OSD with a focus on reaching more veterans and allies within the esports and gaming communities.

Formerly a professional gamer, Ellis held positions in the industry as team Captain, Player and Manager. Ellis has lived in and competed at the highest level of League of Legends in Asia, Europe and North America. He has additionally served as an advisor to Vibby, Repable and fantasy esports platform Unikrn, where he also served as the VP of Global Business Development. Ellis is a Strategic Partnership Manager at Facebook.

As a member of the OSD advisory team, Ellis will leverage his experience within the esports and gaming communities to advocate for OSD’s multiple veteran support programs, including the Respawn initiative – the promotion of video games as a key component of medical rehabilitation and occupational therapy. As competitive gaming has become a significant source of catharsis for troops, Ellis will facilitate ongoing developments between OSD, key partners and Military facilities to bring esports directly to active-duty personnel.

“My time with veterans and those in active duty has shown me firsthand how gaming can bring people together and keep them connected,” said Ellis. “Operation Supply Drop is a powerful tool for veterans and I’m proud to be a part of this important effort.”

“It’s an honor to add Stephen to the OSD Leadership Team,” said Glenn D. Banton, Sr., CEO of Operation Supply Drop. “I’ve admired his work in the esports world for years as he continues to advocate for further legitimization in the mainstream, and I could not be more excited to have him bring the same drive to veteran support advocation. Stephen will play a key role in the growth of our on-post support, including the development of esports on bases around the globe.”