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Samsung and the USO Partner to Put on Fortnite Tournament During Fleet Week

For Memorial Day Weekend, Sumsung and the USO have come together to host a Fleet Week Fortnite tournament. For those who don’t know Fleet Week is a week where the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard come together for all sort of events like parades, baseball games and video game tournaments. It is a celebration and way of thanking all of them for their service.

The Game Haus had a chance to sit down and discuss the tournament with John Hendrick, of the Samsung Verterans Community.

Can you kind of tell us a little bit about what’s going to be going on with the Fleet Week event?

Yeah, absolutely. First of all, we were, we were approached by the USO to do Fleet Week activities in the New York area. And they, they were interested in us becoming a sponsor. Then as we got talking and given the proximity of 837 Samsung, which is our signature experience Center in New York City, down in the meatpacking district, its proximity to the docks and things like that they said how about a gaming challenge?

Because we have a relationship with Fortnite, I contacted some of my colleagues and said what do you think, could we do this? So long story short is the event is on May 23, Thursday, is the doors open at four o’clock and seven o’clock, and essentially will get 75 to 100 participants.

Competition is only open to members of the United States military. We believable, we’re going to get mostly Fleet Week participants and they will have their choice on the gaming device they use. Either a Samsung Odyssey 2 or gaming laptop or a galaxy tablet.

The game will be mirrored in a three way, main stage. with large screens using the laptops, and All participants will receive food and beverage and some swag. Prizes will be awarded based upon their placement.

So there’s a lot of different prizes that they can win by competing, but there’s also going to be some raffles just to get people interested. They can hang around to have appetizers.

This is the first time we’re doing a gaming event. So I’m really hoping it takes off and maybe becomes, you know, a signature event the future.

Do you think that gaming is a good way for service members to strengthen the bond between the ones who they’re serving with currently and the ones who they’ve served with before? Possibly even with people at home?

I think its a great way to connect. Again, my sense is that life in the military is sort of a 24/7, 365 kind of existence where at any one point in time you don’t know where you are and so the online experience really allows you to connect when you can. And it can be destressing.

I talk a lot to people in the field, we support other initiatives as well, especially things like Operation Gratitude  which is where we ship care packages over to people that are deployed. And a lot of the mental health professionals that I talked to who are stationed in those zones talk about, you know, the high stress environment, and the difficulties sometimes that people have sort of coming down after certain types of engagements where they’ve been on alert or on duty for a period of time, and the ability to sort of come down quickly and regain some sense of normalcy after being in high stress environments.

I think gaming is a way to do that.

But at the same time, it also continues sharpen skills, and also build a sense of teamwork. Because in many cases, these games are played individually or teams, but I do think that it is a way to deal with the stress that people are under. I know that some people may feel that there could be adverse effects with respect to spending too much time on screens. But I can tell you in the military a lot of it is hurry up and wait, it’s a lot of readiness, a lot of training, a lot of preparation, a lot of practicing. So in between the times when you’re not doing that, I think it’s a great way to reduce stress, and connect with people in similar time zones around the world.

So would you say that, right now, gaming is kind of a good way of healing for service members during their service time and especially afterwards?

I do. I think, while I am not an expert in this area or a doctor or anything, but I can tell you that anything that takes the mind away from high stress environments, and puts one into a situation where the mind can can move away from, from those high intensity environments. I believe that’s very, very good. And some of the discussions I’ve had with folks who are in these kinds of high intensity environments, where you’re highly engaged for intense periods of times, and then you have to come down quickly and come back off of that. I think gaming is an excellent way to deaccelerate.

We would like to thank John for his time and thank him and our members of the military for their service.

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