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Yokota gamers gather for first esports event of the year Jan. 31, 2024

Members of the Yokota community competed in an esports tournament at the Enlisted Club on Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 27. The tournament allowed 96 gamers to battle it out in Mortal Kombat and Super Smash Bros., for a chance to win prizes and be named a top video gamer.

Like traditional sports, esports is a form of competitive video gaming with various types of tournaments and league structures. This tournament featured a bracket for gamers playing Mortal Kombat and two brackets for gamers playing Super Smash Bros., one for adults and one for those age 14 and under. The prizes included an esports jersey for each first place winner and 374th Force Support Squadron gift cards for second and third place winners in each bracket.

“We wanted to put on a gaming tournament event to bring the entire Yokota Air Base community together,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Stephan Grey, 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron Vehicle Management superintendent. “Whether it's board games or video games, they can make connections with other people… it builds their resiliency, and lets them develop and be great Airmen.”

The 374th FSS hosted the event alongside Air Force Gaming, giving Airmen and members of the Yokota community the opportunity to connect through friendly competition.

Several events have been scheduled throughout the year that will offer food, prizes, giveaways and more for Yokota’s gaming community, culminating in a huge event in August.

“Yokota’s esports program is about more than events,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col Jordan Hayes, 374th FSS commander. “Our esports program is intended to build a community. We want Airmen to build community through doing the things they love–like gaming.”

For more information on how to connect with the Yokota gaming community visit: