American military-focused non-profit organisation United Service Organisations (USO) and the National Football League (NFL) have announced the third edition of its Salute to Service Showdown event.
The event will see active duty, reserve and National Guard members of the United States military compete in EA SPORTS Madden NFL 24 between September and November 2023.
This is the third edition of the Salute to Service Showdown, an event created jointly by the USO and the NFL. The USO is a non-profit organisation providing support and relief for members of the United States Military and is most known for staging live performances of musical and comedy acts in military bases and camps since its inception in 1941.
The tournament will start on September 1st, 2023 and registration will be open to all members of the military in three main regions: The Americas, the Pacific and EMEA. After an initial qualifier period, playoffs will take place in October, with the best eight players advancing to a LAN final that will take place at the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys Salute to Service game on November 12th.
The two tournament winners will get two tickets each for the 58th Super Bowl which will take place in Las Vegas in February 2024.
Melissa Pardi, the NFL’s Senior Director of Social Responsibility, commented on the event: “The NFL is proud to collaborate with the USO on this one-of-a-kind gaming experience for service members.
“Initiatives like the Salute to Service Showdown Madden NFL 24 Tournament allow us to give back to those who sacrifice so much to protect our nation. It’s an honour to show our gratitude for their service.”
This is just one of several activations that the NFL has organised in the esports space over the last few years. The league has worked with Enthusiast Gaming to launch a weekly content series, and has notably worked with FaZe Clan for the 2022 Super Bowl.
A number of current and former NFL players are also investing in esports, with the likes of Boston Scott and Trevon Diggs signing for Dignitas and Complexity. G1 is also notably owned by former NFL player Kenny Vaccaro.