Kentucky Guard Soldier Relishes in Uncharted Esports Arena

Sgt. First Class Paul England sits at his gaming console as he broadcasts on the streaming platform Twitch. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Alan Royalty)

 By Pfc. Brett Hornback, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

When it comes to exploring the new realms of entertainment, one Kentuckian has embraced the world of video streaming on a new platform called Twitch.

“I’m not really great at the games; I’m just really entertaining,” said Sgt. First Class Paul England.

England is a training non-commissioned officer with Kentucky Army National Guard’s 623rd Field Battalion at Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Kentucky. When he is not preparing Kentucky National Guard Soldiers for unknown battlefields, he can often be found entertaining viewers on the virtual battlefield.

Using the video streaming platform Twitch, England broadcasts himself live while playing video games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Rainbow Six: Siege, and Call of Duty.

YouTube promo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv-myFOxEkc

With his many responsibilities in the Kentucky National Guard, England began playing video games as a way to unwind and maintain mental resilience.

“This helps me get away from the stress of everyday life and allows me to do what I enjoy doing, while connecting with friends I don’t typically get to see,” said England. 

Due to England’s engaging personality, he has gained some recognition in the world of videogame streaming and Esports, and broadcasts to thousands of subscribers. Esports, an activity in which video gamers play competitively in individual games or tournaments, has opened up doors for England within the Guard. He is now one of nine Soldiers in the National Guard selected to be on the National Guard Bureau’s National Esports Team. 

England said that discipline and a good support system of his wife and family have been key to his success as a Guardsman and Twitch streamer.

Sgt. First Class Paul England directs his troops during a training event. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Pfc. Brett Hornback)

England was tasked with creating a Discord page, and then subsequently selected to represent the Army National Guard as an official streamer. Discord, a site with over 14 million active users that connects video gamers with similar interests, allows players to speak and communicate in a variety of ways within a group chat room. 

With a platform on both Twitch and Discord, England has been able to connect with gamers in the Guard, and has harnessed his reach, making him a more effective military leader.

“As an NCO in the Guard, it can be difficult to make connections with junior Soldiers, so you take advantage of the time you have to build those connections so that they come to trust you with issues,” said England. 

With the ability to communicate with others and his disciplined gaming routine, he leads by example in the Guard and within the gaming community. By sharing his abilities and talents, England has expanded his reach beyond the limits of his local community and even his state.

When England goes live during his activation, March 23, he will be boosted to the front page/carousal of Twitch, making him the first National Guardsman to ever have an individual stream boosted.

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