Veterans in Gaming: An Interview with Regiment's Entxurage
By: L. Sahara McGirt (DarthSagaSwag)
Regiment as a community has been deeply connected to and involved with Stack Up, even going so far as to raise $8,656.69 during their last Call to Arms event. As both Stack Up and Regiment have common goals: Supporting Active Duty Military and Veterans through gaming, we decided to sit down with Entxurage and talk about himself and Regiment.
For those not aware of Regiment: "REGIMENT is a Military gaming community with the explicit mission of uniting Veterans through the power of gaming. We use video games to help combat the suicide crisis in the Veteran community."
Founded on May 8, 2020, Regiment has been growing their community, and now they sit at 7,200+ U.S. Military Veterans, Service Members, and Dependents in their Discord Server. Regiment's Discord server can be found here.
Let's dive into this interview, shall we? I should probably introduce myself. I'm Sahara, Social Media Manager and Blog Editor-in-Chief for Stack Up. I know a little bit about you, but the rest of the team has had more interaction with you. Tell me a bit more about yourself?
My name's Chris. Better known in the gaming industry as Entxurage. I used to play video games professionally back in the day. Then I quit that to enlist in the Marine Corps. Got out about a year ago, and I just wanted to find a unique way that I can help Veterans transition into civilian life because it is a bit difficult, so that's why I created Regiment. Kind of help them ease into civilian life and use video games to help empower and connect them.
That's really great. Obviously, at Stack Up, we understand that mission. You said you played video games professionally before the Marines. Do you want to expand on that at all?
Before I enlisted in Bootcamp, I was pursuing the Rainbow Six Pro League, and I played the first 3 qualifiers. I had enough points to qualify and pursue the league, but I completely dropped out of it to focus on physical training aspects and get ready for Marine Corps Bootcamp.
I've played Rainbow Six Siege, and I'm okay at it. I am definitely nowhere near professional. You've got some skills.
Yeah, it's definitely a hard game.
So you were in the Marines, how long were you in there?
I was in the Marine Corps for four years.
You mentioned you decided to build this gaming community, Regiment, in order to - well, actually, how did you get to Regiment? Did you start off with anything different with gaming communities? What led to Regiment itself?
It was just an idea in my head. I've been in multiple, I guess people would call them tier 1 esports organizations. They're verified, they have pro league teams, all that stuff, and really, none of them really did anything for their members, for their players. There was no camaraderie feeling. I was trying to bring that military camaraderie feeling into the gaming industry and kind of use it to track Veterans, you know?
I get what you mean. Gaming communities can be kind of disconnected. I think it has something to do with the nature of gaming; you know you're at home, you're in your room, you're playing the game, but it doesn't have to be that way. Something like Regiment bringing gamers together, especially gamers from common backgrounds and experiences. What would you say Regiment's mission is? (In your own words?)
Our main mission is to use video games to help combat the ongoing suicide crisis in the Veteran community. Pretty much to bring Veterans together. Let them know you're not alone. There are people here that understand whatever you're going through and have most likely been in the same shoes you have, and just let them know someone else is there for them.
Isolation tends to be one of the biggest things that lead people to make the decision to take their own life, especially with military members. I was in the Navy, and I still have friends in the Navy I worry about that are out there alone that don't really have anybody outside of work, so something like Regiment is really great. What can you say about Regiment that makes it unique as a community as far as the spirit of the community goes?
We're a pretty laid-back and lenient community. Over a year-and-a-half, we've only had to ban 3 people. I think the community is very chill in that aspect of things. What makes us a little unique from the average gaming community is how much we do for our members. Like I said, I was in multiple tier 1 esports orgs, and they only had 10, maybe 20 players that were under contract. We have 7,200 people in our community. I can proudly say we've given more to those 7,200 people than those orgs have ever given to me. We do a lot of stuff for the community. We put a majority of the money we get back into events, do a lot of giveaways, give away a few hundred dollars worth of merchandise, Gfuel, sponsorship equipment every month. Upwards $500 - $750 worth. We also host big tournaments, big cash prize tournaments for Veterans to play in. The catch is the captain of the team is more than likely a professional player, like a big-name streamer or content creator. It's all for unique experiences. It's not just 'hey come here, and you have people to play with.' We're actually giving people stuff and unique opportunities.
I've seen the sheer size of the Regiment community, and I'm impressed. I feel like trying to reach people can be hard because you're throwing a bucket in the ocean and trying to catch a fish.
Well, what I did in the beginning, this is how I got it really started up until we hit around 1500 members, then it started to grow more organically. For the first 1000 or so members, it was literally me going around Twitter looking for any and everyone that has Veteran in their bio, specifically gamers, and hitting them up, letting them know what Regiment is, what my plans are for this thing and a good amount of them were really interested. They started spreading the word to their friends, and those people started joining, talking about it at work, shops at work.... then yeah, it's been a struggle, a lot of DMs and outreach, after that it's been organically growing. Members love it, and they talk about it, so it brings more people.
So Regiment's raised nearly $60,000 for charity, can you tell me more about that?
It's closer to $55,000. (Entxurage sent me the following list, you all can do the math.)
May 22 - 25: $8,656.69 for Stack Up
Oct 1: $1,235 for @BCRFcure Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Nov 13 - 15: $5,030.00 for Shellback Tech
Feb 26 - 28: $11,422.86 for Veteran's Puppy for Life
May 28 - 31: $27,918.85 for the USO
Those are the charities we've raised funds for.
This looks great, any particular reason you all chose some of these charities? Thank you for raising for Stack Up too.
Yeah, that was the first one we've ever done. The reason we chose Stack Up is because the mission statement aligned. It wouldn't make sense if we didn't do it. That's why we chose that to be the first one. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation wasn't a big thing. We opened this fundraising thing on October 1st and said, 'Hey guys, you can donate.' That wasn't a normal charity event. We normally push for 72 hours. Shellback Tech, a disabled Veteran owns a PC charity. He builds disabled Veterans and first responders PCs. We thought that was pretty cool. Veteran's Puppy for Life is pretty much what it sounds like. They train and raise puppies as active service dogs for Veterans. The last one was a big one, I started talking to the USO with their gaming initiative, and we hosted a tournament with them. A $10,000 tournament sponsored by USAA. Coca-Cola matched $8000. It was a good experience. This September is going to be Stack Up again, September 24th through the 27th.
I'll be sure to promote that. As far as everything Regiment has done for Stack Up, we're really grateful. It's really exciting to see. It's great to see a partnership forming, especially with Veterans and seeing the suicide statistics out there. Lately, it's been a hard time with everything going on. You guys keep doing what you're doing. Thank you for meeting with me. Is there anything else you might want to talk about?
I would just like to thank my staff that work extremely hard day in and day out to ensure the success of our community. They've processed thousands of applications in a timely manner and have made strides on our socials, especially TikTok. Without them and their hard work, none of this would've been possible.
Thanks once again to Entxurage of Regiment for meeting with us and telling us a little more about Regiment! We really look forward to their charity event for Stack Up and any further partnerships that come from working with them. They're an all-around great community.
If you are a Veteran in the gaming industry and would like to do an interview about your role in gaming, whether that is in game development or benefitting Veterans through gaming, reach out to us about having a chat. Thank you for reading.
*This article has been updated to include the thank you to Regiment staff from Entxurage.*