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    How the USO’s Focus on Gaming Is Sending 2 Service Members to the Super Bowl

    How the USO’s Focus on Gaming Is Sending 2 Service Members to the Super Bowl

    As Kolton Leyman advanced in the USO/ Salute to Service Showdown video-gaming tournament, he could not contain his emotions. He got excited over big plays that his team made during the two-month-long “Madden NFL 23” tournament, screaming and talking trash.

    But when Leyman, a sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve, won his bracket in November, earning him two tickets to Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles in Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday, he got quiet fast.

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    “When [the clock] actually went [to] zero, it was shocked silence,” Leyman told .com. “So ridiculous, like, ‘I'm video gaming; I'm going to the Super Bowl.' Saying that out loud now, it doesn't really register.”

    Leyman, who won the PlayStation bracket, and Marine Corps Sgt. Ali Zaidi, who prevailed on the Xbox side, are going to America's most popular annual sporting event largely because of USO Gaming, which started up about two years ago.

    Besides hosting tournaments — and showcasing players on Twitch, a livestreaming service, and the Discord app — the United Service Organizations has content creators, gaming ambassadors and “rapid-response gaming kits” that are sent to service members in austere locations. Service members can bond through their favorite games at 11 gaming centers worldwide. Its mobile gaming trailers include consoles, TVs and…

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