How do Brazil’s armed forces see the catastrophic political situation that we are going through? Maj. Gen. José Eduardo: No changes. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Southern Command and their component commands, for the way we were welcomed here in Miami. The reception and hospitality were excellent. We had very good administrative support and must express our thanks for everyone’s thoughtfulness and friendliness. I only have positive things to say. If the budget was indeed reduced, the reduction was not felt by our team during this exercise. Diálogo: Would you like to add anything else? Maj. Gen. José Eduardo: This was a very important decision for us because officers are chosen to participate in the majority of these planning missions. The sergeants’ participation is very important to us because their career experience and knowledge is also helpful. We have never had the opportunity to bring sergeants to participate in an exercise like this. General Floriano Peixoto’s decision to select sergeants has contributed to the diversity of our team and complemented it well, as well as helping increase the value of sergeant participation in this kind of professional activity. I personally saw a very good performance from our team, especially the sergeants. I am very glad to see our members performing their activities with great dedication. It is important to point out that we tarined in São Paulo, coordinated by the 2nd Army Division, which was very appropriate, and we are seeing the results here now. Because of that, both the officers and the sergeants are performing their functions very well. Diálogo: The participation of sergeants was another novelty, correct? Over 160 members of the security and military forces from 19 countries participated in PANAMAX 2013, held at the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) headquarters, between August 12 and 16. But there was something new among the participants this year: soldiers from the Brazilian Army. Traditionally only officers from the Brazilian Navy participated in this joint military exercise. To better explain the participation of the Brazilian ground force in this important multinational annual exercise, sponsored by the U.S., Diálogo spoke with Major General José Eduardo Pereira, commander of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade, located in Campinas (São Paulo state), who has been assigned the mission of supporting and preparing the next contingent to join the international peacekeeping force MINUSTAH –created by the UN in Haiti in 2004– in November. Maj. Gen. José Eduardo: The exercise takes place in a fictitious environment. The situation we face has been made up. Therefore, most of the intelligence data is not real; it was created for the scenario. A good take away is learning how to work with our comrades from abroad and about the way they work. During the preparation in Brazil, U.S. soldiers and soldiers from other armies went to São Paulo for a week and we trained on how to use the U.S. methodology and planning. We had the opportunity to learn this methodology and to practice many phases. Diálogo: Is there a real exchange of information and intelligence in an exercise like this? Major General José Eduardo Pereira: Our participation in the operation is the result of a fairly lengthy process. Initially, the Defense Staff holds meetings known as Staff Talks. The Defense Staff holds their annual meetings either here or in the United States. During the meeting there is an exchange of information to determine what Brazil wants to do here in the United States and what they want to do in Brazil, as far as courses and exchange programs. In other words, this is where the interests and availabilities of both the Brazilian Army and the U.S. Army are discussed. This is always done one year prior, but last year the U.S. Army invited Brazil to participate in PANAMAX 2013. The Brazilian Army, until this year, had never participated, had never had the opportunity. Maj. Gen. José Eduardo: Not really. The maritime area is an important part of this exercise’s operations, but the ground, aerial, and space areas are also very important. Brazil, for some particular reason, has not had the opportunity to participate, but last year an invitation was extended and the Army command accepted. In Brazil, the Ground Operations Command chose São Paulo’s Army Division, the 2nd Army Division, to select and prepare the team to participate in this exercise. The current commander of the Second Division, General Floriano Peixoto, made the selections and issued the directions for preparation of the Brazilian Army soldiers who joined this assignment. Maj. Gen. José Eduardo: As commander of the ground portion of this operation, I would like to mention that the main goal of our presence here, which is to establish a professional and personal relationship between the participating members from all countries, has been fulfilled. We are creating a communication channel, which, in the future, will generate trust and credibility in any type of relationship, whether in military or humanitarian assistance activities. The greatest benefit for us here is that we get to know people and build strong links of mutual trust between participating countries. There are nineteen countries involved, and the Brazilian Army has 41 soldiers. It has been a true pleasure to participate in PANAMAX 2013. Diálogo: Is it because this exercise is more focused on the naval area? Diálogo: Major General José Eduardo, how did the invitation for the Brazilian Army to participate in PANAMAX for the first time this year come to be? Diálogo: The U.S. government reduced the budget for the Department of Defense, which affected some military joint exercises. From your experience, even though it was your first time, did you notice any changes? By Dialogo August 22, 2013
In 2017, sports and esports intertwined to an unprecedented degree, multiple industry records were smashed, and the groundwork was laid for some of the most exciting developments in esports’ unfolding epic that we’ve seen yet. As a little Christmas present, here’s our nostalgia-soaked look back over the biggest stories from an incredible year in esports. 1 – The largest esports event in historyCopyright: ESL | Patrick StrackIntel & ESL welcomed 173,000 people in Katowice to the largest esports event on record.Across two weekends of intense action in CS:GO, League of Legends, and StarCraft 2, a combined prize pool of $650,000 (£525,000) was up for grabs.The audience were treated to masterclasses from Astralis, the Flash Wolves, and Jun “TY” Tae Yang, as the winners claimed the trophies and prize money in front of record attendance. IEM Katowice 2017 also commanded an online audience that was 35% higher than the previous year’s event.“The gaming community’s passion for esports was on display,” said Frank Soqui, General Manager of the Virtual Reality and Gaming Group at Intel, adding that tournament “shattered all expectations”. So, there you have it: five of the biggest stories of 2017. Of course, it doesn’t come close to truly encapsulating a momentous year of esports, and there will doubtless be countless stories that could have just as easily slotted in lieu of the ones above. But that just demonstrates what a storied year this has been for competitive gaming – and esports is only going up from here.Happy holidays, and see you all in 2018. I can’t wait to find out what’s in store. 2 – The largest esports prize pool in historyAnother record was shattered in 2017 – by Valve, who have made an awful habit of perennially rewriting the record books with the prize pool of Dota 2’s The International.TI 7 featured the absolutely bonkers prize pool total of almost 24.8 million dollars (£18.6m). As a result, victors Team Liquid alone took home $10.9 million (£8.12m) alongside the Aegis of Champions.As usual, the winnings were mostly funded by the fans, as players had the option to purchase a ‘Battle Pass’, which provides a suite of aesthetic enhancements for the game. 5 – Esports discussed for the OlympicsJust when you thought you’d heard it all, news came out this year that the virtues of esports are being debated by the International Olympic Committee, with a view to a potential inclusion in the 2024 Games.The team behind the Paris bid for the 2024 Games were keen to discuss the possible addition to the programme with the IOC, with the aim of appealing to some of the legions of (typically young) fans of esports tournaments.The 28th of October saw leading representatives of the Olympic Summit weigh up the pros and cons of esports. They acknowledged that esports “could be considered a sporting activity”, a crucial first step if the bid to include esports is successful; however, they also outlined a number of requirements that would have to be met, including the formation of an independent governing body for competition. If you’re interested in all facets of the debate, check out this piece, which runs through the arguments for and against esports’ inclusion. 4 – Tencent continues world dominationSamsung Galaxy versus SKT T1, 2016. Credit Riot GamesNot satisfied with simply owning the highest-earning game in the world, Tencent this year revealed a five-year plan to create a gargantuan, world-leading, $14.6 billion esports market in China.The plan of action includes setting up further esports leagues, tournaments, and associations that will nurture players. Tencent will also construct esports ‘industrial parks’, providing an upgrade to the infrastructure across the country’s entire esports ecosystem.They definitely have the bark to back up their bite, too, having announced a total annual revenue of $21 billion for 2016. That figure was reached with the assistance of an acquisition of League of Legends developer Riot Games the previous year. 3 – Esports: franchisedNorth American esports took a massive step this year, with the NA LCS and the mostly US-based Overwatch League both offering franchise spots in their leagues commencing in 2018.Riot Games revealed they were franchising their premier North American tournament in June, with slots reportedly selling for $10 million (£7.5m). Overwatch League franchises apparently paid twice that figure for inclusion in Blizzard’s competition. Many of this year’s stories followed the plights of esports organisations, sports clubs, and venture capitalists competing with each other for a space.For a look into the twenty organisations behind the teams in both leagues, check out this handy OWL and NA LCS ownership guide. Spoiler alert: almost half of them have NBA affiliations!