Esports has reached a tipping point in its expansion from niche gatherings to large-scale, mainstream events and ongoing programs produced, hosted, and sponsored by major institutions.

Thirty million in total prize money was awarded at this year’s Fortnite World Cup tournament, and it reached an audience of more than 2 million people.

Today (18 Sept), Extreme Networks reported strong momentum in the esports segment it serves – a lucrative and growing market that is spreading to schools all over the world, as primary and secondary schools and colleges increasingly use esports to recruit, engage, and retain students.

Esports is on the rise as academic institutions look for high-impact ways to differentiate the experience they offer their students

According to a new Extreme-eCampus News global esports survey, 71% of schools are considering or might consider adding an esports program in the future. But these programs are network-intensive, requiring high performance gaming workstations, audio communication among teammates, video capture and connection to broadcast sites such as Twitch and YouTube, and reliable Wi-Fi connections for shoutcasters, coaches, players and spectators.

In a competition setting, every millisecond counts so networks must deliver high performance, low-latency connections to ensure the best, most competitive game environment Leveraging a combination of Extreme Elements, schools can build the reliable, competition-ready networks needed to support the rapidly growing esports phenomenon.

With digital transformation and the transition to the smart campus, the need for hyper-reliable, easily-managed network infrastructure has never been greater. For esports programs to be successful, primary, secondary, and higher ed institutions must have an agile, secure network underpinning these programs.

The following attributes are required:

  • Resilient, secure, low-latency network that ensures high-performance connectivity - ExtremeMobility™ access points and ExtremeSwitching™ technology give esports teams and players the maximum competitive advantage with wired and wireless connections  that deliver scalable capacity with the minimum possible latency.
  • Streamlined network management and security - Extreme Management Center™ software and, ExtremeControl™ network access control technologies work together to help venues keep unauthorized devices and users from gaining access to the esports network to prevent network slow-downs and outages, loss of important data, and distributed denials of service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Pervasive visibility into network performance - ExtremeAnalytics gives network managers relevant information about the network in a highly visual format, so they can assess in real-time whether esports network traffic is well-balanced and if local and remote computing resources are responding with minimal delays.

Bob Nilsson, Director of Vertical Solutions Marketing, Extreme Networks, said:

"Seldom do we see the intersection of two major trends as we do in this industry: esports is gaining mainstream popularity, and schools are increasingly searching for and investing in digital programs that will attract and retain the next generation of their students. This creates an explosive market with an entirely new ecosystem of producers, sponsors, suppliers, players, audiences, and venues. Extreme has a proven track record of major network deployments in academic institutions that are rushing to adopt esports into their curricula."

Kyle Brown, Chief Information Officer, The State University of New York at Canton, said:

“We’re committed to using emerging technologies to deliver next-generation education and entertainment experiences to engage our student body, and esports is a perfect blend of both. We were the first SUNY college to offer varsity esports in 2018 and have built one of the largest, dedicated digital esports arenas in the northeast – Extreme has been a great partner in our esports journey.”

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Darren Elsom, Director, Trunk Networks, said:

“We have seen first-hand how the esports market in the UK has grown significantly over the years, prompting us to introduce Leetline, a dedicated broadband service for gamers powered by Extreme Networks. We’re actively encouraging gamers who want to take esports seriously to seek out the best, most-reliable broadband offering to avoid any lags – as even a delay of just a few milliseconds can make the difference between victory and defeat.”

Esports and Extreme Networks: Delivering software-driven solutions from the enterprise edge to the cloud that are agile, adaptive, and secure to enable digital transformation, our 100% in-sourced services and support are number one in the industry. Extreme understands high-demand environments. Extreme is the Official Wi-Fi Solutions Provider for the NFL, delivering Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi analytics solutions to 25 NFL teams and for the last six Super Bowls.

Additionally, Extreme's networking solutions are deployed in professional sports stadiums around the world, and at more than 17,000 schools and 4,500 college campuses worldwide, powering digital education initiatives and athletic events.This experience translates to data-hungry esports venues, where performance and reliability are absolutely critical to the esports experience.

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