Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, wanted to enrich their athletics program with an exciting foray into esports. Esports competition enjoys increasing popularity and rapid adoption professionally and by institutions of higher learning. According to the National Association of Collegiate Esports, more than 170 U.S. colleges have launched esports programs at the varsity level and are offering an average of $16 million per year in scholarships. Point Park University saw the interest and potential for its students. In addition to competitive gaming, students enrolled in the program work with the coach and support staff to learn about the back-of-house processes and supporting technologies. These include AV streaming, casting, event planning and execution, graphic design, and videography. Integration firm RPC Video, Inc. designed and installed the high-performance AV system for the new esports training facility. Extron XTP Systems along with the SMP 111 streaming media processor and Pro Series control products provide the kind of system performance necessary for in-depth training and a seamless competitive gaming experience.
“Extron worked with us to build out an exceptional facility to service our esports program for its inaugural year,” says Chris Gaul, Esports Director and Head Coach at Point Park University. “The installation was seamless, and the system assists with coaching as well as showing off the space to new recruits. I could not be happier with the project results.”
Within the esports training facility, source signals originate at 16 gaming stations. Coaches, team members, and local spectators can observe the action taking place at any gaming station on 70″ and 86″ displays, which are mounted to the left, right, and center walls. Additional displays include 24″ monitors at the instructor station and within the adjacent equipment room that houses the Extron XTP II CrossPoint 3200 32×32 modular matrix switcher. Signals are carried between the gaming stations and the matrix switcher over Extron HD Pro Plenum Series active hybrid fiber-copper cables. They send the HDMI signals long distances with pristine quality without any compression or latency. Integration of HD Pro Plenum cabling reduced overall system complexity and cost.
An Extron SMP 111 enables game play to be captured and live streamed to Twitch, YouTube, or similar platforms. A TLP Pro 1025T 10″ Tabletop TouchLink Pro Touchpanel at the instructor station, working in conjunction with the Extron IP Link Pro control processors rack-mounted with the matrix switcher, facilitates management of the major system components. The installation supporting the new esports facility not only allows the varsity team to compete, but it also enables each enrolled student to explore the business side of esports and to gain valuable hands on experience with the back-of-house technologies.
To read the full Point Park University Esports story, click here.
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