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Extron on Designing AV Systems for Esports

Esports
(Image credit: Jamie McInall from Pexels)

Esports competition continues to enjoy increased popularity and rapid adoption professionally and within educational institutions. According to market research, global esports revenues are expected to surpass $1 billion USD in 2020. The worldwide esports audience grew by more than 12 percent in 2019, reaching 443 million people, with heavy growth in Asia, North America, and Europe.

Like traditional sports, esports fosters teamwork, communication, and problem solving. As schools and universities develop dedicated facilities to support their esports programs, they are quickly discovering that well-designed AV systems can greatly enhance the user experience and maximize the educational benefits for all participants. 

Leveling Up: The Esports and Education Conference & Expo

(Image credit: Future)

The diversity, performance, and custom nature of esports systems create a variety of design challenges. The high resolutions, refresh rates, and color depths of supercharged gaming PCs require high performance AV systems. Each system will have varying requirements to address specific needs. The ideal systems provide the high performance, are flexible, easy to use, and include future-proof designs to accommodate evolving technology trends in gaming systems.

The unique performance needs of esports facilities requires a broad level of knowledge and expertise to ensure the AV system provides a good experience for players and spectators alike. Esports setups vary in scale and capability, incorporating several AV technologies and specific IT network requirements. Venues are unique in design, often built to suit the needs and specifications of the game, or games, that the organization has chosen for competition.

Whether you are considering a general gaming center, practice facility, multipurpose space, or esports arena, be sure to partner with equipment providers that are positioned to deliver the best solutions for your esports applications. A broad range of products and technologies are available to deliver the versatility, reliability, and performance needed for effective system designs in these environments. 

  • Choose AV distribution products that support resolutions up to 8K and ensure the image integrity of uncompressed video resolutions, refresh rates, and color space. The AV system must be able to switch and distribute these signals with pristine quality and in many cases, zero latency.
  • Utilize fixed or modular switching platforms with support for HDMI, SDI, twisted pair, and fiber optic signal transport. Since gaming technology changes rapidly, it is critical that the AV system can keep up with the demands of gaming systems introduced in the future.
  • Consider ultra-low latency streaming and recording devices for viewing and coaching.
  • Esports AV systems can be complex, so an intuitive, easy to use control system is critical since it allows coaching staff to focus on the esports athletes instead of system operations.

Esports systems are comprised of specialized equipment that must meet strict requirements to qualify for use in tournaments. This includes AV infrastructure, network appliances, broadcast gear, and high-end furniture. A well-designed system delivers optimum performance, ensures pure gameplay for participants, and guarantees an entertained and engaged audience. Compromises in these areas could mean the difference between winning and losing.

Andrew Evans is speaking at Leveling Up: The Esports and Education Conference & Expo on the Best Tech for Dynamic Esports panel.

Click here to register for free for the Dec. 4 event.

Andrew Evans

Andrew Evans began his career in the AV industry more than 20 years ago designing and supporting high-end residential audio, video, and lighting control systems. From there he transitioned to the commercial side of the industry as a design engineer supporting small conference room spaces, executive briefing centers, and large performance spaces. While in this role, he also began working with various government and military agencies to design command and control centers. Now as a manager of product marketing for Extron, he is responsible for many of the high-performance fiber optic and streaming video distribution products.