Responding to the rapid growth of interest in esports, the educators at Caldwell University in Caldwell, NJ turned to LG Business Solutions USA to bring a professional feel to its brand new esports arena with LG’s commercial-grade gaming monitors and digital signage displays. According to Caldwell University’s IT operations and digital communications executive director Anthony Yang, the esports Arena required the best displays, computer components, and internet service available.
“Esports is just as competitive as physical sports, and in an esports arena, fast responses and smooth graphics really matter,” Yang said. “We were looking for low-latency, high-refresh-rate monitors of a healthy size with excellent brightness and superior ruggedness and reliability backed by a strong warranty. The 12 LG commercial-grade 27-inch monitors we installed here delivered on all fronts. Our arena has the absolute highest spec PCs available, but the raw processing power and graphics delivery only matters if it’s connected to a top-flight gaming monitor.”
As for why the school invested in this space faster than other colleges, Yang credits the university’s president, Nancy H. Blattner, PhD, for understanding that a small school can be nimble and provide new activities and education paths that quickly build high demand. As an addition to student life, a new team for students to root for, and an impressive high-tech space for prospective students to tour, the program she championed has been an unmitigated success, he said.
“Gaming is one of the most accessible forms of entertainment, with competition and viewership growing rapidly,” Yang added. “However, young gamers don’t always see a college path for themselves, because many institutions have been slow to adapt. Caldwell has shown itself to be innovative and responsive to student needs, offering an outlet for professional and high-level amateur gamers to pursue esports as both a player and a manager, which operates similar to managers for athletes and athletic teams.”
The arena currently features 12 gaming stations with LG monitors, split into two sides, making it ideal for in-person team matches. For coaches who manage teams in the arena in real time, two 43-inch class 4K UHD LG commercial displays (model 43BN70U-B) provide bird’s-eye views of the entire game field. This gives them a complete view of the game, while they can also see players’ perspectives on each individual gaming monitor.
The university wants both current students and prospective new students to get excited about the new space, and its central location on campus has made it a favorite stop on new student tours. The arena is located inside one of the university’s main buildings, Werner Hall, and the hallways surrounding the arena let guests get in on the action with four 55-inch class LG 4K UHD digital signage displays (model 55UU340C) displaying live competitions, practices, and recordings of past tournaments.
Both the esports competition team and management degree programs launched in the fall 2019 semester have already become very popular on campus. Competing in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, the Cougars (Caldwell’s mascot) have so far competed in Overwatch tournament play, a series of scrimmages in League of Legends, and some Rocket League competitions. Some players also appear on traditional sports teams, such as the captain of Caldwell’s men’s soccer team taking on the role of captain of the local League of Legends esports team.
Aaron Addison, regional manager for LG IT products, noted that more and more schools are opening themselves to the possibility of esports facilities and related education programs.
“Gaming is so popular with today’s college students, who’ve basically been gaming from birth,” he said. “And innovative institutions like Caldwell University are recognizing it can be an enrollment booster and a huge student life benefit. Caldwell’s unique arena shows how our gaming monitors and digital displays give players the best performance available, and they show other colleges and universities what a well-built esports facility looks like.”
Addison explained that LG’s 27GK75B-B gaming monitors are ideal for high-sensitivity online games, providing a 240Hz refresh rate for fluid motion, 1 millisecond latency, 400 nits of brightness, and custom controls for black levels and tilt/height/swivel adjustment.
Yang explained that the arena also has the fastest wired internet access in the whole university, which combines with the fastest PCs and best monitors to produce an unrivaled experience for students—and a significant education component as well with early success of the university’s first major and minor degree programs in esports management.