Esports is on the rise. In 2021, the market was worth $1.08 billion and is expected to more than double over the next six years. Jobs in esports, from players to coaches, social media managers and marketing executives, are now part of viable career paths. Consider that in 2021, Valve’s annual Dota 2 world championship gave out more than $40 million in prize money.
As a result, many colleges and universities are investing time and money into esports programs and building out esports infrastructure. From offering esports management courses to recruiting new talent and building winning teams, postsecondary schools have gone all-in on esports.
But no matter how good the players and how committed the school, taking down the competition isn’t possible without the right PCs and peripheral equipment. And while it’s possible to take a piecemeal approach to esports setups, teams are often best served by bundling their tech.
DISCOVER: How Acer prepares universities for esports success.
According to Nidhi Tassone, director of commercial marketing for Acer, “esports is now a true career path for many reasons. Professional teams are looking to recruit students, and game developers are looking to hire people in the esports realm. There are also opportunities in areas such as marketing and mass media.”
She also highlights the engagement and mental health benefits esports offers. From team camaraderie to focus and physical endurance, esports is more than just an opportunity to play games.
At the heart of every successful esports effort are two components: talented team members and the right technologies. With so many gaming and peripheral options now available, schools are often overwhelmed with choice. As a result, many end up with piecemeal PCs that excel in one area but fall short in another.
By opting for bundled equipment solutions, teams can ensure they’re always ready to get in the game. Here are four benefits of this bundled approach.
1. Bundling Creates Easy Esports Management
Standardizing equipment across one manufacturer can help streamline operations within the IT department.
“Bundling offers ease of management from the IT administration perspective,” says Tassone. “They have one vendor they can approach and have fewer compatibility and procurement issues. At the end of the day, there are a limited number of people on the team and plenty of things to manage. Bundling means one less thing to worry about.”
WATCH: Learn how to create a cutting-edge esports advantage.
2. Complete Tech Support for Esports
For issues outside of the university IT department’s realm, it may be necessary to reach out to the vendor for support. When all equipment comes from one place, it’s easier for all parties to troubleshoot issues. For example, Acer offers comprehensive tech support to get esports teams back up and running ASAP.
“We offer premium support out of Texas,” says Tassone. “Our support personnel are gamers, and they get to know colleges on a one-to-one basis. There’s no script they’re reading from. Instead, they’re assigned directly to a district and work with colleges on a continuing basis.”
3. Value-Added Connections through Partnership
Building an esports program starts with talent and technology, but it requires a robust curriculum for ongoing success. Many manufacturers work with industry partners that can help colleges build out their esports curriculum.
“We work with two or three main industry partners that let us offer the whole solution,” Tassone says. “We can walk into an organization and help them figure out their goals. We want to be a true partner; we stay with them through the entire process.”
4. Continual Improvement in Esports Programs
Gaming tech is constantly evolving. What was cutting-edge 18 months ago is often obsolete today, meaning teams need access to best-of-breed solutions if they want to stay competitive. Adopting a bundled approach to technology allows universities to take advantage of updates and upgrades without disrupting their esports equipment ecosystem.
“Acer has an R&D team developing new ways to improve hardware,” says Tassone. “As a top market share leader, we’re committed to staying ahead by marrying technology and development leadership.”
For example, Acer’s Predator Helios and Triton lines have advanced thermal solutions such as liquid metal thermal grease, dedicated heat pipes and proprietary fan technologies to keep them cool under the pressure of hours-long competitions. Integrated PredatorSense technology, meanwhile, lets gamers easily control fan speed and overclocking to help optimize performance.
Taking Esports Efforts to the Next Level
Collegiate esports is evolving. Gone are the days of small, extracurricular clubs for gaming enthusiasts; today, complete esports curricula can help recruit prospective students, provide career paths, and offer new revenue streams for colleges and universities.
But success demands the right gaming technology. By taking a bundled approach, schools can streamline management, access superior support, create better courses and drive continual improvement.
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