How to Create a Competitive, Real-Time Gaming Experience

Today’s Esports are a far cry from the video games some of us knew as kids. (Remember Pong?) Play the latest Final Fantasy and you might think you’re in it. The modern Esports industry requires the right infrastructure, hardware and security measures to keep the ball rolling. Without the right set up, your Esports program will definitely feel the lag.

Did You Know?

Total Esports viewership is expected to grow from 454 million back in 2019 to 646 million in 2023.
-Business Insider

The Difference Between Victory and Defeat

The truth is, Esports can punish your network. 4k streams, virtual functionality, mobile gaming, multiplayer worlds and live, streaming players place an incredible demand on infrastructure. Spend some time researching what it takes to successfully meet today’s Esports demands, and you’ll run into a lot of technical terms, like:

  • Latency: Also known as delay. It basically comes down to how fast data can be transmitted at any given time. Even the smallest lag can spell disaster in Esports. It’s one of the biggest challenges facing the industry today.
  • Optimization: Components that can boost your overall network performance by minimizing latency and managing bandwidth.
  • Bandwidth: Quite simply, bandwidth refers to how much data can be transmitted at any given time.

Another Fun Fact

The Esports industry has grown rapidly in popularity over recent years and is projected to reach $1.7B in revenue by 2021.
-Help Net Security

Cyberthreats Target Esports, Just Like any Other Industry

Running the games while keeping players and fans connected is only part of the battle. As the Esports industry grows, so does its allure to cybercriminals. Increased viewership and million-dollar prizes attract attention from those looking to financially benefit. And it’s not always about money. Cybercriminals can also seriously compromise your Esports program through cheating and fraud. Be on guard for some of these popular techniques and tools:

  • DDoS: These attacks can create dreaded lags. Worse-case scenario: They can take your game completely offline.
  • Ransomware: Cybercriminals use malware to lock game profiles, save data and then demand a ransom.
  • Illegal cheats: Cybercriminals compromise gameplay with tools bought through underground markets.
  • Data theft: Malware can steal credit card and personally identifiable information.

And as always, be wary of public Wi-Fi. A private network is your best bet. (We’ll talk more about that later.) An experienced IT consultant can advise you on security features including anti-cheat services, firewall settings, virtual patches and more.

Hardware, Software and Accessories

This includes everything from gaming devices and hard drives to graphics cards. Basic items include:

  • Gaming laptops and gaming desktops
  • Boxed and downloaded PC games
  • Monitors
  • Headsets
  • Keyboards
  • Mice

A lot here depends on the game, so be sure to check the specifications. And don’t overlook ergonomic chairs and good lighting.

How STEP CG Can Help

You might be surprised to know schools are increasingly adding Esports to their roster. The experience has proven to have far-reaching benefits from building communication skills to increasing student engagement and attendance and even forging new STEM career opportunities.

If you’re interested in building your own Esports network or improving one you already have, STEP CG can help. We’re experienced in building out Esports teams and arenas in K-12 and higher education spaces. We’re committed to using technology to advance the way students learn.

STEP CG: Where Innovation Meets Execution.

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