The University of Akron has started an esports program, including a Varsity esports team as well as club and recreational programs. They needed a PC that could handle the games the players would be running, as well as something that would survive the extended sessions of gameplay the teams would be participating in.
The average bystander might assume that esports is a relatively new phenomenon, but it actually goes back at least to 1972, when a Spacewar competition took place at Stanford University. Today, millions of people watch competitive gaming online and in arenas, and the International Olympic Committee is said to be considering adding esports categories to the Olympics. Games range from real-time tactical competitions such as League of Legends, Call of Duty, Rocket League, Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch, to esports versions of football, soccer, basketball and other sports. Competitions between colleges and universities are common at the intramural level, and varsity esports teams are a growing segment as well.
To establish themselves as a leader in this burgeoning arena, The University of Akron needed not only a strong gaming team, but also powerful gaming systems that could reliably run today’s most graphics-intensive and memory-demanding engines. The systems needed to be delivered within a strict budget, and with optimized performance, for reasons related to both graphics and storage performance, and toward optimized airflow and components that wouldn’t generate too much heat. After all, the systems would often be operating for many hours at a stretch.
The coaching staff, including Head Coach and Director Michael Fay, Jr., Assistant Director David Kirk, Jr. and Club Coordinator Nate Meeker, partnered with Gravity Gaming to design systems that would match this profile. Gravity Gaming is a subsidiary of ByteSpeed, an IT systems builder based in Moorhead, Minnesota. The company specializes in custom computer systems, enterprise network solutions and support. They are Microsoft, Cisco, VMware and ASUS partners, among others.