January 19, 2024
2 min read
The esports industry has significant potential for growth and value to higher ed institutions — a fact that Jared Darensbourg, Panasonic Connect's National Live Events Manager, knows well. In this article, he provides insight into how higher ed can get into the esports game.
AVT Question: Please share insight into setting up an esports program within higher education at any level, including the technologies that make a difference and the elements that create an immersive experience for athletes and spectators alike.
Thought Leader: Jared Darensbourg, National Live Events Manager at Panasonic Connect
Esports is the fastest-growing sport in the world right now, estimated to surpass $10 billion in the next few years. And while sporting venues and arenas have their eyes on this growth, a more untraditional candidate, universities, do too. With admissions rates declining, universities have struggled to recruit the next generation of students. Esports offers a new channel to pique the interest of potential admits. However, it’s one thing to create an arena. It’s another to attract students, generate buzz, and keep players and viewers coming back for more. The right technology is the key differentiator.
One challenge that universities face when developing esports arenas is room. Often, they don’t have the space to create massive stadiums and therefore need to repurpose empty lecture halls, theaters, or gyms. In these cases, it’s important that AV teams incorporate immersive elements to best optimize the space and create a spectator-style venue. Projectors offer detailed, sharp, color-rich images that create the look and feel of a high-end esports arena. Projectors can also be used to project live streams of games, so players and viewers can easily watch and participate in the action from afar.
Yet live streams bring on new challenges too. For larger programs, there’s often multiple games happening at once, requiring audiovisual teams to seamlessly switch between different participants to keep audiences invested. To minimize setup, streamline workflows, and reduce the number of on-site personnel needed, AV teams can invest in live production platforms to easily switch between streams from one location to another. With ST 2110 capabilities, teams can be completely remote and choose to use PTZ cameras for on-site filming, with Ethernet to send streams back to control rooms.