By Michael DiBella, Director of Commercial Product Marketing, Crestron
One of the buzzier segments in the tech integration universe over the past several years has been esports — and with good reason. By 2023, more than 30 million viewers will be watching these games every month — and not just on YouTube. In fact, viewing venues the size of “physical” sports arenas are creating a demand for professional integration and gear that meets esports’ technological needs. Smaller venues — described as labs or training centers — are appearing across the globe, too. From small gaming centers on university campuses to stadium-size competition centers, esports installations are seemingly everywhere.
The business opportunities here are obvious. The best part? Esports utilizes technology and systems that most integration firms are very familiar with. Every size esports installation has what amounts to a direct analog in the commercial integration universe.
The Needs of Each Venue
Generally, esports venues come in three sizes:
Labs are very similar to huddle spaces. They don’t require a massive amount of complicated audio or video solutions, nor do they often need accommodations for in-person spectators. These rooms should be able to handle three to 10 players.
Training venues (with stations for 10 to 30 gamers, and perhaps an area for spectators) are similar to hybrid workspace and standard conference rooms in corporate settings, much like classrooms in schools and universities. They could potentially scale up to include technology shared by courtrooms, executive conference rooms, or lecture hall/training room applications. Enhanced audio-visual solutions are required here to display the games on larger screens, but the bulk of the technology is scaled up from smaller labs.
Competition venues share many attributes as simulation centers, command and control centers, and emergency operations spaces. These are large, arena-like event venues hosting any number of players at individual stations, with the capacity to host hundreds if not thousands of spectators. Very advanced AV is required to route gaming content locally to the gaming stations as well as to video screens or display walls for the spectators.
Each of these solutions may require a station for a gaming moderator, and they all have their own security, lighting, audio, and low-latency video needs. It’s worth noting that a company such as Crestron can provide the solutions that fit the needs of every esports space — and its analog in a corporation or on-campus. In fact, in a university setting, technology from a single provider makes the most sense: Imagine a user experience that’s consistent and familiar in all the spaces where students and staff work, learn and compete.
Again, these are all technologies that commercial integrators know intimately, and Crestron’s created an eBook that takes a deep dive into this segment, Planning for the Ultimate Esports Experience. If you’re interested in expanding your business into this segment, it’s a great place to start.