Grand Valley State University – GVSU, the fourth largest university in Michigan, had an initiative to add an esports gaming venue on campus. They established the Laker Esports Center, with 25 gaming stations configured in groups, or pods, and a coaching station across the room from dual wall-mounted displays. Players wear headphones with integrated microphones to help them maintain focus during often intense gameplay. Students can play individually or as a team, and two or more pods can be involved in group play simultaneously. A high performance AV switching system provides the coaches and spectators with a way to see and hear the action and player exchanges within the centre. The 75-inch displays in the centre and the adjacent dining hall can show the same content or a combination of gameplay, player stats, and background data or information with commentator contributions. To ensure continuous operation, the system consists of components with proven reliability, durability, and flexibility. They are also easy and practical to operate and support. As with the other installations on campus, the AV system uses Extron equipment.
“After attending Extron webinars and studying their Esports Design Guide and other reference materials, I felt confident that we could design our esports center in house,” says John F. Klein, Associate Director and Program Manager, Information Technology, PMO at Grand Valley State University. “With a little help from Extron engineers, we did.”
The IT team designed the AV system using an Extron DTP CrossPoint 4K seamless presentation matrix switcher, a ShareLink Pro wireless collaboration gateway, an SMP 351 streaming media processor, and pendent speakers. To enable up to four windows on the centre’s main display, the installation includes an MGP 641 multi-window processor. Two DTP HD 330 distribution amplifiers extend video signals over twisted pair cabling to the displays in the dining hall. TouchLink Pro touchpanels provide intuitive system control from mulitple points within the Laker Esports Center.
While the esports centre is unique for GVSU, integration of the same types of reliable AV products used across campus ensures that the support team has minimal work to do to keep the action going. “We standardised on Extron because they’re built well, have the features we want, and they last,” says John Klein at GVSU.