More Than A Tower, How to Equip an Esports Team

With a vibrant white case and tempered glass side exposing a brightly lit interior, the new gaming computers in the Esports Center are hard to miss. The Trojans logo stitched into the gaming chairs is what finally got me to investigate the room further. Andy Roland, the new Head Coach of esports, pointed me to Esports Club President Dom Sharma who worked with the Athletics Department to determine what gear was going to work best for our teams. The athletics board is taking the inclusion of this new type of sports serious and Dom informed me that part of the consideration in purchasing these machines was their ability to continue to be competitive for years to come. Whereas most gamers assemble their own machines the Athletics Department chose to go prebuilt to ensure every machine performs consistently and also so that they will work well together in competition. These machines were tested for quality and reliability to guarantee that the gaming experience was outstanding from the get-go and will be competitive for years to come.

The aforementioned cases are IN WIN 303 Mid Tower with high airflow and one side consisting of a tempered class full size window. A clean inviting look that shows off the hardware while at the same time keeping the focus on the student athletes in the chairs. Installed with two 8GB DDR4 Dual Channel Memory and Intel I7 9700K CPU on an ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 4 motherboard these computers are in line with most competition grade gaming computers. For anyone looking to get into the rising phenomena this room offers everything you need to prove your skill and rise up to the top of the competing force representing DSU.

With a 1TB Intel® 660P M.2 SSD there is sufficient room on these machines for the games currently in the line-up. Also hosting two additional M.2 slots and six SATA slots these motherboards have more than enough room for additional storage. These machines will work for any games the teams want to play, as well as those in the future that may require more dedicated memory for storage. With additional ability on the motherboard for more storage these devices will offer the ability to expand as needed. Graphics are a major consideration for modern computer games. Running GeForce® RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6 graphic cards and CyberpowerPC Master Liquid Lite 120mm ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler the graphics run optimally for the Asus monitors. This in turn allows for a consistent and reliable experience every time these students use these machines, especially in the heat of a battle where computer lag is an absolutely unacceptable nuisance.

Each computer has a COUGAR Minos X5 RGB Gaming Mouse and CyberPowerPC RGB 7 Color Premium Gaming Keyboard present. I’m told that these components of the computer, even though they’re the parts being touched, aren’t necessarily important for performance. Yet some particularly competitive students have gathered their own equipment even going after special keypads to get an edge over the competition. The gaming experience is complete with gun metal colored HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headsets with built in microphone that the students can use to communicate and effectively compete as a team. Many of the teams have switched from using in game chat services to using the Discord program to easily manage players and teams. Combined these two features allow team mates to communicate well together to better crush the competition.

The Esport President filled me in that the biggest highlight for students is the monitors and chairs. Quality monitors are a necessity with high frame rates which allow smooth graphic rendering and better competitive advantage. When concentration is key, as it usually is in sports, the last thing you want is to have your equipment working against you. The chairs in this room are hands down the most comfortable seats around campus. Intentionally designed to combat fatigue from extended sitting they keep these athletes seated comfortably so they can keep their focus on the screen.

After witnessing the instillation of the Beacom Institute of Technology and the Madison Cyber Laboratories the announcement of a new sports complex on a now technology prominent campus wasn’t exactly a logical next step. However, with the dedication to host the teams to train in a former conference room in the mean-time it’s clear the university has put consideration into what sports will emerge fueled by our rising innovations in technology.

An intrigued observer may have noticed that these machines bare the familiar hexagons that have recently come to our university. In an interesting turn Dom let me in that this was not intentional and was indeed a happy coincidence “I didn’t know they were on there until they arrived.” Though this small detail might be easily overlooked by most it is a small indication that they fit in perfectly. These gaming computers have made their mark on the campus following the rise of esports and the fact that they broadcast the familiar shape shows that these two new emergences on campus will stay for quite some time.