From Hall of Famers to eSports Gamers: Building the Foundation for Future Success


"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -  Eleanor Roosevelt Helping others to advance is like planting a seed. With the right foundation. The seed can grow into a strong, resilient plant that will provide nourishment and sustenance for years to come. Just as a seed needs the right soil, water, and sunlight to grow, students need the right resources, support, and guidance for future success. Extreme is aware of this, which is why it aims to make a positive impact by encouraging and assisting future generations through initiatives like the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Heart of a Hall of Famer, a program that allows students to experience firsthand what legendary Hall of Famers need in addition to their athletic ability to succeed on and off the field. The program has motivated thousands of students to pursue their passions year after year, and for the 2022-2023 academic year, we have had 6,310 participants from 134 different schools and 189 groups.

A Win for Everyone: When Inspiration and Competition Collide

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Program aims to motivate youngsters to fulfill their aspirations. One may be getting a job in the eSports sector or becoming a pro player. Many students are consciously choosing this path. Despite not being a traditional physical activity, participants can engage in competitive activities and develop their leadership, opportunity, teamwork, and drive for success.

Extreme is Teaming up with the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Generation Esports at the Upcoming 8-to-80 Madden Showcase:

Four talented students from Tuloso-Midway High School in Corpus Christi and their esports coach will travel to Atlanta's Skillshot Studios on May 5th to compete in the 8-to-80 Madden Showcase, an event organized by Generation Esports in partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Extreme Networks, and Skillshot to raise funds for underprivileged youths through this live stream competition. During the six-hour live stream, the students compete against other Madden players, including NFL Hall of Famers. The event will be streamed on Twitch and ESTV and feature in-game shout-outs, keeping the players and audience engaged. The winners will receive a trophy and prizes like AR/VR headsets to commemorate their experience. This event's a chance for students to inspire others and pursue their dreams in eSports. Former Madden tournament winners will be featured as special guests to encourage students to continue working toward future success.

Why eSports? - A Competitive Edge

Student engagement, recruitment, retention, and job preparation are just a few educational drivers that eSports intersect with. It is a strong tool for those in higher education who want to improve student outcomes, advance campus experiences, and accomplish IT objectives. The success of the eSports program at SUNY Canton serves as an example of this potential.  The benefits of eGaming were highlighted in 2017 by Zvi Szafran, president of SUNY Canton, notably regarding academic success and retention rates among student-athletes. He quickly set out to build a program, which resulted in three varsity-level eSports teams competing nationwide and has since grown to more than ten teams and nearly 100 esports student competitors, an esports management major and an esports residence hall wing. SUNY Canton now also runs the SUNY eSports league which has quickly grown to 54 SUNY schools, 472 teams competing in 12 different games with a total of almost 3,000 students competing this year. The growth has been staggering.

UNC-Chapel Hill Carolina Gaming Arena serves as another example of the benefits of eSports for education as it gives students the chance to compete in a state-of-the-art facility. The arena, which can accommodate up to 150 spectators and features 33 dedicated PC stations, is supported by Extreme as the Official Networking Provider of the university's eSports program. ExtremeSwitching™ technology provides high-performance connectivity, giving UNC's eSports teams and players a competitive edge with wired connections that deliver scalable capacity and minimal latency. The network also allows for the simultaneous live broadcast of eSports competitions on the university's cable network and live streaming of games to Twitch and Discord. One of the largest special interest groups at the University, the UNC-Chapel Hill Esports Club has more than 650 student members and a stunning 2,000 active users on its Discord channel. Students can advance their gaming abilities while getting important educational experiences thanks to the help of the Carolina Gaming Arena and Extreme. “Our Gaming Arena relies on consistent and stable connectivity to maintain the experience at each PC station, and we have been very impressed with the performance of Extreme’s solutions, even when we’re launching different games on all 33 PC stations at once. We’ve even hosted professional and international esports teams in our Arena, and those players have said that our setup and network was the most stable they’d ever experienced. By providing our esports club members with the best possible technology to support their gameplay, all they need to do is focus on their game.”- Phil Young, Director, ResNET, Information Technology Services

The Convergence of Pro Gaming and Network Performance

As the popularity of eSports continues to grow, athletic departments and administrators across the country need to prepare. A reliable and high-performance wired and wireless network is necessary for success. The network throughput must be high. Every eSports arena and lab must have the right components. From wired switches to wireless access points, to ensure smooth signal delivery and effective network activity tracking. Once the proper infrastructure is in place, schools gain a significant advantage in recruiting and retaining talent and winning competitions. Whether on the field or in front of the screen, sports are more than just a game; they have a significant impact on developing young minds and personalities. Students must be provided with the tools, encouragement, and direction they require to succeed. Extreme is dedicated to supporting and fostering the success of future generations. We have inspired countless students to chase their dreams through programs like The Heart of a Hall of Famer. And now, with the 8-to-80 Madden Showcase, we offer them a chance to turn their passions into reality. Every student can achieve their full potential with the proper guidance and support. And with our reliable network, we can connect them to a brighter future. Don't miss out on the action! Tune in to generationesports - Twitch on May 5th to catch the live broadcast of the 8-to-80 tournament.

About the Author
Andrea Quintero
Global Channel Marketing Specialist

Andrea is a Global Channel Marketing and Programs Specialist.

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