The state’s oldest publicly funded university, Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) is a vibrant learning-centered community dedicated to teaching and scholarship. CCSU provides nearly 12,000 students with an education in the liberal arts and sciences.
Sparked by the booming interest in gaming among its student body and growth of the eSports industry, CCSU set out to build a premier eSports facility on its campus within just four months. “We spoke with students who were unplugging their desktop computers from their dorm rooms, walking them across campus, and then wiring them up in a classroom to play,” says Dr. George Claffey, Chief Information Officer at CCSU. “It inspired us to transform an old space into an eSports center that would act as a catalyst for bringing students together.”
With the help of Adtech Systems, CCSU set out to design a premier facility dedicated to eSports. With most of the campus already standardized on Crestron solutions, Crestron DM NVX® AV-over-IP technology was the natural choice to power the new space.
Inside the CCSU ESports Center, top-of-the-line computers and comfortable gaming chairs are lined up to create individual gaming stations. The center also includes a shoutcasting booth equipped with a green screen, microphones, and cameras. Using the booth, students can record, broadcast, and conduct play-by-play analysis of games for live streaming platforms, such as Twitch™. From Xbox® and PlayStation® consoles, to Nintendo Switch™ gaming systems, there’s something for every student to enjoy. DM NVX technology plays a critical role in the state-ofthe-art performance of the ESports Center. Fourteen DM NVX encoders/decoders drive flawless video content to displays with no latency – especially critical in gaming. Gamers are able to display content from their individual station to four 80-inch screens along the perimeter of the room so an audience can watch. The 300+ members of the eSports & Gaming Club – one of the university’s largest clubs – now enjoy a dedicated space, where the DM NVX platform helps them hone their skills for competition in leagues such as the ECAC and Tespa.
Designed to offer the best in gaming, the center has an even more important role to play, according to the university’s president. “The CCSU ESports Center is not just a video game lounge; it is a place where academics, research, and gaming meet and will soon expand CCSU’s mission to be a driving force of the economic, cultural, and intellectual development in Connecticut,” says Dr. Zulma R. Toro, President of Central Connecticut State University
To that end, CCSU faculty are developing courses in game design, digital storytelling, and character development, among others. “With the addition of eSports-related courses, CCSU students will be among the most employable in the state, and beyond,” President Toro adds. Additionally, because Crestron technology had been so successful in past deployments, the IT department named Crestron its standard for AV integration across all of its campuses. All renovated classrooms and lecture halls now feature Crestron AirMedia® wireless presentation technology and an all-in-one 3-Series® DigitalMedia™ Presentation System. Students and professors can now present wired or wirelessly from their laptops and mobile devices, which has fostered a more dynamic and collaborative learning environment. Crestron DigitalMedia technology is also installed in a variety of event spaces and specialized facilities throughout the university, including the newly renovated Marillac Auditorium which can seat more than 500 guests and easily transform from a traditional style auditorium into a large interactive learning venue.
Enthusiastically received by students, the CCSU ESports Center has become the blueprint for how CCSU will deploy rooms with multiple displays and big data layouts. With the successful implementation of DM NVX, the university has already begun deploying new units across campus including their recreation center and new engineering building. “As our Crestron footprint continues to expand with each project, so does our appreciation of the positive impact the technology has on the university,” said Dr. George Claffey, Chief Information Officer at CCSU.