eSports in Peterborough delivered by Vidazone

The eSports community is huge and growing fast, research shows that in Europe the market for eSports was more than £50m. This is a global phenomenon that attracts competitors and spectators from across the world.

In recent years there has been a consistent focus on developing Peterborough into a Smart City through the introduction of new connectivity and technology solutions. A good example of this was the commissioning of the Peterborough Core project to deliver fibre based gigabit connectivity to the City.

With this continued focus on technology it seems a logical step that one of the fastest growing sports in the world would gravitate towards the City. We are talking about eSports; which can be defined as a form of sport where the primary aspects of it are facilitated by electronic systems, and includes the use of popular computer game stations to compete against others on well known game titles.

Although the groundbreaking CityLAN event was postponed this has not meant that eSports events in Peterborough are not being showcased. One successful event took the form of the Am2Pro event, on invitation from CityLAN, held at Peterborough One Retail park, on the outskirts of the City, using a Vidazone designed infrastructure.

Providing eSports In Peterborough

Putting together a professional eSports event at a single venue such as the Am2Pro event has a number of different challenges.

There is a need to put together a connectivity solution that provides a fair environment for each competitor, a real time connection for those watching across the world and being able to access worldwide gaming and content streaming platforms.

The technical spec of what we did

The biggest challenge for the November event was the lack of good broadband connectivity at the site. This was solved through the deployment of a temporary mobile broadband solution with separate connections, and dedicated bandwidth, reserved for the gaming traffic and video streaming traffic respectively. Integrating the mobile broadband with the LAN was achieved through the use of a secure gateway product offering:

  • Dual mobile broadband WAN interfaces
  • Multiple gigabit LAN interfaces for Game Station and Control Desk connectivity
  • VLAN capabilities
  • DHCP Server functionality offering IP address, and therefore network separation, for each Game Station
  • Internet firewalling

Switching redundancy was built in to the core equipment pod; this core was linked to edge switches aggregating connectivity for each Game Station, comprising of eight PlayStation4 (PS4) gaming computers. Two teams of four competed at each station throughout the weekend with the final being held on the Sunday afternoon.

The battles taking place on the main stage were streamed locally to a large screen and across the internet to sites such as Twitch with the quality of the video stream being very good over the 4G mobile broadband link.

eSports Now and in to the Future

Eperts expect that the eSports market will grow exponentially. We look forward to providing eSports solutions across the UK and seeing how the industry develops in Peterborough.

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