eSports – aka professional competitive computer gaming – is now so widely adopted by schools and universities that Lenovo has built a business unit to service their teams.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, eSports tournaments can now fill arenas with screaming fans who come to watch professional teams engage in live fragfests. Analysts suggest that half billion people watch eSports, with perhaps half that considered devotees. Plenty of action takes place online: Amazon’s Twitch, recently re-named Prime Gaming, streams eSports competitions live to audiences of many millions.
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So popular are eSports that many universities and schools now operate teams in the discipline alongside their traditional kinetic sporting teams. And of course there’s even a National Association of Collegiate Esports that already has over 170 member colleges in the USA alone and a mission of “developing the structure and tools needed to advance collegiate esports in the varsity space” and plans to “lay the groundwork in areas such as: Eligibility, Path to Graduation, and Competition & Scholarships.”
You read that right: university scholarships for talented competitive gamers are a thing now.
Enter Lenovo, which thinks that a serious eSports program needs “advisory and support services combined with equipment, software and hardware” to succeed.
Lenovo kit with education-grade warranties is included. And because educators tend to watch cash carefully, Lenovo will even offer leasing options for the workstations it recommends
There’s also a “The Lenovo Esports Solutions for Education” that offers a school gaming network and includes “matchups and leader boards to spur competition, as well as network and league management capabilities to maintain and optimize the experience for esports student athletes.”
Only the USA and Canada can access Lenovo’s services today, but the company promises to bring the programme to “select markets” around the world in 2021. ®