Best eSports Project: Horizon AVL Builds Spectacular Arena for UNCG

Published: 2023-10-24

Horizon AVL, the integration company providing technical advisement and implementation, has received the 2023 Commercial Integration Award for Best eSports Project! UNC Greensboro (UNCG) and Horizon AVL and Esports Integration partnered up in the early stages of the eSports project. Here, Horizon AVL and Esports Integration designed the project and provided the technology to use in the installation to ensure a practical and seamless gaming experience.

Meeting the Objectives

Dedicated to improving student experiences, UNCG wanted to create a cutting-edge eSports arena worthy of one of the most prestigious and diverse institutions in the UNC system, where students can both participate in gaming and gain the skills they need to enter the eSports industry.

UNCG thus partnered with Horizon AVL and Esports Integration to help design and implement an infrastructure that would drive the success of the eSports arena. Horizon AVL’s philosophy when approaching technology design is to consider competition, curriculum and community to support students in every aspect, including the opportunity to pursue a career in eSports. To help meet these goals, UNCG and Horizon AVL thus selected Crestron DM NVX AV-over-IP technology as the backbone.

Crestron Case Study: University of North Carolina Greensboro from Crestron Electronics, Inc. on Vimeo.

A Successful Installation

The UNCG Esports Arena is 3,300 square feet consisting of 48 gaming PCs, three gaming console bays and a VR Oculus Rift headset. Crestron DM NVX routes audio and video to create scenic elements in their game bases. The several game bays also hold various consoles that can be plugged into the wall and displayed on the corresponding TV for each game bay; immediately routed with a Crestron DM NVX encoder.

Horizon AVL also added Crestron DM NVX into the broadcast system to have full 4K broadcasting that converts the HDMI signal to SDI. As a result, the broadcasting and streaming can happen simultaneously with very low latency.

UNCG, with the help of Horizon AVL, utilizes Crestron to control the widespread use of game lighting throughout the arena. Within each game base, LED lights reflect the game’s status. A Crestron control screen allows the staff to recall scenes or manually switch the lighting to host different events or to celebrate a competition win.

Outside the UNCG Esports Arena, there is an LED wall that can display live gaming streams or camera feeds that show the gamers in action. This setup allows all spectators to get in on the fun, even from the hallway. The commentators can also control these feeds from the broadcast booth and share different perspectives of the event.

UNCG is also using Crestron technology across its campus. While the eSports arena appeared to be a complex system, both Horizon AVL and UNCG knew Crestron solutions met the needs of the space. Additionally, students can maintain and program the space as per their preferences.

Delivering an Exceptional Education Experience

Crestron and Horizon AVL thus delivered a top-of-the-line solution for UNCG’s plan for a new eSports arena on campus. After the completion of the project, the arena drew more than 2,200 students in its first week. It continues to be a highlight on every campus tour.

“We use Crestron to take care of all the controls and the video routing throughout the space. DM NVX met the flexibility and reliability that we required,” says Larry Darling, classroom technology manager, UNCG.

“We wanted the UNCG eSports arena to be used as an educational space for our communications programs, specifically with the addition of the broadcast booth, and any other academic programs that could benefit from taking advantage of the technology,” remarks Todd Sutton, associate vice chancellor for learning technology and customer success, UNCG.

“Working with Crestron equipment in the arena was uneventful in really the best way possible. We’re very pleased with the experience,” adds Sutton.

Equipment List

The equipment list for the project is as follows:

  • Crestron 4-Series Control System (CP4N)
  • 10.1-inch Wall Mount Touch Screen
  • TSW-1070
  • DM-NVX 4K60 4:4:4 HDR Network AV Encoder/Decoder Card with Downmixing and Dante Audio
  • DM-NVX: 363C, D30, E30

Click on “View Slideshow” for additional images of the installation. All images courtesy of Horizon AVL.

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