Booming Esports Market Has More Than 70% of Schools Considering an Esports Program

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- New data from Extreme Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) and eCampus News shows that the esports industry is nascent, but growing rapidly. The report, which surveyed 281 technical and administrative leaders across K-12 and higher education in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East, found that 1 in 5 schools already have an esports program, and 71% are considering or might consider adding an esports program in the future. Only 9% of schools cited lack of student interest as a reason for not having an esports program. The results underscore the momentum of the esports market and indicate that schools are embracing esports programs to boost student recruitment and retention, better prepare students for the job market, and blend on-campus and online experiences.

Key findings include:

    --  Esports improves overall campus experience, drives recruitment, and
        diversifies learning: 88% of schools with esports programs in place said
        that their program diversifies extracurricular activities, 56% said it
        improves overall campus experience, 47% said it fosters interest in
        STEM, and 41% said it helps with student recruitment. Schools also find
        that esports can help develop in-demand job skills. SUNY Canton, home to
        the first varsity esports squad in New York State and the first New York
        State esports team to join the National Association of College Esports
        (NACE) leverages its esports program to offer degrees in game design and
        development, technological communication, cybersecurity and graphics and
    --  League of Legends and Overwatch reign supreme: According to Esports
        Earnings, Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive are the top games
        in professional esports leagues, based on prize pool. Our survey reveals
        that at the school level, League of Legends and Overwatch are the most
        popular games, as 81 percent of schools involved in esports compete in
        League of Legends and 50 percent compete in Overwatch, followed by
        Fortnite with 37 percent. Others with frequent mentions include FIFA,
        Hearthstone, Dragonball Fighter Z, Rocket League, and Super Smash
    --  Schools are using scholarships to attract esports talent: 20% of schools
        say they are already offering scholarships and financial aid to
        encourage students with esports experience to apply and enroll; and
        another 67% say they are considering it.
    --  Fears of high program costs are misguided: 45% of schools cited cost as
        the primary barrier to launching an esports program, yet the survey
        found that 69% of schools with esports programs estimate annual expenses
        to be less than $10,000.
    --  Designated esports facilities are on the rise, and the network is key:
        59% of schools with an esports program either have a designated esports
        facility or are planning on building one. But to be successful, it's
        critical these facilities have the proper IT infrastructure in place.
        The network is a critical component to building an esports program,
        interconnecting powerful gaming stations and myriad devices, minimizing
        latency, and ensuring a smooth spectator experience. Schools need to
        have a reliable, high-speed wired and wireless network with analytics to
        optimize esports programs and maximize value.

Executive Perspectives

    --  Bob Nilsson, Director of Vertical Solutions Marketing, Extreme Networks

"Esports quickly emerged as a global phenomenon, and we're now beginning to understand the significant benefits it can bring to schools. Far more than a 'game,' forward-looking educational institutions realize that esports programs elevate campus life, engage students, and foster new skills. With organizational buy-in and a strong network infrastructure in place, schools across K-12 and higher education can kick-start their own esports programs and reap the benefits."

    --  Laura Ascione, Managing Editor, eCampus News

"In the last few years, we've seen the meteoric rise of professional esports leagues and ballooning audience sizes. But the results of this survey underscore that the next frontier for esports is the education sector. As success of the early adopters shows, schools that invest in esports are investing in their students."

Extreme Networks is the Official Wi-Fi Solutions Provider of the National Football League, delivering high-density Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi analytics solutions to 25 NFL teams, and during the past five Super Bowls. Extreme's networking solutions are deployed in professional sports stadiums around the world, and at more than 17,000 schools and 4,500 college campuses worldwide, powering digital education initiatives and enabling competitive esports programs.

Additional Resources

    --  Esports in Schools - What's All the Buzz and Why You Should Care Webinar
    --  Why Your School May Need an Esports Program Blog
    --  Is Your Network Ready for Esports? Video
    --  Extreme Esports Solution Page
    --  SUNY Canton Case Study
    --  Extreme Elements Solution Page
    --  Extreme K-12 Solution Page
    --  Extreme Higher Education Solutions Page
    --  In-Venue Network Technologies Solutions Brief
    --  Connect with Extreme via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and

eCampus News helps higher-ed leaders navigate the ever-changing world of higher-ed innovation. From IT and administration to workforce readiness and accountability, along with updates in online learning and degree programs, eCampus News connects leaders with the change agents who are breaking new ground.

About Extreme Networks
Extreme Networks, Inc. (EXTR) delivers software-driven solutions from the enterprise edge to the cloud that are agile, adaptive, and secure to enable digital transformation. Our 100% in-sourced services and support are number one in the industry. Even with 50,000 customers globally, including half of the Fortune 50 and some of the world's leading names in business, hospitality, retail, transportation and logistics, education, government, healthcare and manufacturing, we remain nimble and responsive to ensure customer and partner success. We call this Customer-Driven Networking(TM). Founded in 1996, Extreme is headquartered in San Jose, California. For more information, visit Extreme's website or call 1-888-257-3000.

Extreme Networks and the Extreme Networks logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Extreme Networks, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Other trademarks shown herein are the property of their respective owners.

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