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Case Study

Game Design and Esports Program

Wins with ViewSonic Gaming Monitors

Company

Founded as a state university in 1986, Shawnee State is a student-focused public university offering a highly personalized, affordable, and accessible education dedicated to the exploration of emerging technologies and emerging ideas. Located along the Ohio River in historic Portsmouth, Ohio, SSU is a pioneering leader in game design and esports competition. SSU offers a BS in gaming programming through the Engineering Department as well as a BA in Game Art through the fine arts department. The school also offers a minor in game design. Shawnee has been hosting the annual Shawnee Game Conference (SGC) since 2003. Esports became a varsity sport at SSU when it joined the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) for the 2018-19 season.

Overview

Problem:

  • Support student skill development with leading hardware
  • Support growing esports program with game-worthy projection
  • Optimal game design & esports need low input lag, high hertz monitors

Result:

  • 240Hz refresh rate & 1ms response time deliver blur-free action
  • Game developers are able to accurately create and test programs
  • Esports athletes gained an edge for practices and competitions
  • Game company conference attendees showcase action with big-screen projection
  • Spectators get a big-screen view of blur-free game play

The ViewSonic XG2530 gaming monitors have set a new standard that’s hard to live without. The high hertz and low input lag make a massive difference with fast games like Rocket League and Overwatch, where reaction time is critical.

- Travis Lynn, Professor of Game Engineering, Shawnee Game Conference Chair, and Esports Assistant Coach

Problem

Game design and esports are hardware-dependent endeavors. A leader in the field, offering well-known degree programs in game design, SSU is always on the lookout for the best equipment to support student skill development. 

Classrooms full of systems to support programming serve as practice space for a majority of the esports team. While thankful to have the space and systems to practice, the classrooms lacked monitors with the high hertz and low response times ideal for high impact games like Rocket League and Overwatch, the mainstays of esports competition.

Solution

A chance encounter between a Shawnee State University Development Foundation member and a ViewSonic representative at a conference became an important turning point for the SSU esports team. One thing led to another, culminating in a sponsorship that provided the SSU esports team with 12 ViewSonic XG2530 gaming monitors and a ViewSonic PX706HD short throw gaming projector. 

According to Jason Maryne, ViewSonic Vertical Marketing Manager for Gaming, these products are designed to ideally support the gaming experience, with an ideally-sized 25-inch slim profile. 

“Most esports monitors are at least 144Hz refresh rate, “said Maryne. “The XG2530 delivers a 240Hz refresh rate, which is what many pro esports players rely on. Add to that an ultra-low 1ms response and you’ve got lightning-fast action with outstanding visual clarity and absolutely no blurring effects in fast-paced gaming scenarios.” 

SSU put six of the ViewSonic XG2530 gaming monitors in an esports training room and another six in classrooms, which hold design classes by day, esports athletes by night. The training room displays get extra action on the road, when the SSU team takes them to gaming conferences to showcase the team. 

The PX706HD Gaming Projector delivers a large screen size in a portable package, making it ideal for use at the team’s many away conferences. In the gaming center, it delivers big-screen impact with the set-up ease of a short throw lens. Low input lag delivers stutter- and lag-free action.

Result

The SSU esports team had the good fortune of great new hardware for it’s first season as a NACE varsity team. Competitions included Smite, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Hearthstone. According to Travis Lynn Professor of Game Engineering, Shawnee Game Conference Chair, and Esports Assistant Coach, the ViewSonic displays made a big impact.

“Several schools and more than 700 participants and spectators attended our 16th annual Shawnee Game Conference in November 2018,” said Lynn. “It was a big hit. Several schools also came to participate in our Rocket League LAN. At that event all players used the ViewSonic monitors. Everyone loved them.”

The ViewSonic XG2530 gaming monitors have set a new standard that’s hard to live without. The high hertz and low input lag make a massive difference with fast games like Rocket League and Overwatch, said Lynn, where reaction time is critical.

“We sent one home with a Rocket League Captain for a month or so, that way he could test it out. He had a 60Hz monitor at home and it was difficult for him to get good practices in,” said Lynn. “You could tell he enjoyed using it, as he was hoping to keep it longer when I said he had to bring it back.”

The program’s highly-ranked Overwatch Assistant Coach, Drew “Eskimo” Brown, is similarly pining for a ViewSonic XG2530. With only twelve to go around among 60 players, team members hustle to be early to practices to claim one.

"Being able to play at 240hz feels incredibly smooth,” said Erik Pleli "Glordren" the SSU League of Legends Captain. “And it’s great to have that in a more compact monitor as opposed to a massive monitor."

During the day, students use the low-input lag monitors for developing 3D game graphics, programming, and benchmarking games, said Lynn. As for the ViewSonic PX706HD short throw gaming projector, its given a boost to players and spectators alike

“Mounted TVs aren’t that spectator-friendly,” said Lynn. “The projector is perfect for showcasing what our players can do. And it’s great that we can use it for front or rear projection. It was perfect at the conference. Representatives from Twitch and other game companies used it in the auditorium to showcase game footage, videos, and slides.”

Even when projecting at a large scale, images are always crisp and detailed, with accurate color and no washout. Lynn added. And lag was never a problem.

In fact, the high quality of the projector caught the attention of community members at the conference.

“Our theater director suggested renting it out, as he knows community events would be interested, like the museums, the performing arts center, and the like” said Lynn. “We’re thinking of renting it out to raise funds for the players’ travel expenses.”

In a premiere varsity season that holds great promise for SSU, the ViewSonic PX706HD short throw gaming projector and ViewSonic XG2530 gaming monitors are clearly part of the winning equation for the SSU esports program.

As the Shawnee Rocket League Captain who had to return the ViewSonic XG2530 loaner sums it up:

These monitors set a new standard for me. Doubt I'll be going back to a 60hz in the future.

- Christopher Noah Boggs "Dysphoria".

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