SUNY Canton Helps Launch SUNY Esports Challenge Co-Sponsored by Extreme Networks


SUNY Canton is working with SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson on the first SUNY-wide esports competition. The SUNY Chancellor Esports Challenge Co-Sponsored by Extreme Networks offers a $20,000 prize pool for COVID-19 relief efforts as part of the #SUNYTogether campaign.

The competition will offer competitive gameplay in “Fortnite” by Epic Games, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” by Nintendo, and “Rocket League” by Psyonix. SUNY Canton has also entered teams in each of the three games.

“We’re proud that the Chancellor offered us the opportunity to organize this tournament,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “Our experiences as the first SUNY college to participate in formal intercollegiate esports competition and our collaborations with industry partners Extreme Networks will help ensure that the tournament will be successful, exciting and fun.”

Two teams from each school are allowed to participate in each section of the competition. The top prize for each game is $2,000, which will be donated to the student emergency fund at the winners’ respective school as part of the #SUNYTogether relief effort. There will also be a $5,000 grand prize given to the college with the best overall score. Players will also be eligible for other prizes from Extreme Networks and Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel.

A female gamer plays in the eSports Arena

Nearly 40 colleges have signed up for the three-week competition, which will officially begin Monday, April 27. Tournament formation was orchestrated by LeagueSpot, a leading platform partner for esports programs. LeagueSpot also provides competition management solutions for the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).

“The response by fellow SUNY schools to this tournament has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly from the students,” said SUNY Canton Athletic Director Randy B. Sieminski. “Simply put, it’s fantastic to see them so happy during a time when we’re all so challenged across the state.”

Sieminski said that Extreme Networks, the college’s closest partner in esports, graciously offered to contribute to the effort and has aided with promotional efforts. The company matched funding put forward by the SUNY Chancellor.

“Sports are a great unifier – be it on or off the field. In times where we aren’t able to come together in stadiums, fields, and arenas to cheer our favorite athletes, esports competition is an ideal way to keep students engaged with each other,” said Norman Rice, Chief Operating Officer, Extreme Networks. “By linking the competition to COVID-19 relief efforts, the SUNY Chancellor Esports Challenge will bring students together for much needed fun and fundraising. We are proud to support this first-of-its-kind event to connect and inspire students representing all of SUNY’s 64 campuses.”

Extreme Networks is the Official Wi-Fi Solutions Provider of the NFL, delivering high-density Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi analytics solutions to 25 NFL teams, and during the past seven Super Bowls. This year marks the seventh season of the Extreme-NFL partnership. Extreme 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, including at SUNY Canton.

About Extreme Networks

Extreme Networks, Inc. (EXTR) creates effortless networking experiences that enable all of us to advance. We push the boundaries of technology leveraging the powers of machine learning, artificial intelligence, analytics, and automation. Over 50,000 customers globally trust our end-to-end, cloud-driven networking solutions and rely on our top-rated services and support to accelerate their digital transformation efforts and deliver progress like never before. For more information, visit Extreme's website or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

About SUNY Canton

As Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs, SUNY Canton delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, management, and healthcare fields. It is home to the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY's leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 23 online degree programs. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also features varsity esports and cheerleading.