SUNY Chancellor Johnson Launches System-Wide Esports Tournament to Raise Money for COVID-19 Emergency Relief Efforts

April 23, 2020

The SUNY Chancellor Esports Challenge Co-Sponsored by Extreme Networks to Offer $20,000 to Aid #SUNYTogether Fundraising Campaign

Chancellor Johnson and Extreme Networks Each Commit $10,000 to Prize Pool

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson today announced a system-wide esports tournament to help support student emergency funds amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning next Monday, April 27, and lasting three weeks, The SUNY Chancellor Esports Challenge Co-Sponsored by Extreme Networks will offer a $20,000 prize pool. Participating students will represent their college with all winnings going to student emergency funds at those students’ respective schools.

"This esports tournament fosters an engaging and competitive virtual event for our campuses that also raises funding for #SUNYTogether, our philanthropic campaign that supports our students deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," said SUNY Chancellor Johnson. "My thanks to Extreme Networks for co-sponsoring, as well as SUNY Canton – home of SUNY’s first varsity esports program – for graciously accepting my challenge to create and organize this competition."

Established to bolster the SUNY system’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, #SUNYTogether is a multi-faceted fundraising effort that aligns with Governor Cuomo’s broader "New York Loves" philanthropic campaign. In addition to raising money for student emergency funds, #SUNYTogether also provides funding for medical research, personal protective equipment, and student scholarship.

Each college is invited to put forward two teams of students to compete in "Fortnite" by Epic Games, "Super Smash Bros Ultimate" by Nintendo, or "Rocket League" by Psyonix. The tournament is free and can be completed entirely online. Of the $20,000 prize pool, Chancellor Johnson committed $10,000 and co-sponsor Extreme Networks committed $10,000. The top prize for each game is $2,000, which will be donated to the student emergency fund at the winners’ respective school. There will also be a $5,000 grand prize given to the SUNY campus with the best overall score. Players will also be eligible for other prizes from Extreme Networks, Mountain Dew Game Fuel, and SUNY Canton.

"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 Extreme Networks Chief Operating Officer Norman Rice. "By linking the competition to COVID-19 relief efforts, the SUNY Esports Chancellor 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.

To get involved in the tournament, participants are invited to join the SUNY Discord Server for important communications. Each college will need to designate a staff member or student manager to be the primary contact for the tournament. Those individuals should request an invite from LeagueSpot by email or through the Discord server.

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 the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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