Binghamton University Captures First Place Prize in Inaugural SUNY Chancellor Esports Challenge

May 22, 2020

$20,000 in Prize Money Distributed to Six Schools

All Winnings Go to COVID-19 Student Emergency Relief Funds through #SUNYTogether Fundraising Campaign

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson today announced that Binghamton University captured first place in the inaugural SUNY Chancellor Esports Challenge Co-Sponsored by Extreme Networks. The three-week tournament featured 46 schools, 139 teams, and nearly 500 participating SUNY students. $20,000 in prize money was doled out to six schools’ COVID-19 student emergency relief funds supported by the #SUNYTogether fundraising campaign. 

"With nearly 500 participating students and thousands of dollars raised for campus COVID-19 relief funds, our inaugural Esports Challenge successfully engaged our campuses remotely, while supporting the students most impacted financially by the pandemic," said SUNY Chancellor Johnson. "I want to congratulate Binghamton University for winning the top prize, and all the competing teams from across the state for helping SUNY pull together virtually during this difficult time." 

Binghamton’s first and second-place finishes in "Super Smash Bros Ultimate" by Nintendo along with a second-place finish in "Rocket League" by Psyonix helped propel them to the top spot and a total of $9,000 in donations to the school’s COVID-19 student emergency relief fund. The University at Albany placed first in "Fortnite" by Epic Games and third in Rocket League to win $5,000 in donations. SUNY Oneonta finished third overall, securing $4,000.

SUNY Geneseo, SUNY New Paltz, and SUNY Canton were also awarded prize money based on their performance in individual games. SUNY Canton, home of SUNY’s first varsity esports team, and co-sponsor Extreme Networks, were both instrumental in planning the tournament. 

"SUNY Canton would like to thank Extreme Networks, SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson and our colleagues throughout the SUNY system," said SUNY Canton Athletic Director Randy B. Sieminski. "During this time of isolation and social distancing, we experienced an incredible feeling of belonging to something much bigger than just ourselves. The comradery with the other SUNY schools, tournament participants and tourney organizers has been extraordinarily rewarding."  

The tournament was free to enter, and all competition was held entirely online. Of the $20,000 prize pool, Chancellor Johnson committed $10,000 and co-sponsor Extreme Networks committed $10,000. 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. 

Extreme Networks also provided substantial event promotion, including Esports Center highlight and update videos.

"Extreme takes great pride in partnering with SUNY to meet the challenge set by Chancellor Johnson to host the only intercollegiate sporting tournament happening anywhere in the country. During this time of prolonged isolation, esports is inspiring people everywhere to advance in the ‘new normal’ we are living in today," said Norman Rice, Chief Operating Officer, Extreme Networks. "As a long-standing technology partner to SUNY schools, we’re honored to partner again to help bring critical COVID-19 emergency funds to students who need it most and connect students at a time when traditional sports are on hold. We congratulate the winning teams and send thanks to all that were involved in making this virtual esports tournament a success."

Portions of the tournament were streamed on twitch www.twitch.tv/sunyesports. The channel racked up more than 2,000 views during the competition with users logging in from 20 different countries to watch the action. 

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, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. As of Fall 2019, more than 415,500 students were enrolled in a degree-granting program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in 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 exceeded $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2019, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are 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 opportunity, visit www.suny.edu, and for more information about additional COVID-19 fundraising efforts, visit #SUNYTogether.


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