Leading Esports in Competition and Innovation

Team Liquid, one of the biggest names in the billion-dollar esports industry, gets a jump on competitors with Dell EMC PowerEdge servers and Dell EMC networking switches.

A sport driven by technology

Winning in the explosive, billion-dollar world of organized competitive video gaming  known as esports requires more than just the best gamer athletes. Much like high-frequency trading in the financial markets, winning esports competitions can come down to microseconds, meaning these skilled athletes need access to gaming systems with high performance and ultra-low latency.

That’s why Team Liquid, a global esports organization with more than 90 championship-caliber esports athletes, invested in powerful high-performance computing (HPC) solutions built on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers and Dell EMC PowerSwitch networking for its Alienware training facility.

According to Bo Kryne, Director of Fan Management at Team Liquid, “Most games are decided in split seconds. For example, in StarCraft II our team makes between 400 and 500 actions per minute, which translates to six or seven things they do every single second on average, which is wild. You can imagine if you’re going about it at that pace, then having a delay of more than five or six milliseconds actually hurts you because then your next move is impeded by the last one not being processed fast enough.”

Dell Technologies powers gaming and more

The low-latency system at the Alienware training facility in the Netherlands is built on Dell EMC PowerEdge R340 servers with two fully redundant 10 Gbps symmetric fiber lines and PowerSwitch S4128T-ON 10 GbE switches connecting as many as two dozen systems. This gives athletes the lowest latency possible for game play as well as for downloading new games and updates.

In addition to supporting Team Liquid’s game play, Dell Technologies PowerEdge servers are at the heart of the business. For example, Dell EMC PowerEdge R6515 servers deliver the peak performance and outstanding TCO needed by the firm’s engineers, coders, and business support staff. And because many of their replay archives and self-produced content series include files that require multiple gigabytes or terabytes of storage, Team Liquid has chosen the PowerEdge R740xd2 as a storage server host.

With large internal storage and cost-efficient drive capacities, PowerEdge R740xd2 servers provide blazing-fast file transfers locally and even globally to streamline collaboration between engineers and coders at both the EU and U.S. training facilities. These servers deliver high compute performance with flash, and fast networking options to meet Team Liquid’s intense streaming demands.

According to Kryne, “We have a graphics team and production studio in both locations. They have terabytes worth of data, and it’s all conveniently stored in our Dell PowerEdge storage server, but it has to go back and forth between those locations pretty often. So, having a strong connection that’s reliable, uninterrupted helps them do their job. Or, if we’re streaming a launch event that’s being recorded in the EU office and streamed to our partners in the States, then having anything but the most reliable connection is not great. And we have the luxury of having a partner like Dell Technologies behind us that is willing to help us get set up with the best kind of connection. So, we’re grateful to have that.”

Nettie Olsen

About the Author: Nettie Olsen

Nettie Olsen is a Dell EMC customer advocate with over 20 years in the technology and telecom industry. She is passionate about new technology, sharing customers’ IT transformation stories, and understanding their expectations and goals. She is currently building the global Customer Success program as part of the Server Product Marketing team, and loves the passion around customer advocacy found at Dell EMC from all areas of the organization. She has an MBA from Thunderbird School of International Management and lives in the Dallas/Ft Worth area with her husband and dog. In her spare time, she attempts to master the art of dressage.