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BLAST Pro Series bills itself as an innovative global tournament series of live Counter-Strike with the best teams in the world competing in a fast and exhilarating format.
Created to maximize both live and online viewing audience experiences as well as broadcast formats, BLAST Pro Series features world-class e-sports mixed with engaging show elements. That’s no small task when it comes to providing meta-level e-sports Internet for events such as BLAST Pro Series.
Not willing to risk any disruption to their local network or Internet transport, BLAST Pro Series has relied on BSN for the past two years to ensure flawless live events.
“As a brand, we’re actually trying to be an inventive and creative force ourselves in the e-sports ecosystem, but we also need to be risk adverse and BSN allows us to provide that,” said Andrew Haworth, Director of Operations & Production, BLAST Pro Series.
For the past 12 months, BLAST Pro Series has delivered eight shows across seven countries and three continents. Haworth added, “While moving that quickly across a global roll out, we need people who can work with us to ensure delivery in a variety of situations as well as be part of our team rather than just a hired contractor.”
For an event the size and scope of BLAST Pro Series, the venue where it’s held is the primary challenge. That’s because each venue is shaped differently and contains different specs.
In São Paulo, for example, BLAST Pro Series essentially dry hired a concrete shell. The venue had no existing networking infrastructure. BSN’s team had to run over 14,000 feet of fiber optic and copper networking cable because the venue was built before networking was installed in those types of structures.
“BSN worked on our behalf, not just on the distribution, but procuring redundant bandwidth into the venue from different providers so that if something goes wrong with a provider, we have the ability to jump onto the next to ensure seamless distribution,” Haworth pointed out.
David Bauman, BSN CEO adds, “With our large and diverse global partner network of carriers along with our Cisco powered data networking infrastructure, we are able to deliver a wildly reliable, robust and flexible platform that allows us to control, prioritize and route applications over the most appropriate paths based upon customer technical and business needs.”
Haworth also shared that “BSN is able to advance with the venues and local suppliers to prevent problems from occurring as well as our internal team to manage network distribution around each venue.”
BSN also helps BLAST Pro Series work with changing specifications from venue to venue. In Los Angeles, for instance, BLAST Pro Series had a more intimate setting and opened up the production to the attendees for more transparency behind the scenes. Haworth explained that the equipment set up was more “showman-like” and BSN worked very closely with them on that different type of delivery.
Once an event’s infrastructure network is in place, the next challenge is maintaining its integrity, sanctity, and security. There are a lot of special and siloed VLANs that are required for a BLAST Pro Series activation because it’s a competition for which there are specific standards. The gaming and practice computers, for example, are not allowed to reach the Internet or talk to each other. And that’s accomplished via the network for which BSN actually architects the rules and policies to make that happen.
“Having someone like BSN manage the Internet security of our operations, especially for a live audience in the e-sports ecosystem where there has been concerns during other events, is extremely important to us,” Haworth emphasized. “We know that a match is going to start on time, and even though it’s delivered in an arena, it will be broadcasted and streamed on time as well.”
Bauman adds, “It is critical that live streaming to the various Content Delivery Networks works flawlessly at 1080p/60fps and the gaming network traffic is able to operate with very low-latency.”
Based on a two-sided perspective — the audience inside the venue as well as the millions of people watching online — various network challenges for BLAST Pro Series include providing, managing and maintaining:
The relationship between BLAST Pro Series and BSN is special because BSN simply executes the service that BLAST Pro Series requires based on the event’s various challenges. And too, BSN easily adapts to the various venue requirements for each BLAST Pro Series event.
BSN designs the network to the required specs, provides intense monitoring, application control systems and creates an infrastructure where there isn’t any.
Whether it’s stringing ethernet cable through palm trees in Malaysia or running fiber optic cable through a stadium in Poland, BSN does whatever it takes to ensure that live events run smoothly and successfully.
BLAST Pro Series is undeniably a hugely successful global e-sports event. And the fact that BLAST Pro Series continues to rely on BSN as their partner and provider of choice is a testament to that success.
BSN must deliver the same results to BLAST Pro Series every time regardless of what the venue provides or doesn’t provide. And based on two years of experience with BLAST Pro Series, BSN is fully aware of the specs that BLAST Pro Series’ network requires to ensure a flawless event.
In addition, BSN’s all-inclusive turnkey solution for event IT network design and monitoring ensures that BLAST Pro Series will run smoothly without interference from anyone who’s attacking the network to disrupt gameplay, take over servers, cheat or for any number of other reasons.
Haworth added, “We spend a lot of time monitoring our broadcast distribution teams, whether it’s Slack, WhatsApp, or Skype, with our broadcasters around the world checking that we have the signals coming through and right feeds in place so that we can validate that in real time and pick up on any issues.”
BLAST Pro Series also takes advantage of BSN’s detailed post-event reports that show what bandwidth was used and flowing through the system so that BLAST Pro Series knows if it’s over spec’ing that over time.
Haworth concluded, “BSN works very closely with different parts of our business and is very successful at it. We don’t spend any time worrying about how BSN is going to perform.”
World-class events need world-class experts. Our decades of experience in live event IT production and WiFi give you confidence that the show WILL go on. Contact us for a quote today.