Memory & Storage

University of Akron Esports Team Hits Top Speed With SSD Technology

Colleges and universities across the country have state-of-the-art training facilities for their sports teams, enabling student athletes to perform at peak condition. Now, the University of Akron has taken their training to a new arena of competition.

A new program launched at the school builds an esports gaming team across three levels — varsity, junior varsity and club — that offers scholarships to team members, player-coaches and managers. The school has outfitted its arenas with the latest in gaming technology, allowing the team to compete at the highest level against some 50 other programs in the country.

“The reason we launched the program was that we saw esports really starting to emerge on the collegiate level, and the university saw an opportunity to stand out among Division I universities,” said Varsity Team Manager Thomas McGrath.

What separates the program from the competition, however, is the technology used by the players. Team members train on high-end computers that include the fastest components available, such as Samsung’s solid state drives (SSDs), including the Samsung 860 EVO and 970 PRO.

“Our athletes expect the highest of quality components and equipment when it comes to everything they’re doing to be performing on,” said Program Director and Head Coach Michael Fay. “It’s a huge reflection of their quality as high-performing competitors, and so they want to make sure that all of the equipment they’re using is the fastest, most precise, most reliable that it can possibly be.”

This video uncovers the development of 93 gaming systems used by the esports program at the University of Akron as created by Gravity Gaming, a subsidiary of ByteSpeed, who chose Samsung’s SSD technology to power the machines.

Discover why SSDs have become the most cost effective and high-performing storage solutions for everything from data crunching and content delivery to gaming.

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Logan Harbaugh

Logan Harbaugh is an IT consultant and reviewer. He has worked in IT for over 20 years, and was a senior contributing editor with InfoWorld Labs as well as a senior technology editor at Information Week Labs. He has written reviews of enterprise IT products including storage, network switches, operating systems, and more for many publications and websites, including Storage Magazine,, StateTech, Information Week, PC Magazine and He is the author of two books on network troubleshooting.

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