Nokia devices will power the ‘first ever’ esports event over wifi

Nokia will provide the kit for what it says is the first esports event to use wifi instead of ethernet connectivity.

Andrew Wooden

May 30, 2024

2 Min Read

The Nokia Apex Legends Invitation Tournament is a charity event organised alongside esports firms such as SCUF and Oversight Esports, and will see 20 teams of professional and amateur players worldwide competing in the first person shooter Apex Legends.

All participants will be sent Nokia’s Beacon Wi-Fi gateway, which they will self-install in their homes to establish the wifi connection needed to access the game, instead of using ethernet.

Nokia’s Wi-Fi Beacon 10 is built on the Qualcomm Networking Pro Series platform and claims to have ‘unique’ latency and queuing technology to give service providers ‘a powerful wifi gateway solution that can rival any commercial and retail device on the market.’ For customers, the Beacon ‘provides the ultimate end-user experience’ – by which presumably they mean a very good connection.  

The event will be streamed live by the participants on platforms such as Twitch, Kick, X, and YouTube, and winners of the tournament will receive $25K as a total award to be distributed to a charity of their choice.

“Running an Esports event like this targeting specifically pro-players playing over Wi-Fi was long thought to be impossible,” Gino Dion, Nokia's Head of Innovation Solutions. “Today, we’re showing it can be done. Our Beacon 10 device is a game changer, giving service providers the ability to offer advanced Wi-Fi gaming, latency, and performance management features that rival other devices on the market. We’re excited to work alongside EA Sports and other gaming industry leaders such as Oversight Esports and SCUF, to deliver this industry-first tournament-style event run over Wi-Fi.”

Edwin Jung, CEO of Oversight Esports added: “I never thought something like this would be possible. If you’re a gamer, every millisecond counts and lag spikes can often be the difference between a win or a loss. That’s primarily why most gamers opt for a hard-wired connection when playing or competing. Nokia is literally changing the game, with Wi-Fi technology that can meet the bandwidth and consistent latency requirements we need to be competitive.”

As mentioned in the above quote, why ethernet is preferable for esports events as opposed to wifi is that with multiplayer gaming of a certain flavour, milliseconds do indeed count and any latency or drop out could throw a match, or at least provide an annoying handicap.

This would be true of any game, but especially so of a fast-paced shooter like Apex Legends. You could be forgiven for not categorising all this as an especially burning issue in the grand scheme of things , but at the professional level there is a lot of money on the line in the big events.

The environment serves as a pretty good stress test of wifi tech in other words, and assuming the setup delivers the sort of performance Nokia boasts it can in this release, it will no doubt provide its Wi-Fi Beacon 10 product with a nice sales pitch for other uses.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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