Customer Success Story: Ottawa University

By Casey Willis - May 15, 2024

Esports, short for electronic sports, is a form of competition using online video games. Globally, there are over 550 million players competing daily in a variety of games.

The world of esports is expanding every single day, and with this growth, collegiate esports is on the rise, with help from outside organizations such as the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), which offers membership to more than 170 colleges and universities with their own esports leagues.

One of the colleges that is really shines within the realm of esports is Ottawa University in Kansas. Partnered with Chief Technology Officer Adam Caylor, OU is pioneering a new era of collegiate esports.


The majority of college esports teams use classrooms or dorm spaces for their practices and competitions. Adam Caylor wanted to expand on this and convert the Peters Auditorium, an unused school theater built 100 years ago, into a professional esports arena.

Converting a 100 year old building into a tournament-ready arena comes with its own set of challenges, as you can imagine. On top of cosmetic changes such as new paint and flooring, they needed a reliable, secure LAN for gamers participating in the tournaments. They also required the highest-performance Wi-Fi connection for the fans who are watching live.


Ottawa University was already a full-stack user of Cisco Meraki products. Because the relationship had seen so many successes already, Adam Caylor decided to contact Meraki for help bringing the Peters Auditorium up to date.

Because the space would need to support 100 people at a time, OU needed high-capacity MR access points to ensure the best possible Wi-Fi experience. OU also incorporated the use of MS switches installed in the arena, along with a secure MX appliance, to separate the esports traffic from the rest of the university network and optimize the connection.

Security was also an important factor and the threat of having an unapproved player joining the network and disrupting the event was a very real problem. These fears were put to rest quickly with Meraki secure SD-WAN technology and WIPS capabilities that monitor the wireless LAN networks for threats.

"We were really reinventing the wheel here with what student engagement looks like—and Meraki was able to help build the foundation for this new channel of engagement", says Adam Caylor. "The nature of the Meraki solution being as flexible, dynamic, and scalable as it is—it allowed us to turn on a dime."

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