GCI commits $500,000 to support UAF’s new Alaska Esports Center

March 26, 2021

The 10-year partnership will bring GCI’s 1 GIG internet speeds to UAF’s Esports program

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications company, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks are partnering to bring collegiate Esports to the next level. Through a 10-year, $500,000 commitment by GCI, UAF students at the new Alaska Esports Center will have access to lightning-fast 1 GIG internet speeds as they navigate the competitive landscape of games like Overwatch and League of Legends. 

The Alaska Esports Center is the first of its kind in Alaska. It is housed in the UAF Wood Center and is managed by the UAF Center for Student Engagement. There, students will find a place to play, practice and analyze electronic games, build a community and enhance their academic experiences. The center will host UAF’s soon-to-be-established Esports team, which will join 170-plus collegiate squads nationwide.

“As the leading Esports internet provider in Alaska, we leapt at the chance to connect the northernmost Esports facility in North America and power UAF’s Esports program,” said GCI Chief Marketing Officer Kate Slyker. “GCI’s low latency, 1 GIG internet is the ideal platform for the fast-paced world of competitive gaming and our long-term partnership with UAF will help boost Alaska’s collegiate Esports athletes to the next level. Alaska is the First Frontier!”

The Alaska Esports Center is open to all UAF students and offers both competitive and casual gaming options. In addition to speedy internet, the center features consoles, furnishings and spaces designed for both team and individual gaming, and has a dedicated arena for intercollegiate teams to practice and compete. Visit the UAF esports Facebook page for more information about Esports at UAF.

“Esports have been a staple among UAF students for years and interest has only continued to grow,” said Keith Champagne, vice chancellor for student affairs at UAF. “This partnership—UAF student affairs, UAF School of Management and GCI—offers incredible potential to enhance and diversify the student experience at UAF and complement ongoing development of academic offerings centered around the burgeoning business of Esports.”

This commitment by GCI is the largest Esports sponsorship in Alaska. GCI also sponsors the Alaska School Activities Association Esports program and played a key role in connecting the Providence Alaska Foundation’s Extra Life event, a long-running annual 24-hour gaming marathon fundraiser benefiting the Alaska Children’s Miracle Network.

About GCI

Headquartered in Alaska, GCI provides data, mobile, video, voice and managed services to consumer, business, government, and carrier customers throughout Alaska, serving more than 200 communities. The company has invested more than $3 billion in its Alaska network and facilities over the past 40 years and recently launched true standards-based 5G NR service in Anchorage, now the nation’s northernmost 5G service area. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com. GCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Broadband Corporation (Nasdaq: LBRDA, LBRDK, LBRDP). Learn more about Liberty Broadband at http://www.libertybroadband.com.

About UAF

Established in 1917, UAF is Alaska's research university and America's northernmost Land, Sea and Space Grant institution, offering unique academic, research and service programs focused on the biology, climate, natural resources and peoples of the North. UAF serves more than 7,000 students who pursue degrees from occupational endorsements and certificates through doctorates via locations throughout the state of Alaska and online.

Media Contact

Josh Edge, GCI

Phone: 907-575-3622

Email: jedge@gci.com

 

Marmian Grimes, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Phone: 907-460-4750

Email: mlgrimes@alaska.edu

 

Note to editors: Photos of the Alaska Esports Center are available for download at  http://bit.ly/uaf-press-download. A video tour of the center is available at https://youtu.be/xfWQTS0r2ic.