Esports are growing immensely in popularity, with the most popular streamers having millions of viewers, tournaments being played in massive arenas and people from all walks of life becoming huge supporters. That’s why at MTA, we’re all about encouraging the growth of esports in Alaska with our eUnlimited Gaming Tournaments. And today, the Anchorage Daily News ran a feature about how over two dozen Alaska high schools will offer esports next fall, talking about the rise of popularity in video games within the state and its incorporation into the school system, including at our very own tournament on June 2nd with a separate competition within it just for Mat-Su high school students. Give the article a read, and make sure to join us on June 2nd for Alaska’s biggest esports event of the year at the eUnlimited Gaming Tournament.
Palmer, Alaska – April 10, 2019 – MTA, Alaska’s best choice for technology and communications products, announced today it is the recipient of a 2019 Best in Class Provider Award from the Broadband Multimedia Marketing Association (BMMA) for its marketing efforts around MTA’s eUnlimited™ Gaming Series, which includes an annual gaming tournament.
Since 2015, MTA has worked to become a major player in Alaska’s esports world through unique experiences and effective partnership building with local schools and community organizations. The eUnlimited™ Gaming Series is a flagship community program for MTA, and the 2018 season was the Series’ most successful year yet, with tournament attendance doubling from the previous year.
The award comes as the co-operative continues to expand its focus on esports in Alaska through increased collaboration with Alaskan schools on incorporating esports into their curriculum, supporting youth STEM initiatives and cultivating national partnerships with likeminded organizations.
“We are honored to be recognized for our work in the esports field, and we look forward to working with our community partners around the state to keep growing the eUnlimited™ Gaming Series,” said Michael Burke, CEO of MTA. “We will continue doing all we can to propel Alaska ahead as a national leader in esports through education-based partnerships, riveting in-person tournaments and experiences and more.”
“Over the past year, MTA’s marketing efforts have successfully built out awareness of its innovative eUnlimited™ Gaming Series, increasing local partnerships and doubling the number of tournament attendees,” said Jonathan Babbitt, Vice President of Product, Sales and Marketing at MTA. “The program’s growth in one year is particularly impressive, and it serves as an indicator of the promising future Alaska has in the esports industry. MTA is proud to be the company leading the charge with our community and gaming partners around the state.”
BMMA’s Best in Class Marketing Awards annually recognize teams and companies that demonstrate innovation and excellence in marketing broadband services. MTA was joined in this honor by other leading telecommunications companies including Cincinnati Bell, Calix and F-Secure.
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Esports have gained significant momentum throughout Alaska over the years and MTA is proud to continue leading this charge. Our annual esports tournament has played a critical role in deepening connections between education and technology while serving as a hub connecting Alaskans through competitive gaming and community building.
After a widely successful event in 2019, with the turnout more than doubling from 2018, we’re thrilled to experience this year’s event right alongside you.
Despite the hurdles our communities have been facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we know the event must go on – nothing can stop MTA Gaming! So, to ensure we keep all our participants and community members safe, we’ve decided to take our 2020 Gaming Tournament virtual. As one of our most popular and fastest growing events, we couldn’t be more confident that this year’s tournament will be a landmark one in the evolution of MTA Gaming, and in our journey to help our community stay connected while staying home.
Spread out over three days, this year’s tournament will feature even more games, competition, community partners and even a few special guests. Additionally, various gaming brackets are available so that those of all skill levels have the chance to compete. The fun kicks off on Friday, November 6 and lasts until Sunday, November 8, with a variety of prizes available each day. The schedule for the weekend will be as follows:
- Friday, November 6: Valorant (PC) 5v5 match up
- Saturday, November 7: Smash Bros. Ultimate (Youth/MSBSD/Full) singles
- Sunday, November 8: Tekken 7 (PC) singles
Registration is now open for all three days. The first 100 gamers to register will automatically be entered to win a RESPAWN Gaming Mouse Pad Table! The lucky winner will be announced the week prior to the tournament. To register, go here and select the bracket(s) you wish to participate in. Once registered, make sure to share the Twitch live-stream information with friends and family to watch you compete.
If you’ve never participated in a gaming tournament, connect with fellow Alaskan (and beyond!) gamers on Discord to immerse yourself in the community. Additionally, we’re creating a series of video tutorials that lay out everything you need to know as you navigate our online tournament – stay tuned for more information.
Whether we’re all in the same space or just in the same virtual space, participants like you are the reason for the continuously growing success of MTA Gaming and esports in Alaska, and we can’t wait for this year’s edition!
By: Brandon Meiners, MTA Esports Coordinator
On May 1, MTA Gaming successfully hosted the Virtual Victory esports tournament, its first official event under its new brand. Bringing Alaskans together to duke it out over Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the event helped build connections and support our community during what is a difficult and isolated time for many.
With nearly 40 gamers participating, a live Twitch stream and play-by-play commentary, and a total of $300 up for grabs among the top three winners, Virtual Victory lasted nearly six hours. The event was a great success and set the tone for future MTA Gaming events, both digital and in-person.
Giving Back Beyond the Screen
Successful on the screens, the Virtual Victory tournament was a win for our community, too. In total, the tournament raised $2,000 for both Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc. and the Mat-Su Seniors Center, helping the latter continue delivering food to seniors through its Meals on Wheels program.
MTA Gaming works in two ways: uniting our community through a shared activity and giving back to our community members. And in our current situation, many of our older residents are vulnerable, in need of support and connection. Adapting the model of our esports programming means we can better help meet their needs.
Integrating esports into older adults’ lives isn’t always a seamless transition, but many older adults in our community are technologically adept or curious to learn more. Even for those who aren’t, their needs are still important. Evolving MTA Gaming tournaments into an engine to drive donations back into the community also helps us bridge the tournament’s impact for Alaska’s gaming community with a meaningful impact for all of the surrounding residents of the Mat-Su Valley.
The success of this tournament and being able to give back so much to our community as a result illustrate an important point: technology enables and powers connections between people in many dimensions. We’ve seen this over and over again through our constant collaboration and relationship building with local businesses, our esports partnership with the Mat-Su Borough School District and hosting Alaska’s largest esports tournament for the gaming community.
We are excited to keep planning and growing our Virtual Victory esports series with more tournaments and more contributions to help the community. For more details on MTA Gaming and future events, stay up to date at https://www.mtasolutions.com/esports/.
A while back, we teased the appearance of a special guest at our 2020 Virtual Gaming Tournament. As this year’s tournament nears, we’re excited to finally introduce you to this year’s special guest: NBA superstar and longtime esports enthusiast Gordon Hayward!
That’s right, when Gordon is not sinking shots for the Celtics, he’s online and live streaming his numerous conquests as he plays Valorant.
A natural-born athlete with a fiery competitive side, Gordon entered the world of esports by competing in local Halo tournaments with some of his close friends. From there, he began to get more involved in PC gaming. On the court, Gordon gains his competitive advantage by anticipating the actions of his defenders. Online, things are not much different, and he uses this same advantage to carry himself, or his team, to victory.
Gordon’s passion for esports has led to him investing in mobile esports company Tribe Gaming. Knowing how much he loves gaming, his goal with this initiative was to help deliver the thrills and experiences he’s encountered to more people around the world.
At MTA, we aim to connect technology to the world around us; whether that’s through education, community initiatives and now physical sports. Our esports offerings have allowed us to do just that. We’re beyond excited to host Gordon Hayward at this year’s tournament because of his passion and understanding of the importance of esports, and for the unique perspective he will bring.
Registration for this year’s tournament is still open, and you can sign up here to select the bracket(s) you wish to participate in. Make sure to also share the Twitch live-stream information with friends and family to watch you compete – and to see what an NBA star has to say about some of this year’s participants!
Alaska’s Premier Esports Tournament Enters Its 3rd Year of Pioneering Technology and Education Engagement
Palmer, Alaska – August 21, 2019 – MTA, Alaska’s best choice for technology and communications products, announced today that registration for the 2019 edition of its eUnlimited™ BYTE Gaming Tournament, the premier esports event in Alaska, is now open.
The third annual eUnlimited™ tournament will be held Saturday, October 5, 2019 on the MTA Turf Arena at the Menard Sports Center in Wasilla, Alaska. Highlights of the event include cash prizes for tournament winners, game demonstrations and a standalone tournament exclusively for Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District students within the eUnlimited™ series.
Registration is now open and can be accessed at https://www.mtasolutions.com/event/byte/.
“MTA is proud to lead Alaska’s growth in the esports world and look forward to the connections between education and technology that eUnlimited™ will continue to develop,” said Michael Burke, CEO of MTA. “Our technology and internet infrastructure minimizes distances for many Alaskans, and we take pride in delivering innovative ways to continue connecting residents of the Mat-Su Valley to each other and to the rest of the world, as we have done since 1953. Esports provides a fun, social and high-tech new avenue for that same goal.”
Over the past three years, eUnlimited™ has served as a signature event helping to growing Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Valley – and the state as a whole – into a major hub for esports, all while underscoring MTA’s long-running commitment to giving back to the communities it serves.
“As our involvement in esports continues to blossom, we couldn’t be more excited about what the next edition of eUnlimited™ has in store for the esports fans and players in our community, including those who are newcomers to the space,” said MTA’s Esports Coordinator, Brandon Meiners. “It is an honor to give back to the communities we serve, and we are proud to provide students of the Mat-Su Valley with the opportunity and technological capabilities to engage in a fun and exciting event each year.”
In esports as well as other areas, MTA has remained rooted in the communities it serves through partnerships with local organizations such as Warehouse 49 and the University of Alaska Anchorage, and has hosted a variety of gaming events around Anchorage. MTA has collaborated with the Mat-Su Borough School District on helping its students get involved with esports, including advising on the district’s launch of its first esports league in 2018 and creating the district’s own tournament within MTA’s eUnlimited™ BYTE Gaming Tournament.
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Over the last several years, Alaska has become an emerging hub for esports, even making it into the local school curriculum and extracurricular team activities at more than two dozen high schools throughout the state.
MTA has played a major proactive role in this rise, with our eUnlimited™ Gaming Tournament having grown into a fixture in Southeastern Alaska. We’ve encouraged the growth of esports through hosting, booking and powering these annual events (with the fourth edition coming October 5), providing financial assistance to students who want to attend and participate, and more.
As we continue to expand our esports-centric activities and esports expands in Alaska, we’re excited to bring someone onto our team who will help lead this push for MTA, in what is perhaps Alaska’s first official career opportunity in the world of esports.
We’re hiring an Esports Coordinator – an avid gamer who’s familiar with eUnlimited™, has experience managing multiple initiatives and is ready to help expand esports in Alaska with enthusiasm. If you’re into gaming and want to be a part of something special, this is most definitely the role for you.
Details and application information here.
We’ve already received a great deal of interest in this position, so we encourage you to keep spreading the word. If you think you’re the right person, please get in touch!
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Alaska Tech Leader to Support Mat-Su Valley Students’ Success Through Innovative Partnership
Palmer, Alaska – Dec. 9, 2019 – MTA, Alaska’s best choice for technology and communications products, announced today it will become the official “Esports Partner” of Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (MSBSD), the second-largest school district in Alaska and home to 46 schools with a district-wide enrollment of over 19,000 students.
Through the partnership, MTA will provide strategic support to MSBSD technology staff and students, enabling them to prepare, train and compete in the esports arena. MTA will also staff its office with two esports-related student interns selected from the district, provide students with free access to gaming equipment and supply jerseys for the MSBSD esports team.
This formal partnership with MSBSD illustrates MTA’s long-running commitment to giving back to the communities it serves alongside its efforts to grow Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Valley into a major hub for esports. MTA’s eUnlimited™ Gaming Tournament has been an annual hallmark of this commitment, and the MSBSD partnership will build on that success by incorporating a student tournament within the annual eUnlimited™ tournament.
“We’re proud to be leading the charge in establishing esports in Alaska, not only as a fun, modern form of competition but also as a valuable educational tool,” said Michael Burke, CEO of MTA. “As with MTA’s network, our goal with esports is to minimize the impact of distance on Alaskans to each other and to the Lower 48, and this partnership’s ability to align the cooperation and talent in esports with academic achievement serves as a promising step forward for the students of the Mat-Su Valley.”
“We’ve seen the promising potential of esports in terms of educational benefits for our students, and we are proud to solidify our partnership with MTA so those benefits are able to blossom even further,” said Reese Everett, Director of Instruction of Mat-Su Borough School District. “Bridging competition, discipline and teamwork through esports will improve engagement and boost students’ enthusiasm for academic success, and we’re excited to watch these results play out this school year, and into the future.”
The focus on esports from both MTA and MSBSD reflects the tremendous growth that esports has seen across America in recent years, with more than 427 million viewers expected to have watched or participated by the end of 2019. Within Alaska, more and more schools continue to incorporate esports into their curriculum; 35 high schools across the state participated in Alaska’s inaugural esports season during the 2018-2019 school year.
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Public Information Officer
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Recently, MTA Gaming kicked off its annual gaming tournament a little different than usual. But even virtually, this year’s tournament took Alaska by storm!
The event ran for a total of three days, making it MTA’s first-ever multi-day event, and had 171 attendees log on to battle it out over Valorant, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Tekken 7. Our largest gaming bracket was Valorant presented by Ciena, and this ended up being the largest Valorant tournament in all of Alaska to date.
Despite the physical separation this year, we know that students have been searching for ways to connect with their community and engage in something that they’re passionate about, and this year’s tournament allowed them to do just that. This virtual event also provided students in the Alaskan community (and beyond) the unique opportunity to connect with professionals in the broader world of both technology and now professional sports.
That leads us to this year’s special guest – NBA superstar and longtime esports enthusiast Gordon Hayward. We were so grateful for Gordon’s commentary throughout the tournament, and that he was able to share his passion for esports with members of our community.
Giving Back Beyond the Screen
While this three-day extravaganza resulted in nearly 20 hours of total gameplay and 900 unique viewers, we also received an overwhelming amount of support from our nearly 40 sponsors. With nearly $30,000 raised for the MTA Foundation, and incredible prizes gifted to our participants, we’d say our community as a whole came out on top this year.
MTA Gaming operates on two very important principles; bringing Alaska together in a unique way while also giving back to our community members who are in need of it most, especially now. And while things were a little different this year due to the pandemic, new doors were opened and the stage has been set for future MTA Gaming tournaments, whether in-person or virtual.
After the success we saw this year, we hope to keep this virtual momentum going. There are so many connections to be made between technology and the world around us, and events like this help prove that. Technology enables unique connections between many different dimensions, whether that’s education, community initiatives or even NBA stars. Above all, these events allow us to give back to the community that made us who we are, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future of MTA Gaming.
For more details on MTA Gaming and future events, stay up to date at https://www.mtasolutions.com/esports/.