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SUNY Potsdam Joins SUNY Chancellor Esports Challenge, Cosponsored by Extreme Networks

April 27, 2020

Students from SUNY Potsdam Esports Team to Compete in System-Wide Tournament to Benefit COVID-19 Emergency Relief Efforts

The State University of New York has launched a system-wide esports tournament and SUNY Potsdam has joined the games.

SUNY Potsdam has student competitors who have entered the SUNY Chancellor Esports Challenge Co-Sponsored by Extreme Networks. Two SUNY Potsdam Esports Team members will be playing against students from approximately 40 other SUNY Colleges for a $20,000 prize pool slated for COVID-19 relief efforts through the #SUNYTogether fund.

“SUNY Potsdam is excited to participate in the first SUNY-wide esports competition,” said team coach, Dr. Anthony Betrus ’93 & ’94, who is a professor of educational technology and management. “The challenge offers a new and exciting way to engage students while they are otherwise isolated due to stay-at-home measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Theo Cannamela ’23, a chemistry major from Potsdam, N.Y., and Patrick Silk ’23, a music education major from Hauppage, N.Y., will compete in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, starting tonight. Matches begin at 7 p.m.

esports students
Theo Cannamela ’23, left, and Patrick Silk ’23 in their esports jerseys.

Nearly 40 colleges have signed up for the three-week competition, which will officially begin today, April 27.

Two teams from each school are allowed to participate in each section of the competition. The top prize for each game is $2,000, which will be donated to the student emergency fund at the winners’ respective school as part of the #SUNYTogether relief effort. There will also be a $5,000 grand prize given to the college with the best overall score. Players will also be eligible for other prizes from Extreme Networks and Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel.

Tournament formation was orchestrated by LeagueSpot, a rapidly growing platform partner for esports programs. LeagueSpot also provides competition management solutions for the Eastern College Athletic Association (ECAC).

In addition to matching SUNY Funding, Extreme Networks has provided promotional efforts.

“Sports are a great unifier – be it on or off the field. In times where we aren’t able to come together in stadiums, fields, and arenas to cheer our favorite athletes, esports competition is an ideal way to keep students engaged with each other,” said Norman Rice, Chief Operating Officer, Extreme Networks. “By linking the competition to COVID-19 relief efforts, the SUNY Chancellor Esports Challenge will bring students together for much needed fun and fundraising. We are proud to support this first-of-its-kind event to connect and inspire students representing all of SUNY’s 64 campuses.”

Extreme Networks is the Official Wi-Fi Solutions Provider of the NFL, delivering high-density Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi analytics solutions to 25 NFL teams, and during the past seven Super Bowls. This year marks the seventh season of the Extreme-NFL partnership. Extreme solutions are deployed in professional sports stadiums around the world, and at more than 17,000 schools and 4,500 college campuses worldwide, powering digital education initiatives and enabling competitive esports programs, including at SUNY Canton.

About the #SUNYTogether Campaign:
Established to bolster the SUNY system’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, #SUNYTogether is a multi-faceted fundraising effort that aligns with Governor Cuomo’s broader “New York Loves” philanthropic campaign. In addition to raising money for student emergency funds, #SUNYTogether also provides funding for medical research, personal protective equipment, and student scholarship.

About Extreme Networks:
Extreme Networks, Inc. (EXTR) creates effortless networking experiences that enable all of us to advance. We push the boundaries of technology leveraging the powers of machine learning, artificial intelligence, analytics, and automation. Over 50,000 customers globally trust our end-to-end, cloud-driven networking solutions and rely on our top-rated services and support to accelerate their digital transformation efforts and deliver progress like never before. For more information, visit Extreme's website or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About SUNY Potsdam:
Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit

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