5G for esports tested

​Finnish esports veteran Joona "natu" Leppänen is the first esports professional to master serious gameplay over a live 5G network. The 5G gaming experience, conducted by Telia and Nokia over a test 5G network at Nokia Campus 5G Innovation Lab in Espoo, Finland, was one of the first to use 5G for esports. ​

Esports, playing online games competitively for spectators, has seen a surge in popularity over the recent years. Low latency and superfast 5G speeds will take esports to the next level, since a lag in wireless connection or even a drop could dictate the outcome of the entire game. The steady low latency proved that mobile technology can finally answer to the critical needs of esports and online gaming.

​Joona Leppänen was positively surprised at the performance of 5G.
"We played several rounds of Overwatch – a team-based multiplayer video game - and my experience was that with 5G, you can play a pro game over a mobile connection", he says.

Streaming to a gaming TV site proved to work smoothly as well.
"5G will be a welcome addition, because your fast fixed connection isn't always there. Streaming and the added virtual and augmented reality elements will bring quality gaming entertainment to the next level", Leppänen comments.

"5G a game changer for the gaming industry"
“This experience shows that 5G can have revolutionary implications for esports. Mobile network hotspots will be there for the esports community as a super-fast access choice. It can also bring new immersive experiences to the fast-growing audiences of esports, with virtual reality and player-point-of view opportunities in esports streaming,” says 5G Program Director Janne Koistinen, Telia in Finland.

Joona "natu" Leppänen is a former Counter Strike player with a 15-year career in esports. He is currently responsible for marketing at ENCE esports, the most successful Finnish esports organization.

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About 5G
5G is expected to improve the throughput of mobile networks by more than 20 times and the capacity up to hundred times compared to current networks. The revolutionary aspect is the ability to wirelessly connect a huge number of devices connected to the network and the possibility to enable services that require ultra-low latency and extreme reliability. 5G will enable for example autonomous driving, new concepts in e-learning and e-health and new types of critical industrial processes. ​

In June 2017, Telia and Nokia presented one of Europe's first live virtual football experiences at Telia 5G Arena over Telia's 4G network. In July, the companies demonstrated for the first time in Finland 4G-5G interworking at 3,5 GHz frequency. In September 2017, Telia Company deployed the first public 5G live network use cases in Europe in collaboration with Ericsson and Intel​.