GCI Gives Esports a Boost in Alaska


GCI is set to host the largest online esports tournament in Alaskan history, and it starts tomorrow. The GCI Northern Lights Invitational will take place over the next three weekends, and every match will be played over GCI's servers. The invitational is a $20,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament, one of the most popular games among esports enthusiasts.

Esports has been a fast-growing phenomenon over the past decade, and in Alaska, GCI has been a trailblazer for championing esports in the state. The ISP has provided a boost for Alaskan collegiate esports athletes through its next-generation connectivity—a necessity for gamers to stay competitive—and its support for the community as a whole. 

"GCI is dedicated to giving Alaska the best esports experience," said GCI Chief Marketing Officer Kate Slyker. "Our 2 gig speeds give players superior speed and in-game connection. We opened this tournament to Alaska residents only as a commitment to the growing esports community here, and we're really excited to offer the largest prize pool in Alaska gaming history. We hope it will bring the best players from across the state together to compete for top ranking."

This tournament is the provider's latest effort in keeping Alaskans up to speed when it comes to esports while also following its own mantra to give back to the community: 

  • For CS:GO, GCI pledged to donate $10 in the name of every player registered to either USO Alaska or the UAF Alaska Esports Center. GCI will be donating $5,000 in total. 
  • GCI also began a partnership two years ago with University of Alaska Fairbanks to create a first of its kind Alaska Esports Center. The 10-year, $500,000 commitment by GCI gives UAF students at the new center access to GCI's 1 gigabit per second internet speeds, allowing gamers to stay competitive in the esports landscape. 
  • "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."

Outside of esports, GCI delivers cutting-edge technology and robust, ultra-fast internet speeds as the provider continues down the road towards 10G—the cable industry's initiative to bring 10 gigabit per second speeds to households across America. In fact, GCI just achieved a major milestone last month in the Aleutian Islands. After two years and 800+ miles of fiber, the first GCI customers in Unalaska—one of the most remote areas in the world—now have access to 2 gigabit per second internet speeds, with more news and updates sure to come as the year progresses.