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EGL Creates Next-Generation esports Platform Using AWS Serverless with Help from Code Wizards
For leading esports organization EGL, speed, reliability, and flexibility are essential within their platform to provide a world-class user experience and evolve with future esports trends and video games.
When EGL needed to create a next-generation platform, they turned to UK consultancy Code Wizards and Amazon Web Services (AWS) for help.
Code Wizards is an AWS Select Tier Services Partner specializing in helping with games and esports requirements. They created an architecture around AWS serverless technologies to provide a robust and supportable solution that could scale from minor to major global events without human intervention.
Code Wizards included AWS Lambda serverless components to handle complex calculations and manage player results. The team also leveraged Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) to provide full queue-based communication, and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Services (Amazon EKS) to offer a scalable and manageable base for the websites and API stacks.
This new platform allows EGL to embrace new modes of play and extend the solution directly into mobile games on a large scale.
“We are a global company delivering experiences to millions of players across the world,” says John Brackens, Chief Technology Officer at Esport Entertainment Group (EEG), which acquired EGL during the creation of this new platform. “AWS gives us the capability to address that audience reliably and efficiently, and provide them with the fun they demand.”
Scaling and Simplifying Workloads Using Lambda and SQS
EGL provides esports tournaments that range from a handful of players to millions, and the system must be able to scale without impacting player performance. Each match played affects not only the player’s ability scores but also leaderboards, their place in the tournament, and the ability scores of their teammates.
“This requirement alone means the service must be dependable and manage both low- and high-scale events efficiently and cost-effectively without impacting the players,” says Stuart Muckley, CEO of Code Wizards. “To do this in real-time and near-time requires an architecture that can flex with demand.”
The processing must be handled asynchronously to provide this scalability whilst maintaining cost-efficiency. By using AWS Lambda, EGL could process matches from millions of players within a single leaderboard, and this data was provided directly from the game synchronously on match completion.
The previous system was based upon a monolith architecture, scaling poorly with demand and impacting user experience while doing heavy calculations.
“We needed to do more, faster, and with fewer people while improving our users’ enjoyment of playing in tournaments,” says Glen Elliot, ex-CEO of EGL. “Our old system hampered our ability to do more. By moving to a new platform, we opened up new possibilities in what we could offer to our player base.”
Following EEG’s acquisition of EGL, using AWS serverless made the transition to EEG’s common infrastructure and architecture more straightforward, and the system was integrated into their monitoring platform in only a few hours.
Flexible and Extensible
Code Wizards began implementing the new solution in Q4 of 2020 and launched their first platform release in March 2021. To provide maximum flexibility, the architecture was created to be modular and allow extension. This facilitates EGL’s need to respond to the market and innovate in esports.
Figure 1 – EGL’s simplified high-level architecture.
The platform divides all work into events that must be processed immediately and those where the work can be managed asynchronously.
Where work can be handled asynchronously, SQS event queues are used to allow Lambda serverless components to take that processing both in parallel and sequentially as needed. This enables the system to give maximum performance for end users while other functionality is invisibly managed in the background.
In the previous system, seeding a major tournament took up to one minute, and this work impacted players and users of the site. The new architecture platform takes less than a second and does not affect players because this work is performed asynchronously.
In addition, the new platform provides even more seeding algorithms and is extensible enough to have more added as required in future.
By utilizing AWS serverless technologies, the maintenance costs and overhead are massively decreased. There is no need for a team of system administrators to manage and patch individual virtual machines, as this is handled seamlessly within AWS Lambda.
Monitoring is also simplified; a code failure requiring a restart is now handled invisibly and resilience is built in, so moving between servers or even AWS Availability Zones (AZs) is now completely transparent and self-healing.
Over 12 months, the platform was completed with enough flexibility to modify the delivery schedule so that new features were added alongside the migrated features.
“The in-house teams were able to quickly understand the architecture and how to manage it because of the use of AWS serverless technologies,” says EEG CTO John Brackens. “With the new platform, we can move with esports trends and give players a world-beating experience, as well as being able to integrate the platform into our other offerings and tools. We have loved working with Code Wizards and AWS and can’t wait for the next stage of our journey together.”
Due to the power, scalability, and flexibility of using AWS, Lambda EEG is gaining from productivity boosts as developers can easily create, deploy, and maintain functionality.
EEG will use those benefits to integrate the platform into more games and their suite of products, including allowing all EEG’s ggCircuit-powered arenas to join and enjoy EGL powered tournaments.
Code Wizards – AWS Partner Spotlight
Code Wizards is an AWS Select Tier Services Partner and UK consultancy specializing in helping with games and esports requirements.