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  • On the college where I used to work, they setup an arena while I was there. I wasn't as involved on the project but I remember that for network we setup a direct connection from to the redundant gateway router (connected to fiber) to the eSports L3 switch that handled 22 stations and the server (we setup that our games were installed on a network share (G:\) on a dedicated host only for the arena  plus all the extra software that was setup to manage the play times and allowed games and that all the games installation for steam pointed to G:\, that way we removed the issue with game updates), We setup a 1:1 NAT pool or they worked with public addresses, right now I don't recall exactly what.  and if I remember correctly the L3 switch only had a couple of inbound ACL setup and no outbound. We didn't inspected the packages and we give them priority over other traffic on QoS (this was setup on the redundant line, not the main internet connection)

    With that setup we had a 1ms ping to the Toronto Exchange (we were 350 km away form Toronto) and on the month I was there we didn't have any issues

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    • Low latency and high reliability should be your priorities. I would recommend getting another fiber run with guaranteed uptime SLA. Speed should not be as important but should still be taken into consideration. Gaming does not actually take too much bandwidth other than downloading the games. Games do heavily rely on steady and fast connections to servers. Also, you should not have to worry about lot's of security. As said before you do not want DPI or unnecessary scanning of traffic. Keep things light and simple. I'd say most of what you mentioned and I reiterated, is good enough. 

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    • It depends on budget and how your network is structured. Vlan and prioritization may work well enough to start

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    • The other question, is whether these E-sports need internet access or whether it can all be LAN-ed out, as a LAN situation would obviously be far better. most of the major games right now though all require internet access :/

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    • On the college where I used to work, they setup an arena while I was there. I wasn't as involved on the project but I remember that for network we setup a direct connection from to the redundant gateway router (connected to fiber) to the eSports L3 switch that handled 22 stations and the server (we setup that our games were installed on a network share (G:\) on a dedicated host only for the arena  plus all the extra software that was setup to manage the play times and allowed games and that all the games installation for steam pointed to G:\, that way we removed the issue with game updates), We setup a 1:1 NAT pool or they worked with public addresses, right now I don't recall exactly what.  and if I remember correctly the L3 switch only had a couple of inbound ACL setup and no outbound. We didn't inspected the packages and we give them priority over other traffic on QoS (this was setup on the redundant line, not the main internet connection)

      With that setup we had a 1ms ping to the Toronto Exchange (we were 350 km away form Toronto) and on the month I was there we didn't have any issues

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    • Bweber93 wrote:

      The other question, is whether these E-sports need internet access or whether it can all be LAN-ed out, as a LAN situation would obviously be far better. most of the major games right now though all require internet access :/

      Yes, the stations will all need internet access as matches will be played over the internet rather than co-locating and playing LAN matches.

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    • What specs are the machines running? I am really interested in this idea. I would love to have seen an esports setup at ANY of the schools I went to. I wouldn't be good enough to play on them, but it would be really cool to watch!

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    • arichy2008 wrote:

      What specs are the machines running? I am really interested in this idea. I would love to have seen an esports setup at ANY of the schools I went to. I wouldn't be good enough to play on them, but it would be really cool to watch!

      The PC we were running were:

      • MSI MOBO. 
      • MSI GTX 1080TI for GPU.
      • CPU were AMD Ryzen, 5 or 7. (they were planing on going to 
      • I think we were at 16 or 32 Gb corsair RAMs.
      • MSI Optix 1440p 3ms screens.
      • SSD for OS and the games were on a network share on a dedicated host
      • Peripherals were Alienware (donations)
      • Water cooling for all the components except the GPU (the water cooled option for the GPU was way more expensive)

      The cost of each setup were around $1,400 US.

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    • I would imagine an Esports arena wouldn't be too difficult to set up network wise. Just a backup router/L3 and an access switch or two. If you wanted to get fancy you could etherchannel the access switches together for higher speed connectivity between them. But I'd imagine keeping the games locally for Esports wouldn't be too big of a problem, they probably don't take more than 8 GB a piece.

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    • Tukkineitor13 wrote:

      arichy2008 wrote:

      What specs are the machines running? I am really interested in this idea. I would love to have seen an esports setup at ANY of the schools I went to. I wouldn't be good enough to play on them, but it would be really cool to watch!

      The PC we were running were:

      • MSI MOBO. 
      • MSI GTX 1080TI for GPU.
      • CPU were AMD Ryzen, 5 or 7. (they were planing on going to 
      • I think we were at 16 or 32 Gb corsair RAMs.
      • MSI Optix 1440p 3ms screens.
      • SSD for OS and the games were on a network share on a dedicated host
      • Peripherals were Alienware (donations)
      • Water cooling for all the components except the GPU (the water cooled option for the GPU was way more expensive)

      The cost of each setup were around $1,400 US.

      Personally, I have had nothing but trouble with MSI, so good luck! Looks like your whole build is from them. Personally, I trust EVGA and ASUS more than Gigabite and MSI, but the Alienware peripherals are a nice touch. Sounds like a really nice setup overall. I can't really say much because I spent about the same on my machine overall and it is MUCH less hightech than those. 

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    • Tukkineitor13 wrote:

      On the college where I used to work, they setup an arena while I was there. I wasn't as involved on the project but I remember that for network we setup a direct connection from to the redundant gateway router (connected to fiber) to the eSports L3 switch that handled 22 stations and the server (we setup that our games were installed on a network share (G:\) on a dedicated host only for the arena  plus all the extra software that was setup to manage the play times and allowed games and that all the games installation for steam pointed to G:\, that way we removed the issue with game updates), We setup a 1:1 NAT pool or they worked with public addresses, right now I don't recall exactly what.  and if I remember correctly the L3 switch only had a couple of inbound ACL setup and no outbound. We didn't inspected the packages and we give them priority over other traffic on QoS (this was setup on the redundant line, not the main internet connection)

      With that setup we had a 1ms ping to the Toronto Exchange (we were 350 km away form Toronto) and on the month I was there we didn't have any issues

      Thanks for this. It seems you were quite in the loop despite not being hands on. A lot of this is similar to the plan I had in mind, I just wanted to cover all my bases and make sure I wasn't overlooking some aspect of the design. Also helps get management on-board if others have successfully implemented similar setups.

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    • Sounds like some nice rigs.  Out of curiosity, what was the point of using water-cooling?  To keep the ambient noise level down?  Glitz & Glam?

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    • Ethan6123 wrote:

      Sounds like some nice rigs.  Out of curiosity, what was the point of using water-cooling?  To keep the ambient noise level down?  Glitz & Glam?

      I think it was more because we could? xD. I think they went water cooling as they wanted the PC to last around 5 years (give or take), the space were the 20 PCs are is very small and closed off so there is a lot of noise and some issues with dissipation and they wanted something cool to show off. I wasn't on the project when they made the request for the PCs so I could only speculate. 

      I was mainly involved on the creations of the accounts (Carpal tunnel PTSD incoming), the purchase of the licenses and setting them up on the time system we used, setting up the test image (not the one to be deployed but the previous to test if everything worked as we wanted), the installation of the PCs and part of the furniture, some parts of the documentation and tracking of the project and testing (best part of it)

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    • No use from me, but to comment on the specs, those are some awesome esports computers!

      Usually, 16GB of RAM is enough. a 1080ti is crazy strong for esports computers, but that's awesome itself. Usually the typical esports place has the 1050's.

      I wish I had this when I was still in school.

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    • I've always built pcs with MSI mobos and have only ever had an issue when i set my memory's clock speed incorrectly and it wouldn't post. MSI is very particular and it will tell you that you did something wrong.

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    • BucDan wrote:

      No use from me, but to comment on the specs, those are some awesome esports computers!

      Usually, 16GB of RAM is enough. a 1080ti is crazy strong for esports computers, but that's awesome itself. Usually the typical esports place has the 1050's.

      I wish I had this when I was still in school.

      Honestly 8GB is plenty for most games. RAM is pretty expensive right now, so when I finally upgraded from my old i5 2500k I went from 16gb->8gb. It runs great. The GPU is more important than having 16gb

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    • Tukkineitor13 wrote:

      arichy2008 wrote:

      What specs are the machines running? I am really interested in this idea. I would love to have seen an esports setup at ANY of the schools I went to. I wouldn't be good enough to play on them, but it would be really cool to watch!

      The PC we were running were:

      • MSI MOBO. 
      • MSI GTX 1080TI for GPU.
      • CPU were AMD Ryzen, 5 or 7. (they were planing on going to 
      • I think we were at 16 or 32 Gb corsair RAMs.
      • MSI Optix 1440p 3ms screens.
      • SSD for OS and the games were on a network share on a dedicated host
      • Peripherals were Alienware (donations)
      • Water cooling for all the components except the GPU (the water cooled option for the GPU was way more expensive)

      The cost of each setup were around $1,400 US.

      The Specs we are getting in our setups are as follows:

      • Intel Core i7 8700K (processor)
      • 8GB G.Skill Ripjaw DDR4-3000 x 2 (RAM)
      • EVGA GTX 1080 8GB (Video)
      • M.2 256GB Intel 760P PCIE NVME SSD w/ 16GB Intel Optane Memory (HDD1)
      • 500GB WD Blue SATA-3 SSD (HDD2)

      I took these right off the delivery note from iBuyPower so I hope I put it in readable terms. Our budget was roughly 2k per unit.

      Edit: added "x 2" under RAM as each unit has two slots

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    • Stromlu1 wrote:

      Tukkineitor13 wrote:

      arichy2008 wrote:

      What specs are the machines running? I am really interested in this idea. I would love to have seen an esports setup at ANY of the schools I went to. I wouldn't be good enough to play on them, but it would be really cool to watch!

      The PC we were running were:

      • MSI MOBO. 
      • MSI GTX 1080TI for GPU.
      • CPU were AMD Ryzen, 5 or 7. (they were planing on going to 
      • I think we were at 16 or 32 Gb corsair RAMs.
      • MSI Optix 1440p 3ms screens.
      • SSD for OS and the games were on a network share on a dedicated host
      • Peripherals were Alienware (donations)
      • Water cooling for all the components except the GPU (the water cooled option for the GPU was way more expensive)

      The cost of each setup were around $1,400 US.

      The Specs we are getting in our setups are as follows:

      • Intel Core i7 8700K (processor)
      • 8GB G.Skill Ripjaw DDR4-3000 x 2 (RAM)
      • EVGA GTX 1080 8GB (Video)
      • M.2 256GB Intel 760P PCIE NVME SSD w/ 16GB Intel Optane Memory (HDD1)
      • 500GB WD Blue SATA-3 SSD (HDD2)

      I took these right off the delivery note from iBuyPower so I hope I put it in readable terms. Our budget was roughly 2k per unit.

      Edit: added "x 2" under RAM as each unit has two slots

      Those are also some nice specs.  It may be a little more horsepower in the CPU dept than necessary but should run like a champ.

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    • That would be a fun project to be a part of.

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    • Ashely118 wrote:

      That would be a fun project to be a part of.

      I must admit, we are geeking out a bit as the space gets a facelift and we start to get the equipment in.

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    • The Specs we are getting in our setups are as follows:

      • Intel Core i7 8700K (processor)
      • 8GB G.Skill Ripjaw DDR4-3000 x 2 (RAM)
      • EVGA GTX 1080 8GB (Video)
      • M.2 256GB Intel 760P PCIE NVME SSD w/ 16GB Intel Optane Memory (HDD1)
      • 500GB WD Blue SATA-3 SSD (HDD2)

      Hmm i wonder why the optane modules.

      My understanding is that optane modules dont help SSDs.

      Anyways this is almost the exact build i am working on for a personal rig except i am also adding a 4tb HDD for storage


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    • rlucree wrote:

      The Specs we are getting in our setups are as follows:

      • Intel Core i7 8700K (processor)
      • 8GB G.Skill Ripjaw DDR4-3000 x 2 (RAM)
      • EVGA GTX 1080 8GB (Video)
      • M.2 256GB Intel 760P PCIE NVME SSD w/ 16GB Intel Optane Memory (HDD1)
      • 500GB WD Blue SATA-3 SSD (HDD2)

      Hmm i wonder why the optane modules.

      My understanding is that optane modules dont help SSDs.

      Anyways this is almost the exact build i am working on for a personal rig except i am also adding a 4tb HDD for storage


      Yeah, Optane has no use right now if you already have SSDs

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    • 16GB will be enough, but no lower. The PC hardware should have no issue with streaming, hopefully the upload is strong. Sounds like a great setup for the players. I saw a couple people post about MSI not being the best option. Most of my builds are MSI and have had very little issue. Id also look at Mic/Headset. In my experience, the headset is a big deal, you don't want to be running around changning thresholds, or hearing gameplay calls from the player a few stations down. 

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    • the OP asked for a network idea and y'all talking about water cooling and gpu's

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    • My initial feeling is to have our ISP bring in another fiber run so that I can completely isolate the E-sports network from the existing production network used by the rest of the university to eliminate worries of bandwidth sharing/latency due to traffic load.

      ^^this is correct.

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    • rlucree wrote:

      The Specs we are getting in our setups are as follows:

      • Intel Core i7 8700K (processor)
      • 8GB G.Skill Ripjaw DDR4-3000 x 2 (RAM)
      • EVGA GTX 1080 8GB (Video)
      • M.2 256GB Intel 760P PCIE NVME SSD w/ 16GB Intel Optane Memory (HDD1)
      • 500GB WD Blue SATA-3 SSD (HDD2)

      Hmm i wonder why the optane modules.

      My understanding is that optane modules dont help SSDs.

      Anyways this is almost the exact build i am working on for a personal rig except i am also adding a 4tb HDD for storage


      I didn't personally spec out the machines, but my understanding is the optane modules came in free. We were trying to load them up as much as possible to do it right the first time since we may never get the money again, so we took it.

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    • Minimize protocol overhead, and isolate the network from the rest. You had the right idea, and picked the right answer :)

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    • I didn't personally spec out the machines, but my understanding is the optane modules came in free. We were trying to load them up as much as possible to do it right the first time since we may never get the money again, so we took it.

      Fair enough. If its free just throw it in haha.

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    • My college had just installed a new wifi the first year I started.  We were unable to even play starcraft unless it was the weekend due to latency issues. 

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    • Those monitors would bother me if i was a contestant. Please make sure you use the display port 1.2 cables for it and put it at 144hz. How are you going to manage the computers?

      The real question is the league and how they intend to compete. I imagine it'll probably have each school traveling to the local arenas (local arena network, heh ) and having the match through lan. Even if thats the case, I would still suggest a separate ISP for because the next step is probably streaming and hosting the event.

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    • Wish i went to uni there....i was lucky to get a computer!

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    • jonskillsky wrote:

      16GB will be enough, but no lower. The PC hardware should have no issue with streaming, hopefully the upload is strong. Sounds like a great setup for the players. I saw a couple people post about MSI not being the best option. Most of my builds are MSI and have had very little issue. Id also look at Mic/Headset. In my experience, the headset is a big deal, you don't want to be running around changning thresholds, or hearing gameplay calls from the player a few stations down. 

      To be fair, I only said something because I have had 2 MSI GPUs and one MSI Mobo. All three devices ended up with fatal hardware flaws that happened JUST outside the warranty. The mobo ended up shorting when a fan cut a wire and it fried the CPU. The first GPU overheated from standard use(Have had 3 GPUs since and none have overheated with the same fans. The following GPU even had all the same specs, but it was asus. no problems with it.) And the 2nd GPU had a problem with rendering and it turned out to be poorly made Circuitry. That is the only reason I will never buy MSI. I have never had issues with EVGA, besides one DOA. I have never had an issue with an ASUS device, and as they are mostly the cheapest in high end graphics cards anyways, I will never purchase anything else. My experience has made me hate MSI, but if it works for you, then please feel free to continue using them. 

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    • Tukkineitor13 wrote:

      ... and the server (we setup that our games were installed on a network share (G:\) on a dedicated host only for the arena  plus all the extra software that was setup to manage the play times and allowed games and that all the games installation for steam pointed to G:\, that way we removed the issue with game updates),

      I don't want to hijack but can you shed light on the installation directory being on network storage?

      Was each PC using its own share space on the server or all sharing the same installation files? Any time I have experimented with shared installation files I run into locked file issues or other problems. I really couldn't get to the point of seeing if being on a remote host had much impact as far as performance due to the issues.

      Thanks

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    • That's interesting. I didn't know colleges would be investing in something like this. Has anyone taken one of those classes?

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    • with the rise of E-sports being on television instead just streamed on twitch and whatnot its similar to setting up a normal sports team. they could potentially earn money off a skilled esports team.

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    • "sports"

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    • Ryan120913 wrote:

      Tukkineitor13 wrote:

      ... and the server (we setup that our games were installed on a network share (G:\) on a dedicated host only for the arena  plus all the extra software that was setup to manage the play times and allowed games and that all the games installation for steam pointed to G:\, that way we removed the issue with game updates),

      I don't want to hijack but can you shed light on the installation directory being on network storage?

      Was each PC using its own share space on the server or all sharing the same installation files? Any time I have experimented with shared installation files I run into locked file issues or other problems. I really couldn't get to the point of seeing if being on a remote host had much impact as far as performance due to the issues.

      Thanks

      We used a single installation on a shared network drive but we used a round robin system for the Steam licenses. Steam gets funky when using the same license to run the program on two or more instances. we also setup the Steam library on installation to pull the games from the share drive

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    • Tukkineitor13 wrote:

      Ryan120913 wrote:

      Tukkineitor13 wrote:

      ... and the server (we setup that our games were installed on a network share (G:\) on a dedicated host only for the arena  plus all the extra software that was setup to manage the play times and allowed games and that all the games installation for steam pointed to G:\, that way we removed the issue with game updates),

      I don't want to hijack but can you shed light on the installation directory being on network storage?

      Was each PC using its own share space on the server or all sharing the same installation files? Any time I have experimented with shared installation files I run into locked file issues or other problems. I really couldn't get to the point of seeing if being on a remote host had much impact as far as performance due to the issues.

      Thanks

      We used a single installation on a shared network drive but we used a round robin system for the Steam licenses. Steam gets funky when using the same license to run the program on two or more instances. we also setup the Steam library on installation to pull the games from the share drive

      Okay, so the games are not being launched from the share, just LAN hosted for dramatically faster installs/updates. I don't think I knew steam had the ability to configure a local download source. Very cool I'll remember that for my next LAN. Never tried logging in a steam profile on multiple PCs. I can imagine they have something making sure your profile isn't loaded on every PC in a LAN to prevent abuse.

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    • You kids now-a-days and your "eSports" arenas.... Sheeeesh!  When I was a kid, we had to bring a router/server/"flux capacitor" down so they would cancel a class so we could have a lab to play in.  Having a dedicated room takes the "Sport" out of eSport  :)

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    • It must be sweet to get paid to play games all day. "Find something you love and the get someone to pay you for it"

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    • " 16GB Intel Optane Memory "

      Useless, especially with an SSD already in place. Also no point in getting the 8700K unless you do plan to overclock which you should not do anyways for the use it will have. the 8700 will be fast enough since your not doing SLI or anything. From the money saved on those just get some 512G NVme and skip the other 500G HD.

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    • Please provide pictures as this project takes shape!

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    • Usually, esports competitors bring their own peripherals (mouse, keyboard, headphones).  I suggest don't buy those to save some cash.  

      Instead buy usb hubs or extensions so the players can easily plug and remove their own devices.

      -Buy the best utp cables and gigabit switches you can buy.  Having a separate fiber run is a must like you said.

      Good Luck!

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    • Most new motherboards have more than enough built in USB ports to cover the periperals so hubs should not be needed at all.

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    • Think the idea of hubs would be better, Would save the hassle of having to go to the back of the machine by having the hub at the side or in-front of the machine.

      Also 1 for looking into the headsets and mic's, nothing worse than having background noise on streams.

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    • smogdog wrote:

      Those monitors would bother me if i was a contestant. Please make sure you use the display port 1.2 cables for it and put it at 144hz. How are you going to manage the computers?

      The real question is the league and how they intend to compete. I imagine it'll probably have each school traveling to the local arenas (local arena network, heh ) and having the match through lan. Even if thats the case, I would still suggest a separate ISP for because the next step is probably streaming and hosting the event.

      To address both points you make here: 1. Monitors were not included in the specs as we were informed by the coach/program director that a sponsorship deal of sorts had been made with ASUS which will provide the monitors. 2. I had the same preconceptions as you about the structure of the competitions, however, I was told they actually just schedule a match time with the opponent and play across the internet, which seems a little counter-intuitive to me if you're looking for lowest possible latency. 

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