• SKT T1 making the move from Azubu to Twitch
  • Hearthstone comes up big with new tournament and more DreamHack!
  • eSports going daily to ESPN in Brazil

The big news coming this week is SKT T1’s move from Azubu to Twitch, and the ELEAGUE Major breaking the standing record for concurrent viewers on a single Twitch channel. Hearthstone scored big with greater DreamHack inclusion, along with an announcement from Blizzard about a massive upcoming tournament with an interesting twist. To round it out, Twitch continues an impressive streak of near back-to-back weeks of enhancements with one that’s left us scratching our heads. Things that make you say “hmm…”

SKT DITCHES AZUBU IN FAVOR OF TWITCH

TL;DR: SKT, reigning LCS champs, have left Azubu and begun streaming on Twitch on a trial basis, according to Twitch Korea’s representative. It’s only speculation at this point, but most believe they and others left Azubu because of payment issues with the platform.

Full story: https://dotesports.com/league-of-legends/sk-teleco...

CS:GO ELEAGUE MAJOR BREAKS TWITCH VIEWER RECORD

TL;DR: The final game of last week’s CS:GO ELeague Major pulled in a record number of viewers on Twitch, peaking at nearly 1.03 million.

Full story: http://streamernews.tv/2017/01/30/the-eleague-majo...

MORE HEARTHSTONE COMING TO DREAMHACK

TL;DR: DreamHack announced it will be expanding its Hearthstone Grand Prix tournament, bringing it to additional DH events, and upping the prize pool to around $185k for the year.

Full story: http://esportsobserver.com/grand-prix-expansion-me...

NEW HEARTHSTONE GLOBAL GAMES TOURNAMENT SPORTING $300K PRIZE POOL

TL;DR: The new tournament, facilitated by Blizzard, will include teams of four players each, across 48 countries, with a prize pool of $300k. The top ranked player in each region will automatically qualify, while the remaining three will be chosen by the community.

Full story: https://esports.yahoo.com/hearthstone-global-games...

ESPN BRAZIL PARTNERS WITH ESL

TL;DR: ESPN will soon begin broadcasting competitive matches of CS:GO, LoL, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Clash Royale (!) from the ESL Brazil Premier League. The broadcasts will be five days a week and will also include streaming through other ESPN outlets.

Full story: http://esportsobserver.com/espn-brazil-partners-es...

TWITCH ADDS SUPPORT BUTTON FOR PRIME MEMBERS

TL;DR: Twitch rolled out a “support” button for Twitch Prime members for some broadcasters that will allow for them to, wait for it...voluntarily watch the ads they paid not to watch to “further support” the streamer. According to Twitch, Prime members were requesting this feature. Ok.

Full story: http://streamernews.tv/2017/02/01/twitch-adds-supp...

TWITCH UNVEILS COMMUNITIES

TL;DR: Announced at a PAX South town hall, Twitch will be launching a “communities” feature that will serve as a directory of sorts for digging deeper into certain games. One such example would allow viewers to quickly find speedrunners for a specific game, utilizing the Twitch hashtag system.

Full story: http://streamersquare.com/twitch-announces-communi...

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

As the esports industry grows and matures, just like any relatively young industry, there will come growing pains of various sorts. Add in the dynamic of the internet, along with a primarily younger demographic, and behavior patterns will start to emerge.

There’ve been several cases in recent years of, let’s just say, less than savory behavior coming from the community directed at certain demographics. What’s truly unfortunate is that every member of this community is here because of a common bond - we all enjoy gaming. Sadly there are those that choose to ignore this and seek to marginalize otherwise like-minded people for ridiculous reasons. If “reasons” is even the correct word for it.

The gaming community can and will move on despite these blemishes. It’s something that won’t be stopped for absurdity and it’s a place that really any person can find their niche. And that’s exactly what Kathy Chiang has done at the University of California Irvine (UCI). Chiang is working at UCI’s new esports center, a first of its kind in the country, where she’s also heading up her own gaming organization.

You can read more about the UCI arena, female inclusion in gaming, and Kathy Chiang here. It’s great to see Kathy doing something she loves and giving others an opportunity to be a part of an incredible community at the same time.