Mixer rewards viewers with new Channel Progression feature

TL;DR - Previously announced last November as part of the platform’s Season 2 update, Mixer unveiled Channel Progression to desktop users this week.  The new feature is available to all streamers on the platform, and rewards viewers for watching, chatting, following, and subscribing to streamers.  Mixer is considering rewarding additional actions, and allowing streamers to elect which actions are rewarded on their channels. Viewers can quickly see their rank within a channel, but Mixer hasn’t yet shared the benefits of the ranking system for the viewer.  Mixer was clear that this release is an early version, and there will be updates pushed in the coming weeks.

Full story - https://blog.mixer.com/2019/04/30/mixer-channel-progression-rolling-out-on-5-1/

Role-players are giving GTA 5 a huge boost on Twitch

TL;DR - GTA V cleared 52 million hours watched in March thanks to the surging popularity of a role-playing mod that’s been embraced by streamers.  It’s up 5x over the same period last year, and ahead of the likes of DotA 2 and Apex Legends on Twitch. It’s worth noting GTA V came out about six years ago.  Summit1g is responsible for almost 10 million of those March hours, but he’s far from the only contributor. This has led to speculation that Rockstar Games may implement an official role-playing mode for GTA V and future games in the franchise.

Full story - https://www.pcgamesn.com/grand-theft-auto-v/gta-5-roleplay-twitch

Rocket League joins the Epic Games family

TL;DR - Epic Games has acquired Rocket League developer Psyonix.  The developer issued a statement, reassuring fans of the hugely popular game that the Epic acquisition won’t change any of the things the community has come to love about the game.  It almost certainly means Rocket League will be coming to the Epic Games store at some point, but that doesn’t seem likely anytime soon. The deal is expected to officially close around the end of May / early June.

Full story - https://www.shacknews.com/article/111532/epic-games-acquires-rocket-league-developer-psyonix

Full Sail and Magic Gaming ink partnership deal

TL;DR - Last week we shared the news that our neighbor, Full Sail University, would be opening their esports arena, The Fortress, in just a few short months.  We’re very excited to also share that they’ve formed a partnership arrangement with Magic Gaming, the NBA 2K League branch of the Orlando Magic. The multi-year deal will see Full Sail advertised on Magic Gaming’s virtual court during games, with both organizations producing content to be shared at their respective facilities.  The two also plan to host esports events around the Orlando area to promote their brands and the destination as a whole.

Full story - https://esportsobserver.com/magic-gaming-full-sail/

New Borderlands 3 Twitch extensions promises bountiful loot to loyal viewers

TL;DR - Borderlands 3 is set to release in mid-September this year but Twitch viewers can already begin racking up piles of in-game loot.  By enabling the Borderlands 3 ECHOcast Twitch extension and linking up accounts (SHIFT + Twitch), viewers watching Borderlands 3 lives-streams can start acquiring gear straight away.  With the extension, viewers can view players’ inventories and loadouts, and interact with other elements within the game during the stream. When rare chests pop up, those same viewers can snag the gear the streamer reveals in the chest.  The official gameplay reveal was on May 1, but viewers can expect additional peeks at the game leading up to release.

Full story - https://www.shacknews.com/article/111502/borderlands-3-twitch-extension-gives-loot-ahead-of-game-debut

First 5 Call of Duty franchise cities announced

TL;DR - Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick revealed this week the initial five cities to stake claim to a Call of Duty esports franchise.  All five were picked up by Overwatch League team owners, which was largely by design considering Overwatch is a Blizzard asset as well. The first cities are Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Paris, and Toronto.  We’ve yet to see a hard confirmation on the price paid for these slots, but it’s safe to say it’s within the $25 - 40M range, and above the price of franchises in other esports leagues. In the new system, franchise teams are guaranteed a position in the league, whereas the current CWL system requires yearly qualifiers.  Kick-off is expected early next year, with a confirmation of the date to come later in 2019.

Full story - https://www.dexerto.com/call-of-duty/activision-reveal-first-five-city-locations-franchised-call-of-duty-league-595182

Hearthstone’s Twitch viewership sees boost from World Championship

TL;DR - This week’s big Hearthstone event drew 3.1 million hours watched on Twitch, up from last year’s 2.4 million hours.  Average viewership, however, was flat against the same event in 2018. What this tells us is that despite viewership remaining flat, those watching watched for longer stretches of time.  This is an important metric because Blizzard set out late last year to overhaul the structure of Hearthstone esports. The game remains the top TCG on Twitch, but MTG Arena is quickly gaining share and moving up the directory.

Full story - https://esportsobserver.com/hwc-twitch-2019/

New Day9tv MTG Arena series coming to Twitch

TL;DR - MTG Arena producer, Wizard of the Coast, has teamed up with Twitch streamer and MTG enthusiast Day9tv, on a 5-part biweekly series live-streamed on Twitch.  The title of the show is “What the Deck”, and the premise is that viewers and fans can submit pre-constructed decks with highly uncommon win conditions for Day9 and his guests to use against each other.  Guests will include MTG pros and other streamers, competing with the fan-made decks exclusively for bragging rights. Show episodes will be uploaded to Day9’s YouTube channel after each live show concludes on Twitch.

Full story - https://dotesports.com/mtg/news/wizards-of-the-coast-producing-day9tv-mtg-arena-deck-series

In case you missed it…

Just about a year ago, Twitch launched an internal sponsorship program whereby companies could post sponsorship deals to a listing from which streamers could pick and choose what suited them best.  The program is called Bounty Boards, and it’s a fascinating concept that holds tons of potential - at least in my humble opinion.

Not much has been said about Bounty Boards since it launched, but we’ve spoken with streamers who’ve participated in bounties and their opinions vary.  But the way the bounties are offered lends itself to a wide set of opinions, since the bounties are adjusted based on the overall stats of the streamers viewing them.  In other words, you can land some fairly large bounties if you’re a fairly large streamer, but those exact same bounties can seem hardly worth your time if you’re a significantly smaller streamer.

This week, Reckful shed some light on what bounties look like for someone further up the streaming hierarchy.  And it’s insane. For example, he could earn over $8,000 just for streaming an hour of League of Legends.  We did some asking around and learned that your average “smaller” streamer could earn a whopping $4 for that same bounty.

If you’re planning to play League anyway then it’s worth it to claim the bounty and make four bucks.  But if League isn’t in a streamer’s rotation, then it’s not a game we’d consider worthwhile to stream for an hour for only four dollars.  The risk of getting buried in that directory is just too great for such a small payout.

Nevertheless, we remain firm on our stance that Bounty Boards have amazing potential.  As Twitch fine tunes the feature and as more brands take advantage of bounties, it’s highly likely the system will be more friendly to streamers of varying levels.  Until then, if you can earn a few extra bucks for doing what you do, then where’s the harm?