Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of September 23, 2019
Logitech acquires Streamlabs
TL;DR - Logitech and Streamlabs have come to terms on an $89M acquisition, which would give Logitech, primarily a hardware manufacturer, access to Streamlabs suite of streaming software tools. Streamlabs claims it works with 70% of Twitch’s streaming community, and collectively with a total of about 15M streamers across all platforms. The full terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s expected Logitech’s equipment, such as its Blue Yeti microphones, will integrate more seamlessly with Streamlabs’ software in the very near future.
Mobcrush brings instant replay to streaming with ReplayEngine
TL;DR - Mobcrush’s newest feature, ReplayEngine, entered open beta this week. ReplayEngine uses “machine vision-driven AI” to automatically pick out and grab highlights during live streams, which it turns into “Action Replays”. These replays can then be broadcast picture-in-picture (PiP) style to the streamer’s audience, providing a steady flow of additional content during an already live broadcast. The tool makes social sharing simple as well for audience engagement while offline. PiP Action Replays will initially be limited to Fortnite, but ReplayEngine is also compatible with PUBG, Apex Legends, and Rocket League. In queue are CoD: Modern Warfare, and Destiny 2: Shadowkeep - both of which should be included in October.
Mixers continues to polish its mobile app experience
TL;DR - Mixer showed some love for its iOS and Android apps with a recent update that addressed some particularly pesky bugs. Users had been reporting an inability to log in which should be resolved in this latest update. Additionally, the Mixplay feature is now available for offline streams, while the overall UI for offline streams received a light makeover.
Twitch rolls out brand and UI overhaul hours before TwitchCon kicks off
TL;DR - Twitch pushed a major overhaul to its branding and UI just ahead of this past weekend’s TwitchCon festivities. Most notably, the iconic Twitch purple was lightened and made brighter than its predecessor. Streamers now have access to a Creator Color tool which allows them to customize the border color around their profiles in various places on the platform. Feelings on the changes have been mixed across social media and at TwitchCon, as some have felt the new font choice for the site and for chat was too much of a shift from what users had grown accustomed to.
NICKMERCS inks exclusive streaming deal with Twitch
TL;DR - FaZe Clan’s NICKMERCS signed a multi-year exclusive streaming agreement with Twitch last week, which was announced just prior to TwitchCon where he was on-site engaging with his fans. His streams consistently rank 3rd in the Fortnite directory, which explains why Twitch was keen to lock the streamer in for the long haul. Overall Fortnite viewership has been steadily declining, yet it remains firmly near or on top of the main directory daily.
Twitch highlights new features in the works at TwitchCon 2019
TL;DR - At its opening ceremony at TwitchCon in San Diego, Twitch unveiled a handful of new features it has planned for the coming months and into 2020. In November, it will launch Twitch Studio which is meant to ease the process of going live for creators joining the platform. For October, the ability to subscribe to a channel via iOS will go live. Also in October, Twitch’s new Creator Dashboard will launch, giving streamers “quick action” tools within their browser. And, for 2020, Twitch will roll out Channel Points, Mod View, and some much needed changes to how ads work on the platform.
MTG Arena coming to The Collegiate StarLeague
TL;DR - The CSL announced this week MTG Arena will join its growing roster of esports titles. CSL consists of 55,000 students across 1,800 schools in North America. MTG Arena registration is open through October 13, and costs students nothing. The available scholarship pool for the upcoming season will be $50,000, and teams of three each will compete over 16 weeks. The full season will be streamed on Twitch beginning October 19.
TwitchCon 2020 dates and locations published
TL;DR - At the conclusion of day one of TwitchCon, the company revealed the dates and locations for both the NA and EU 2020 events. TwitchCon will thankfully return to San Diego for the third installment in the city, from September 25 - 27. The European audience will need to travel to Amsterdam (just wait on those clips…) from May 2 - 3 to enjoy their local TwitchCon flavor. Tickets are not on sale yet, but that announcement is sure to come in due time.
All Call of Duty Global League franchises are officially filled for the upcoming season
TL;DR - Activision Blizzard’s upcoming Call of Duty Global League has officially closed off franchise opportunities, with twelve spots filled for its inaugural season. All matches will be hosted in the teams’ home markets beginning in 2020. Ten of the twelve teams’ owners are also OWL team owners, making for an interesting crossover dynamic. The final roster of teams includes: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Florida, London, Minnesota, New York, Paris, Seattle, Toronto, and Los Angeles x2.
Twitch contract ruled unconscionable by judge in Phantoml0rd case
TL;DR - Phantoml0rd’s case, which is being heard in the Superior Court of California, is starting to bear some fruit. Judge Karnow ruled that the limited liability clause in Twitch’s partner contract was unconscionable, meaning the $50,000 limit on damages was uncharacteristically one-sided. The judge’s decision was based on the fact that the streamer was making anywhere from $5,000 - 10,000 per month, and the limit proposed given the term of the agreement was unfairly in favor of Twitch. Other claims made by Phantoml0rd were struck down by the judge, including the one where he claimed he did not read Twitch’s partner agreement because he “didn’t know he could scroll down”. Really. The involved parties will now enter a case management discussion to determine next steps.
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