Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of October 21, 2019
Shroud announces his move to Mixer
TL;DR - Shroud, the third biggest streamer on Twitch, announced this week he’ll be departing Twitch for Mixer as an exclusive partner. Shroud is known for his insane FPS gameplay, often referred to as the “human aimbot”, for his uncanny ability to just never miss. As with Ninja’s announcement, specific terms of the deal were not disclosed and likely never will be. However it’s clear Mixer is hoping to grow its viewership base by sniping top talent from competing platforms.
Mixer nabs Destiny streamer Gothalion from Twitch
TL;DR - In yet another power play by Twitch rival Mixer, the streaming platform has landed a third big name, this time from the Destiny community. Beginning October 29, Gothalion will begin streaming exclusively on Mixer, and interested viewers can enjoy a complimentary one-month subscription to his channel. Gothalion commented that he was looking forward to building a partnership with the Mixer team, and having more input in the direction of the platform.
Twitch has begun testing Watch Parties feature with select streamers
TL;DR - Watch Parties is a new feature that allows streamers to watch Prime Video content with their viewers, if those viewers also have Amazon Prime. The full Prime Video catalog is not available for this feature, at least not yet. The selection includes: Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Mission Impossible: Fallout, and Pokemon. During the test the feature is only available in the US, and only for a select group of streamers. Twitch and Amazon have plans to broaden that test group over time.
Fortnite’s Black Hole event set viewership records across multiple platforms
TL;DR - The two-day event which kicked off the start of season eleven for Fortnite, also set multiple records in the process. In what’s being billed as one of the biggest gaming events to-date, the event dubbed “The End” managed to draw more than seven million viewers across platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and even Twitter. Cumulatively on Twitch there were more than 1.7M viewers, a “peak concurrent” record for a single game category on the platform. It was the most viewed gaming event on Twitter, capturing 42.8M views and 50.7M minutes watched. On YouTube the numbers were even higher, with 4.3M concurrent viewers across all channels.
Former Zynga head of marketing to assume CMO role at Twitch
TL;DR - Twitch has hired former Zynga CMO, Doug Scott, as its new CMO - a position that’s been empty since July. Scott has held positions at BandPage, DeNA, EA, and was also an advisor on YouTube Music. Scott joins at an interesting time for Twitch, having just undertaken an extensive rebranding as it continues to look beyond gaming content.
Caffeine targeting non-gaming segment with rapper Offset talent acquisition
TL;DR - Caffeine announced this week it has signed Offset to its growing talent pool. The rapper and esports investor will be streaming two shows on the platform, one in which he’s gaming and the other which will be called Bet with Set. The latter will feature Offset competing with other celebrities in a series of challenges of some sort. The details weren’t immediately shared. This acquisition supports the prevailing theory that Caffeine is looking to diversify beyond gaming early and quickly to better its competitive position against Twitch and Mixer.
Blizzard hires former Microsoft / Xbox executive as general manager
TL;DR - Mike Ybarra left Microsoft a month ago and announced via Twitter this week he’s joined Blizzard Entertainment as executive vice president and general manager. During his two decade plus tenure at Microsoft, Ybarra took on the role of Xbox executive, and played a major role in the direction and development of Mixer. Ybarra was often the public-facing liaison for Xbox, where he would handle press questions and chat with gamers on his Mixer live streams. He’ll officially start at Blizzard on November 4, where it’s expected he’s going to focus on polishing Blizzard’s now tarnished and declining image.
Magic: The Gathering esports continues delivering Twitch viewers
TL;DR - MtG’s recent Mythic Championship V event posted some of the best viewership stats the franchise has seen on Twitch. The addition of its Rivals League on top of the existing Magic Pro League has helped to reignite interest in the game’s esports efforts. Peak viewership hit just over 117K, the third highest for the year, but leagues above the tabletop streams which netted only about a sixth as many views. These results, combined with the game’s trending growth, demonstrate it can go toe-to-toe with other CCGs like Hearthstone.
Gen.G to assist University of Kentucky in developing esports program
TL;DR - Gen.G Esports has teamed up with the University of Kentucky to develop its esports and overall gaming programs. Gen.G’s expertise will aid in talent recruitment, research opportunities, and professional development for the university’s students and alumni. UK also announced plans to host various launch events for its new program throughout the US in the current academic year. As part of the arrangement, the two organizations will host a wide assortment of industry participants, as well as a spring conference in 2020, live streams, and more.
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