Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of November 4, 2019
100 Thieves member CouRage departs Twitch for YouTube Live
TL;DR - Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, 100 Thieves members and Fortnite streamer with over two million followers on Twitch, announced he’s leaving the platform for YouTube. As part of his announcement he stressed he’ll remain with 100 Thieves post-Twitch departure. His first YouTube live stream took place on November 5th. CouRage cited the ability to “create more content and engage with [his] fans in real time” as the drivers for the decision.
Facebook reportedly developing a Discord-like chat feature
TL;DR - Facebook is reportedly working on a “gaming group chats” component that mirrors features many gamers would recognize from Discord. Currently, that chat rooms appear to have video and audio capabilities, and additional participants can be invited using links that expire after a set amount of time. Paired with Facebook’s game streaming service, these gaming group chats could add an interesting element to Facebook’s overall streaming offering.
Blizzard rewarding Twitch Hearthstone viewers with early access to its autobattler
TL;DR - Fans of the autobattler genre, who also enjoy Blizzard’s Hearthstone universe, can get early access to Hearthstone Battlegrounds merely by watching Twitch streams. Beginning immediately through November 12, watching any stream in the Hearthstone directory on Twitch will give viewers a chance at the game’s autobattler derivative set to go into open beta on the 12th. Viewers’ Twitch and Battle.net accounts must be linked, and Twitch Drops must also be enabled. From there it’s as simple as watching, and waiting.
Twitch taps former NASCAR executive to head up sponsorships
TL;DR - Twitch has hired Lou Garate, former senior vice president of partnership marketing for NASCAR, to head up sponsorship sales. Garate will sit in Twitch’s NYC office, where he’ll oversee partnerships with entertainment organizations, primarily within the esports space. He comes to Twitch with over twenty years experience developing brand-centric partnerships.
Twitch partners with analytics platform Moat to better measure advertising impact
TL;DR - Twitch has teamed up with analytics platform Moat in an effort to better understand and measure its “unblockable” SureStream ads. SureStream is the platform that delivers those often lengthy unskippable ads during your favorite Twitch streams. With the Moat partnership, Twitch will be able to measure viewability, in-view time, invalid traffic, and attention metrics among many others. This data will then be made available to advertisers, enabling them to better design and target their ad content on Twitch.
Twitch fights back in its legal battle with Phantoml0rd
TL;DR - Twitch has filed a nine-point objection to the judge’s ruling in the James “Phantoml0rd” Varga case, that the $50,000 limited liability clause in the streamer’s contract was “unconscionable”. In the filing, Twitch claims that Varga was aware of Own3D’s financial challenges and was likely to be out of business in short order - something he claims he knew nothing of. This rebuttal goes on to claim that since Varga was aware, that influenced his decision to move to Twitch. It goes on to say it did not deceive Varga in any way in courting him to the platform. Twitch also claims that every point in its contract was negotiable at the time, and that it was “standard practice” for agreements to be revised before being signed. The article goes on to cover all nine points raised, and if you’re following this case it’s certainly worth a read to stay current on the happenings.
PUBG’s PC player base is reportedly down 80% off of launch
TL;DR - PUBG, once the second most-watched game on Twitch, has seen a sharp and steady decline in its player base since its peak in January 2018. At the time, the game enjoyed over 1.5M players worldwide. That number, according to Steamcharts, has since dropped to just under 300K - still enough to keep it firmly in the top 3 games played on Steam. Fortnite is obviously a major factor in this. But it’s important to note there have been hacking issues and an overall dearth of content that has driven players elsewhere. The PUBG dev team has worked to address these issues but it may be too little too late at this point. All that said, PUBG Mobile is absolutely killing it. It’s one of the most popular mobile games in the world at the moment and shows no signs of slowing.
FanDuel is now allowing esports betting in select markets
TL;DR - FanDuel has become the first online sportsbook to allow esports betting. Gambling and esports enthusiasts were able to wager on the outcome of LoL World Championship between G2 Esports and FunPlus Phoenix, with the catch that they live in New Jersey. That state’s law does prohibit esports gambling, but only domestically. And since those matches were held in Germany, Spain, and France, they were exempt and thus gambling was permitted. The US Supreme Court ruled in June 2018 that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was a no-go, thus opening up the ability for states to address sports gambling on their own. New Jersey was one of the first to act, and that’s how we’ve arrived at this development with FanDuel.
Latest Chinese gaming regulations aim to address addiction among minors
TL;DR - On November 6, the Chinese government began imposing new regulations developed by its Administration on Press and Publication. Specifically, anyone under the age of 18 will be restricted from playing online video games between the hours of 10pm and 8am. During weekdays, those same individuals may only play for 90 minutes per day, and for only 3 hours on weekends and holidays. Gamers between the ages of 8 and 16 will also be restricted from spending more than $29 per month in “online gaming marketplaces”. From 16 - 18 years of age that limit is increased to $57 per month.
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