Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of December 9, 2019
Twitch circles the wagons, securing three of its top streamers in exclusive deals
TL;DR - Twitch has moved to lock down exclusive streaming arrangements with LIRIK, timthetatman, and DrLupo - its 23rd, 7th, and 11th ranked streamers in terms of follow count. This is the first move of its kind on Twitch’s part, as it’s always relied on its market-leading position to retain talent. Clearly the recent acquisitions by Mixer, YouTube, and even Facebook have rattled the cage.
Mixer’s investment in Shroud nets new viewers for the platform
TL;DR - While Shroud’s overall viewership was down compared to his time at Twitch, the streamer is bringing new viewers to the platform - something that’s surely a big win for the streaming platform. Prior to coming to Mixer, Shroud’s viewership was more than 1.5 times the entirety of Mixer’s viewership. He sacrificed nearly ⅔ of his total audience in the move, dropping from about 720K unique viewers to just over 230K post-departure. However, more than half of his November viewers had not watched any content on the platform the month prior - a trend Mixer would surely like to see continue.
Twitch partners with Epic Games and the NFL on new Twitch Rivals Fortnite competition
TL;DR - The NFL Players’ Association (NFLPA) has joined forces with Twitch and Epic Games to launch the Twitch Rivals Streamer Bowl, a three-part event pairing streamers and NFL athletes in a charity Fortnite competition. The duos tournament will host a prize pool of $500K, and will stream live from Miami during Super Bowl week in February. The NFL players can also vie for the “Best Fortnite Player in the League” award during the NFLPA Open which takes place in mid-January.
Minecraft tallied over 100 billion YouTube views last year alone
TL;DR - YouTube’s 2019 year-in-review revealed that 8-year old Minecraft still has what it takes to be #1. Videos of the game racked up over 100 billion views last year, putting it firmly at the top of a very crowded pile. Fortnite was a distant second, just shy of 61 billion views, although still an impressive number. Minecraft competitor Roblox claimed the #5 spot, with nearly 30 billion views. Rock Star Games’s Grand Theft Auto was the third place contender, hitting almost 37 billion video views.
Esports to be included for the first time in Sports Emmy Awards
TL;DR - The 41st instance of the Sports Emmy Awards will, for the first time, include an award for outstanding esports coverage. The annual event recognizes the best of televised American sports throughout the year. While this is the first time the sport has received its own category, it has been featured in the past through various other categories. Riot Games was recognized in 2017 for outstanding live graphic design for the opening ceremony of LoL Worlds. The event will take place in May in New York City, but an exact date is yet to be announced.
AI tournament platform Game.tv closes on $25M in new funding
TL;DR - Intel Capital led the Series A round, with the funding earmarked for further developing Game.tv’s mobile gaming communities, and enhancing the capabilities of its Tourney product. Tourney is a web app that allows users to spin up and manage mobile tournaments via Discord. Game.tv’s tech has already hosted more than 10K tournaments since launch.
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