Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of February 17, 2020

Twitch poised to clear 40M monthly active viewers by 2021

TL;DR - In a new report published by eMarketer, Twitch is predicted to surpass 40 million monthly active viewers by next year. If this prediction were to become reality, that would mean Twitch would grow its viewership by over 14% in 2020, up from just over 37M monthly viewers. The report goes out as far as 2023, by which time it predicts Twitch will reach 47M viewers, however the platform’s annual growth will continue to slow. Twitch grew nearly 25% last year, a marked difference from what’s predicted for 2020.

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Shroud has hit the 1 million follower milestone on Mixer

TL;DR - Shroud has become only the second streamer on Mixer to amass 1M followers. While 1M followers is an impressive achievement, he’s still about 2M followers behind Ninja, who holds the top spot on the platform. Prior to leaving Twitch, Shroud had assembled over 7M followers where he originally was a professional esports competitor before transitioning fully to content creation.

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Twitch may be shadowbanning ban evaders

TL;DR - There are reports that Twitch has begun shadowbanning ban evaders. Nothing is confirmed yet, but users are reporting that chat offenders who’ve been banned, who then go and create a new account, are getting silently banned by Twitch with no notice whatsoever. If what’s being reported is true, these banned viewers are seeing their chat messages but no one else is, giving them the impression their evasion was successful when in fact it wasn’t.

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Riot Games launching new Twitch extension to put game stats front and center for viewers

TL;DR - Last week Riot unveiled a new Twitch extension called “Live Tracker Extension” to make it easier for viewers to keep up with the pace of League of Legends games. Metrics such as Baron count, dragons, and the number of towers downed, are all displayed in an easier to digest fashion than relying on the streamer’s HUD. Viewers will also have access to the streamer’s build and match history, the scoreboard, and various summoner stats. The extension is currently in beta testing and is expected to roll out broadly in the coming weeks.

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YouTube Gaming poaches PUBG Corp. esports talent to head up partnerships

TL;DR - YouTube has picked up former PUBG Corp. head of partnerships and global esports business development to oversee YouTube Gaming partnerships. Julian Schwartz is the second PUBG Corp. esports team member to depart in the last month, with the company’s director of esports leaving in early February for a role with Riot Games Korea.

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ESL Pro League restructures to bring more value to and involvement from participating teams

TL;DR - Thirteen CS:GO teams, ESL, and Dreamhack, have all signed a new agreement with the aim of creating a more cohesive and successful esports ecosystem. The “Louvre Agreement” has made those CS:GO teams majority shareholders in the ESL Pro League, which will transform the league into a 24-team, single-division entity. This calls for the addition of eleven more teams, all of which will be required to qualify via their global ranking or through ESL’s gateway series, the Mountain Dew League. The core thirteen signing teams will enjoy a revenue share from all ESL Pro Tour events.

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