Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of March 2, 2020
Twitch calls off TwitchCon EU over COVID-19 concerns
TL;DR - The second TwitchCon EU, slated this year to take place in Amsterdam in early May, is the latest event to fall victim to Coronavirus concerns. Twitch is refunding everyone who purchased a ticket, in full, with a formal cancellation notice expected no later than March 20. There remains the possibility the event may be pushed to later in the year, but that may be tricky too considering the primary TwitchCon occurs in late September.
Twitch locks down Pokimane with multi-year exclusive streaming deal
TL;DR - The latest talent deal to be reported has Pokimane continuing her partnership with Twitch indefinitely. Pokimane has accumulated nearly 4M followers on the platform, and is arguably one of the most popular streamers at the moment. Full details of the arrangement remain undisclosed. She began streaming on Twitch six years ago, and is one of the founding members of the Offline TV streaming collective.
The streaming landscape shifted in 2019 according to latest viewership report
TL;DR - Stream Hatchet’s latest report indicates Facebook and YouTube managed to capture significantly more share of the viewership pie in 2019. This growth came at the expense of the still number one, Twitch, which lost about 10% of its overall viewership to two of its primary rivals. YouTube managed to grow by 24% whereas Facebook made massive strides, increasing its stake by 83%. Mixer, however, lost share despite key talent acquisitions like Ninja and Shroud. The platform began the year at nearly 29M hours watched, but wrapped 2019 with fewer than 28M hours consumed. Interestingly, Mixer and Facebook started the year at nearly the same level, but Facebook finished considerably better with 194M hours watched.
Call of Duty League inks partnership deals with the US Army and Twitter
TL;DR - The Call of Duty League announced last week it has signed partnership deals with the US Army and Twitter. Its deal with the Army is for one year, and secures the Army’s position as the league’s presenting sponsor for its collegiate competition. The details on the CDL Collegiate competition remain undisclosed at the moment. Twitter’s deal with the CDL will run for the next three years, during which time the bulk of the league’s highlights and community engagement will live on the social platform. Twitter has also implemented hashtag emojis for all CDL teams, and the league will leverage Twitter’s tools for fan predictions.
The Smash scene will see a $250K world championship tour this year
TL;DR - While Nintendo has made it clear it will not support the burgeoning esports scene around the Smash franchise, that hasn’t stopped others from taking up the reins. VGBootCamp has partnered with Smash.gg and Twitch to launch the Smash World Tour. SWT will feature both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Ultimate, with players competing for $250K in total prize money. The full circuit includes twenty-five stops in seven countries, culminating in a championship series in mid-December. Sanctioned tournaments will be organized by independent operators, and will be scored and ranked by the SWT itself. The top thirty-one players will receive an invitation to the championship in December.
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