Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of April 20, 2020

Facebook Gaming launches a standalone mobile app

TL;DR - Facebook reportedly pushed the launch of its new mobile app up a few months due to demand from the Coronavirus pandemic. The company went on to say that gaming has become more and more popular on Facebook with everyone staying at home, and it’s been a great way for its users to connect when they can’t do so in person. The app has been in testing for about eighteen months in Southeast Asia and Latin America, so it’s not entirely abrupt. Streamers can quickly and easily go live directly from within the app, which is currently only available on Android, but will come to iOS in short order.

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Twitch lures away more Spotify talent to beef up its music efforts

TL;DR - Twitch announced this week it’s hired Tracy Chan away from Spotify to head up its product and engineering team for the Music category. While at Spotify, Chan was the company’s director of product management, where he led efforts on analytics tools for both artists and music labels. Prior to Spotify, Chan was with YouTube and was part of the team that launched the YouTube Creator Studio. Twitch went on to say it’s been hard at work developing more tools to aid musicians in monetizing their content.

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Twitch surges to 2B hours of content creation since pandemic escalation

TL;DR - Content creators have flocked to Twitch since the Coronavirus pandemic escalated in late February and early March. That influx of users has led to the creation of two billion hours of content in only about two months. Average viewership has grown accordingly as well, up to 2.8M from 1.1M at the same time last year. In the months ending 2019, Twitch was seeing a dip in the number of streamers on the platform as Mixer, Facebook, and YouTube made headlines through talent acquisitions, usually at the expense of Twitch. The current global circumstances have since turned that trend around, as records are broken almost weekly on the platform.

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$2M prize pool up for grabs in upcoming Fortnite solo invitational

TL;DR - Epic Games announced this week it will host a solo Fortnite invitational as part of the FNCS, complete with a $2M prize pool. The event will kick off on May 9th, spanning three weekends, and will feature top players from around the world. Open qualifiers will serve as a path for ranked competitors to earn a spot as well. Those open qualifiers will begin on May 2nd, with 100 players from each region able to earn a spot. During the event, the best players will progress week-to-week under a new scoring format, and will earn increasingly larger payouts along the way.

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The 2020 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational is officially canceled

TL;DR - Riot Games made the hard decision this week given the current circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus. The event had previously been pushed off to July. Riot is implementing plans that will adjust the seeding of the 2020 World Championship accordingly. Both the LPL and the LEC will field four teams due to their overall global rankings. LCK and LCS will send three teams each, and the PCS and VCS will send two apiece. All other regions will send only their top ranked team. Expect more info to come as the season continues to develop.

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