Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of April 27, 2020
Gaming-related content continues to surge in popularity as the world remains at home
TL;DR - Gaming-related content is one of the biggest things happening online thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. In just the last week, 17B views were racked up on YouTube alone - amounting to 24% year-over-year growth, according to a new report from video analytics company Tubular Labs. Not surprisingly, Call of Duty’s new Warzone installment is getting a ton of attention. 60% more videos of the game have been uploaded since the first stay-at-home orders were issued. Esports has been another big winner, with the week of April 6 posting the highest viewership numbers since the Fortnite World Cup back in August. On the live-streaming front, Twitch jumped 20% in minutes watched over just the last couple of weeks.
Twitch inks three-year exclusive arrangement with ESL and Dreamhack
TL;DR - MTG, the parent organization of both ESL and Dreamhack, signed a deal this week granting Twitch the streaming rights to its events through 2022. The deal is focused around “broadcast integrations” and maximizing sponsorships - making Twitch the “central hub” for all streaming-related content for both companies. Twitch will receive non-exclusive streaming rights for the balance of 2020, which will then become exclusive for English-language broadcasts of major events in 2021 and 2022.
FIFA streamer Nepenthez announces return to Twitch after Mixer term expires
TL;DR - Craig “Nepenthez” Douglas left Twitch for Mixer back in March of 2019, several months before some of the biggest names in streaming made the jump. A popular streamer in the FIFA community, Nepenthez carries about 1M followers on Twitter, and just over 2M on YouTube. He’s streamed on Mixer for 13 months, but announced this week he’d be returning to Twitch after he was unable to reach a deal with Mixer to remain on the platform. Whether this is a signal of things to come remains to be seen, as he’s the first of the bigger streamers to bounce back.
Facebook introducing paywall capability for live content creators
TL;DR - In a recent announcement, Facebook shared it’s introducing the ability for anyone with a Facebook Page to charge viewers for access to any events with live video. The social platform is targeting online performances, conferences, and even classes in which the creators want to ensure every viewer is paying admission before being able to consume the content. The update is expected to drop some time within the next few weeks.
Twitch updates its Drops policy to curb abuse by VALORANT streamers
TL;DR - Some Twitch streamers, looking to cash in on the VALORANT beta Drops craze, have been streaming VoDs while marking them as live in order to pull in more viewers. This is apparently against the spirit of the program, and after the community spoke up, Twitch took action this week by prohibiting the abuse of any of its rewards systems. Beginning immediately, that should make for a dramatic clean-up of the VALORANT directory.
The world record for the longest live-stream has been broken yet again
TL;DR - It was only a few weeks ago we shared that LosPollosTV had broken the world record for the longest single streaming session, at just over 162 hours. This week, that record was also broken. Twitch streamer CallMeCypher clocked more than 200 hours this past week, almost on accident, as he was originally just trying to beat his own personal record. His PC ultimately gave out, able to take only so much VALORANT before it called it quits.
Amazon strikes deal to bring the NFL’s Thursday nights back to Twitch
TL;DR - Amazon and the NFL have signed a deal that will bring Thursday Night Football back to Twitch for at least the next three years. Prime Video subscribers and Twitch viewers will be able to catch all eleven TNF games that are broadcast on Fox. Part of the deal also grants Amazon the rights to stream a regular season game on both Prime Video and Twitch on a Saturday during the second half of the season. While the value of the deal wasn’t disclosed, the previous arrangement cost Amazon $65M annually for the rights.
Epic Games calls off Fortnite World Cup entirely
TL;DR - Epic Games has officially canceled the Fortnite World Cup for this year, opting instead to host a series of online tournaments for the balance of 2020. Fortnite’s World Cup is the sum total of events both in-person and virtual, but since there’s now great difficulty in organizing cross-region play, Epic made the decision to call it off entirely. Events such as the FNCS and Cash Cups would continue, and Epic is exploring changing the formats of those events to create additional opportunities for the competitors. In the meantime, online tournaments have returned to the official Fortnite channels on both YouTube and Twitch.
Mixer channel subscriptions have landed in the Microsoft Rewards program
TL;DR - Mixer has teamed up with Microsoft Rewards to add channel subscriptions to its redemption list. Members of the program can play games, watch movies, shop in the Microsoft Store, and even search with Bing to earn Microsoft Rewards points. With 3,850 points, anyone can subscribe for a single month to a streamer’s Mixer channel. To start, Mixer channel subs are available in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Singapore. More markets are slated to light up later this month. Mixer partnered streamers will receive the standard payout so viewers can rest assured they’re still supporting their favorite streamers.
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