Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of May 25, 2020

Twitch moves to secure more top talent with three new exclusive deals

TL;DR - Twitch announced this week it has signed exclusive streaming deals with three of the top creators on the platform. Dakotaz, JoshOG, and summit1g have all inked multi-year agreements with Twitch, which include terms beyond just streaming. Between the three they account for roughly 11M followers on Twitch alone. All three streamers are represented by the talent management firm Loaded, which declined to share any specifics about the arrangements.

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Google planning to display gameplay videos under game listings in Play Store

TL;DR - Google has been testing a series of new filters within its Play Store, aimed at making it easier for users to browse an expansive library of games and apps. One of those new features, called “Watch others play”, will show YouTube videos within the game listings highlighting gameplay of the title the user is currently browsing. The feature is only visible to a limited set of users at the moment, so it’s understandably unclear how exactly it will work. However this could be an amazing opportunity for Google to feature content from its top YouTube streamers, and an attractive feature for streamers looking for a proper home.

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Mixer leverages Ninja for $400K series of Fortnite events

TL;DR - In what it’s calling Ninja Battles Featuring Fortnite, Mixer is hoping one of its most valuable acquisitions can drum up more traffic to the platform. Each week, from Monday through Thursday until the end of July, Ninja will host Fortnite tournaments on his personal Mixer channel. The tournaments will pit sixty of the top Fortnite players from across multiple streaming platforms (Twitch, YouTube, etc.), competing for a slice of the $400,000 prize pool.

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Twitch tapped to cover E3 alternative Summer Game Fest

TL;DR - The Summer Game Fest, which kicked off in early May, is the creation of gaming journalist and Game Awards organizer Geoff Keighley. After bailing on E3 this year (which was later canceled) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Keighley quickly put together the SGF, which is much like a virtual E3. Twitch will cover SGF through its conclusion in August, providing interactivity, and even running Drops campaigns throughout. The streaming platform has partnered with developers and studios alike for new game announcements, new console unveils, and of course for live coverage of tournaments. The event will wrap with a Twitch-hosted Summer Game Fest Awards where fans will vote on their favorites of the summer.

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Instagram’s DJ crackdown sends many packing for Twitch

TL;DR - Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many of the world’s DJs have resorted to social media and streaming platforms to showcase their music. Instagram was a favorite among the DJ community until it recently began shutting down live streams over copyright concerns. DJs had been permitted to play short clips, but nothing much longer. Instagram’s move has sent many of those DJs looking for greener pastures, with Twitch quickly becoming the new favorite. Well respected DJs have spoken out and pleaded with Instagram to revisit its policies, but that ship may have already sailed, as we’ve seen the number of DJs on Twitch increasing rapidly.

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Riot Games integrating ads directly into Summoner’s Rift

TL;DR - Riot Games is set to start integrating sponsor ads directly into League of Legends esports matches. Summoner’s Rift Arena Banners will be in-game banners, visible only to live-stream viewers, that will feature brand advertisements from Riot’s partners. The new ads will start showing up during the Summer Split matches, with Alienware and Mastercard among the very first to participate. Riot also revealed it has more to share on this front before the Summer Split kicks off.

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