Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of June 15, 2020
Twitch calls off TwitchCon San Diego
TL;DR - Twitch has called off this year’s US installment of TwitchCon, which was slated for the end of September in San Diego. Twitch similarly canceled TwitchCon Amsterdam at the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has subsequently claimed this event too. It added that there’s the possibility for an online version of the event, but no details were shared in this announcement.
Premier League Soccer set to stream for free on Twitch
TL;DR - Amazon has lined up a deal with the English Premier League to bring four of the upcoming season’s matches to Twitch viewers in the UK. Access opens on June 29th with the Crystal Palace vs. Burnley match, which will also be available to Prime Video subscribers. Amazon has partnered with the Premier League a few times dating back to 2018, but with the Coronavirus pandemic keeping everyone home, the league is looking to reach audiences in non-traditional ways. Through a partnership with EA, virtual crowd effects will be added to the broadcasts similar to those from EA’s FIFA franchise.
Twitch Studio kicks off beta for Mac users
TL;DR - Twitch’s free-to-use broadcasting application, Twitch Studio, was first unveiled last November for PC users only. This week, Twitch launched a beta version of Twitch Studio open to Mac users. Twitch has been clear that the app is meant for those new to streaming, not streamers who are already invested in another utility. Basic functionality like an activity feed and chat monitoring come out-of-the box. Mac users won’t have access to everything PC users will due to inherent differences in the operating systems, however the Mac version will allow for capture from iOS devices.
Destructoid hosting $5,000 streamer talent contest
TL;DR - Gaming culture site Destructoid is hosting a $5,000 talent competition it’s calling “So you think you can stream?” Contestants can select to stream either a battle royale or FPS title, during which they’ll be judged by a resident Destructoid streamer and the stream’s chat. Streamers will be judged based on a set of skill-based criteria, along with elements of their personality and streaming technique. Progressing through a handful of different rounds, a grand champion will be selected to receive the $5,000 prize. The winner will be invited back to guest judge a future competition, and will also earn a seat at Luminosity Gaming’s RISING STARS contest for a chance at $100,000 and a one-year streaming contract. Enrollment is open through June 30th.
Fortnite reclaims Twitch viewership title with “The Device” event
TL;DR - The record for the most concurrent viewers for a single title returned to Fortnite this week, after its “The Device” event captured the eyes of 2.3M Twitch viewers. League of Legends was the previous record holder, thanks to its World Championship event last year which pulled in 1.7M concurrent viewers. Epic Games reported that the game’s servers were at capacity within one minute of the event kicking off, pushing many would-be players to catch the action on stream instead.
Epic Games reportedly raising $750M at $17B valuation
TL;DR - According to a report from Bloomberg, Epic Games is in the final stages of closing a $750M funding round with a valuation set at an incredible $17B. Investors in this latest round could include KKR & Co., T. Rowe Price Group, and Baillie Gifford. The company’s most recent prior round was for $1.25B and included firms like aXiomatic, Vulcan Capital, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. It’s important to note that Chinese powerhouse Tencent has a 40% stake in Epic, effectively making it the second largest shareholder behind Epic founder Tim Sweeney. The deal is yet to be finalized, and terms may change in the coming days.
Facebook Gaming opening up more monetization options for its creators
TL;DR - Facebook announced it would be deploying Fan Subscriptions to more of its Level Up! creators on Facebook Gaming over the next several weeks. Streamers will need to clear a 250 returning weekly viewers hurdle in order to qualify, and must reside in the US, UK, Thailand, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, or Australia. Facebook is planning to roll this out more broadly in the future as well. Additionally, all partnered gaming creators now have access to Live Ads. Given Facebook’s expertise in the ad space, streamers and viewers alike can expect to see ads in many different forms, spread throughout creators’ content in ways meant to better engage with those audiences.
Riot Games take major step forward in establishing a VALORANT esport scene
TL;DR - VALORANT is, unsurprisingly, getting the esports treatment from its parent, Riot Games. The Ignition Series is kicking off this month, and represents a partnership with over twenty different organizations across a range of varied events. VALORANT enthusiasts can expect to see events hosted in Japan, Europe, Brazil, Korea, Latin America, North America, Turkey, and several other regions. Affiliated organizations will be responsible for operating their own events, so the very nature and makeup of each event will be different.
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