Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of July 13, 2020

Phantoml0rd and Twitch set to square off in court this October

TL;DR - A case which has been about four years in the making is set to finally kick off this October 19th in the Superior Court of California. James “Phantoml0rd” Varga was banned on Twitch years ago after it was revealed he was knowingly deceiving viewers through a CS:GO skins gambling site he co-owned. Varga sued Twitch two years following his ban, to which Twitch responded with its own complaint against Varga. He’s seeking $35M in damages, a number Twitch failed to cap at $50,000 when a judge ruled last December its proposal was “unconscionable”. Twitch recently filed for an extension for its motion of summary judgment, so the October date may be pushed yet again.

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Amazon Music teams with Twitch to produce new weekly music show

TL;DR - Twitch has partnered with Blast to produce a weekly show for Amazon Music, which is already airing live on the streaming platform. Amazon Music has been streaming on Twitch throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, giving artists more exposure to a key demographic. Amazon Music Sessions will consist of live performances, and audience Q&A with the featured artists.

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Hundreds of streamers left without representation as talent agency Online Performers Group shuts its doors

TL;DR - Online Performers Group, a talent agency for many of the most notable live streamers on Twitch and elsewhere, officially shut down this week. The firm’s CEO, Omeed Dariani, was accused several weeks back of sexual misconduct by former Twitch Partner Molly Fender Ayala. It wasn’t long after Ayala tweeted her allegations that many of the streamers represented by the agency dropped their representation. Dariani stepped down as CEO rather quickly, but that wasn’t enough to save the company. Somewhere between 300 - 400 streamers and content creators were ultimately released from their contracts as a result.

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Twitch strikes back at the US Army Esports team over fake giveaway

TL;DR - The US Army’s Esports channel on Twitch came under fire this week after it advertised a fake giveaway to its viewers. Automated chat messages promised viewers a chance to win an Xbox Elite Series controller but, when clicked, would only take the viewer to a recruitment sign-up page. There was no mention of the giveaway, and no clear way to actually enter to win. Twitch didn’t take kindly to this and subsequently forced the channel to take down any mention of the giveaway. The Army has also been catching flack from the gaming community for using esports as a recruitment vehicle in general. Earlier this month there was a dust-up on Twitter and Discord over a response made to a Discord tweet which resulted in the Army’s esports Discord being overrun by trolls.

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