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

Twitch and Facebook Gaming dominated Q2 viewership

TL;DR - The second quarter industry report from StreamElements and points to huge growth across streaming platforms. Twitch alone saw viewership increase by 56% from April through June, with June up 60% year-over-year. Just Chatting has been leading the way, up 94% overall since the start of the year. Music is seeing its own streaming renaissance, posting an incredible 268% lift in viewership since January. Facebook Gaming was the other big winner, up 75% in the quarter. As with Twitch, June was a banner month. The platform grew 200% in what’s shaping up to be one of the biggest months in live-streaming history.

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Twitch adds Sports category to main directory

TL;DR - Twitch launched a Sports category this week, adding it to the main directory on the streaming platform’s website. Viewers can expect to find content from major sporting leagues like the NBA, NHL, and the UFC, as well as official channels from teams and clubs like Arsenal, Real Madrid, and Paris Saint-Germain. Sports are nothing new on Twitch, but they haven’t exactly been a focus anywhere on the platform, often falling into random categories like Just Chatting or IRL. The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has led an increasing number of traditional sports leagues and teams to live-streaming as a remedy for the lack of live events, and has created new ways for fans to interact with their favorite players and teams.

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Logic signs seven figure streaming deal with Twitch

TL;DR - The rapper has signed a million dollar plus deal with Twitch to stream a set number of weekly hours on the platform, something he’s promised he’ll easily exceed. Logic has been an on-again off-again streamer on Twitch since around 2015, but now he’s firmly committed to the platform and streaming on Twitch exclusively. Logic plans to utilize his channel as the place to interact with his fans, where he intends to help people “unwind and laugh and smile”. The move to streaming comes after the rapper announced his retirement from music, after the release of his latest LP this month. He says the shift from music is a result of feeling forced and wanting to release some of that pressure. This is also a first-of-its-kind arrangement for Twitch, which usually signs these kinds of deals only with gaming talent.

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Twitch enhances Clips Manager to combat DMCA issues

TL;DR - Pushed to action after a series of DMCA complaints poured in last month, Twitch has added a handful of new features to its Clips Manager tool. First, streamers on the platform are now able to download their own clips individually. And in the event a full purge is needed, there is now a “delete all” function. In the update, Twitch noted it has more in the works for the coming months, possibly including a feature that would only delete clips that may contain copyrighted audio.

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ESL and Dreamhack ink partnership deal with Chinese streaming platform Huya

TL;DR - With this new arrangement, Huya will be the exclusive Chinese-language streaming partner for ESL and Dreamhack sanctioned events. The agreement is initially set for one year, and covers both CS:GO and Dota 2 events in Mandarin or other Chinese languages. ESL Cologne will be the first such event exclusively broadcast on Huya. ESL had partnered once before with Huya, but after MTG acquired ESL and Dreamhack in 2019 those plans were canceled.

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The US Army hits pause on Twitch amid recruiting controversy

TL;DR - In light of recent criticism it has faced for its practices on Twitch, the US Army’s esports team is taking a breather from the platform, at least for the moment. Furthermore, it may possibly cease all social media activity while it re-evaluates its approach. The email this report is based on indicates it could be spring of 2021 before we see the group return to streaming. The two issues at the core of the controversy are the alleged fake giveaways being used as a recruitment tool, and the Army’s banning of individuals in chat and in Discord that have been critical of the military’s activities. US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez out of NY has gone so far as to introduce legislative action that would prevent the military from using tools like Twitch, esports, and video games in its recruitment efforts.

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