ESports has many disciplines, tournaments and teams. If you are interested in watching your favorite team, it will be useful for you to know where exactly you can watch live streams.
Over the past years, streaming has become an important tool for active interaction with the audience, especially with the generation that has moved away from other forms of traditional media in favor of the Internet. Also, such platforms have played a significant role in the exponential growth of eSports as a new form of entertainment. Let’s look at the most famous streaming services, as well as some of their exclusive media rights deals.
The number of spectators of eSports tournaments
Many eSports teams and organizations use streaming to show their games, to rassirovat players, while there are no tournaments, and to attract more fans, which as a result helps to reach potential sponsors. Often teams have special units that deal exclusively with streaming activities. Also, many novice gamers often run streams.
It was this platform to a greater extent that determined how streaming looks now. Twitch began operations as a division of Justin.tv in June 2011, with an emphasis on live video game broadcasting. The greatest achievement of the platform in its early years was the ability to show eSports tournaments. Soon, the popularity of the website soared, as a result of which the platform was bought by Amazon for $ 970 million.
After that, Twitch was branched into categories and launched a series of changes aimed at increasing the value for streamers and the platform itself. In 2016, Twitch introduced microtransactions through the use of new currency Bits, which can be spent on donation for gamers. This year, Twitch Prime also appeared, which allowed Amazon Prime users to “subscribe” to specific streamers, increasing revenue for these broadcasts. This program has recently lost the ability to watch streams for free without ads. To do this, you now need to subscribe to Twitch Turbo.
In 2017, Twitch was significantly developed thanks to new extensions and unique content related to popular titles like PUBG or Power Rangers. They also managed to integrate closer with the community after TwitchCon.
- Every month, 2 million streamers work on the platform, among which 27 thousand are Twitch partners
- Over 124 million videos created
- Every day, the platform was visited by more than 15 million people
- 223% more creators began to earn money on the platform
- More than $30 million was donated to streamers by their fans
- The grand finals of the CS: GO Major tournament attracted more than 1 million spectators
- More than 245 thousand viewers gathered on his channel about the LoL Faker player
- More than 360 million chats are moderated every month
- Developers have created more than 1700 extensions for their channels on the platform
Twitch is one of the main players in the acquisition of exclusive broadcast rights. One of their most recent purchases is a two-year deal for rights to the Overwatch League. The NBA 2K League also signed an exclusive agreement with Twitch. The organizer of the DreamHack tournament again resumed cooperation with the company.
YouTube Gaming works like a cross between Twitch and YouTube, as it combines live streaming and classic video content for a gaming audience. The platform uses its massive video library to recommend game videos along with streaming content. Moreover, the YouTube Gaming interface makes searching for game videos a lot easier than competitors.
One of the key features of YouTube Gaming is the ability to rewind while watching a live broadcast, allowing users to play certain parts of the video and watch it instantly from the very beginning, rather than waiting for the release of VOD [Video on Demand].
Like Twitch, YouTube Gaming is a major owner of exclusive broadcast rights. Last year, the platform briefly received the ESL Pro League as an exclusive partner before the league switched to Facebook. The FACEIT Championship Series is currently exclusively broadcast for YouTube Gaming. The platform has also become an unofficial home for many mobile eSports titles like Clash Royale.
Mixer – Microsoft-owned platform, integrated into Windows and Xbox One. Formerly known as Beam, it was acquired in 2016 and has several interesting features that set it apart from the rest. One of the main features is a short broadcast delay time, due to which it’s possible to achieve the most close interaction with the audience. On other platforms, the difference between the events on the screen and reality is 10-20 seconds.
Mixer also has a MixPlay function that allows viewers to interact directly with specific games, as well as HypeZone, which automatically switches between streamers that are close to winning matches in games such as Fortnite and Rainbow Six Siege.
For eSports, Mixer created Mixer NYC Studio, which hosts virtual sports events and gaming events that are broadcast exclusively on the platform. It also has exclusive broadcast rights with some developers. Hi-Rez Studios has signed a two-year agreement with Microsoft that added the SMITE Pro League and SMITE Console Series to the platform. It agreed with ESL to broadcast the company’s events, unless this event is exclusive to another platform.
Facebook Gaming is one of the new in the streaming market, but it has already had a significant impact on eSports industry. Launched officially as FB.gg, the platform analyzes your favorite pages and user groups to examine content in real time. Broadcasts from Facebook Gaming can be displayed in the social news feed. networks based on human preferences.
Facebook Gaming rolled out the Level Up program, aimed at attracting streamers from other platforms. It allows streamers to earn money through viewers buying virtual goods that can be sold during the stream.
Despite its relative youth, Facebook Gaming has already accumulated a number of exclusive broadcast rights. It made arrangements with the ESL Pro League and ESL One, Hi-Rez Studios ‘Paladins Premier League, Twin Galaxies’ H1Z1 Pro League and the Gfinity Elite series.
Steam.tv is the newest representative in the world of online broadcasts, and its implementation is very useful for Valve. The platform arose during the events of The International 2018, the largest DotA 2 tournament. Also behind the company is another major eSports title – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Steam.tv has a number of features that provide better chatting. The platform allows users to separate public chat into user groups from their personal Steam Chat friends list.
In addition to broadcasting TI8, Steam.tv has not yet been used for other tournaments, but its connection with Valve makes the platform especially interesting for the development of streams in the future.
The smallest and one of the latest streaming platforms. Caffeine pays more attention to the social aspect of streams, and also offers a simpler interface. The company, led by two former Apple designers, has attracted investments of $46 million and already has a partnership with ESL.
The streaming platform can work without using third-party live streaming software, such as OBS or XSplit, and has features that allow users to freely move the streamer camera. Like Mixer, low latency is a big advantage, allowing viewers to interact faster with the streamer. Content recommendations are offered to viewers using similar algorithms that exist on Facebook Gaming. The platform is distinguished by its simple and intuitive interface.
Chinese streaming services
While most of the streams in the West are via the aforementioned platforms, Chinese streaming services have a big impact on the eSports environment. Huya and Douyu TV are the main players when it comes to broadcasting video games in the country.
Huya, dubbed the “Chinese Twitch,” is the largest player. The company is valued at $180 million and currently boasts 91.5 million users. The platform has the rights to broadcast events such as World Electronic Sports Games and the Korean League of Legends Championship.
Douyu TV is not too far behind Huya. While the platform doesn’t have large broadcast rights owned by a competitor, it has direct sponsorship agreements with eSports brands, like the Chinese DotA 2 PSG.LGD team. It should also be noted that games are only one part of the entertainment content on the platform.
Both companies have large investments from the Chinese technology concern Tencent. He invested $632 million in Douyu TV and allocated $461.6 million for Huya. Both the developer of eSports titles and the sponsor of the streaming platforms on which they are broadcast, we can say that Tencent is the true king of streaming in China.
Another major streaming platform in China is NetEase CC, run by an internet technology company, game publisher, longtime partner Blizzard Entertainment, and owner of the Overwatch Shanghai Dragons team, NetEase. There are also ZhanQi TV and Panda TV services. All three of these platforms are currently Chinese Overwatch League broadcast partners.