The Race For Esports Viewership

In case you didn’t know we have a massive power struggle that has already started in the world of live streaming Esports and Gaming content.  YouTube Gaming announced yesterday that they have partnered with FACEIT in a multi-year deal that will bring the ECS(Esports Championship Series) to YouTube.

You can say this is a black eye for Twitch seeing how ECS was created out of a partnership between Twitch and FACEIT less than a year ago.  You can read about it here in case you missed that announcement last year.  Now, between you and me, I have no idea if YouTube just outbid Twitch to make this happen or if Twitch thought it wasn’t worth the investment and decided to pass, on the surface, it seems that they’ve lost something they put a lot of time and money in.

The next 12-24 months will be very exciting when it comes to streaming.  I think it’s obvious that Twitch is way out in front of everyone else.  But, after YouTube making this play for ECS I’m certain you will see other big moves very soon.  For now, I think we should all pay close attention to the following sites.

1. Twitch
2. YouTube
3. Beam
4. MLG.TV

I can hear you now… “Scotty, what are you on about mate. Beam is new.. and MLG pretty much has nothing going for it other than Call Of Duty events.”  Yes, you’re right.  Microsoft acquired Beam late last year, and I can tell you they’re putting a lot of time and effort into the platform.

What’s important to note is that Beam is a Microsoft product.  That matters because of Esports titles like Halo and Gears Of War.  Why would Microsoft want to allow the impressions/ad revenue that Halo/Gow generate go to Twitch’s coffers when they now own a site like Beam?  Now, I’m only speaking to this in regards to Esports Lan Events that would normally be streamed on Twitch for example.

MLG.TV gets a ton of shit from people within the Call Of Duty community.  Everyone use to say that “MLG killed COD” when streamers like Nadeshot and others made a move from Twitch to the MLG platform.  This is simply a load of bullshit.  COD was hitting some tremendous numbers on MLG.TV.  Fast forward, and most everyone is back to streaming on Twitch, and a lot of them have fewer viewers now than when they were on MLG.TV.  I still believe MLG.TV will be the exclusive home for all ATVI/BLIZZARD Esports streams in the future.

Let me know what you think about streaming sites, which site is your favorite and why?

Overwatch League Spot/City for $15 MILLION!?

I’m pretty sure unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few days you’re up to date on all of the Overwatch news regarding the Overwatch League.  There are rumors floating around that “spots” can be purchased from Overwatch with prices ranging from $2M – $15M.

Let’s talk about the price for a moment.  What’s $2M – $5M to a current team/org owner? A LOT!  I can almost count on one hand the current orgs who can afford a spot in this league based on the rumored price ranges.  Let’s stop and think for a moment… What if Blizzard doesn’t want traditional orgs to have league spots?  We’re just assuming they would want the nV’s, C9, TSM, Fanatic, NAVI’s and others part of this league.

What if they don’t?  What if Blizzard wants to truly set this league up just like a copy of the NFL for example?  How would that be received by the community?  Let us not forget this statement basedScreen Shot 2017-03-08 at 9.39.57 PM.png on this statement I can only assume Blizzard are going to take players rankings from the in-game season ranks and apply a top 500, 1,000, etc. list of players who can go into a “draft” for these CITIES… yes, CITIES not “spots.”

I fully believe you will see cities with arenas/stadiums potentially making bids to bring Esports orgs to their city in the future.  For now, I’m thinking you will see a lot of traditional sports teams jumping into the mix as a way to help fill stadiums/arenas on open dates and so on.  I also believe you will be seeing traditional sports teams from the NBA and the NFL making the largest investments into Overwatch.

With that being said, this leads me to my next question.  Does Blizzard need the current orgs for the league to have a chance?  No, the players hold the power, not the orgs.  For most Esports titles the players have all of the influencing power, and the orgs that they play for have very little influencing power.  There are only a few exceptions to this rule, and most of them are initially console based orgs like OpTic Gaming, and FaZe for example, who have a lot of influencing power.

Now that we’ve talked about traditional sports teams entering the mix for Overwatch teams.. the rumored numbers don’t seem so crazy do they?  What’s $10M to someone like Jerry Jones?  What’s $15M to Jerry Buss?  Regarding what they’re spending on their respectful teams, not that much.

With the power of new media and Esports if you can’t see how this would be a fantastic investment IF managed right, then I don’t know what else to tell you.  A lot of money is pouring into Esports right now, and the best part is we’re still on the ground level of it.  Just wait until the massive brands turn their marketing budgets and attention to the influencing power of Esports.