Twitter will gain access to 1500 hours of esports competitions in 2017, with its latest live streaming deal. The network has partnered with ESL and DreamHack. More than 15 events in the ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) and DreamHack circuits will be live streamed globally on Twitter and connected devices.
Esports is a large and growing market, writes TechCrunch. Research firms’ forecasts vary. But they say it will reach over a billion dollars either this year or by 2019. Thanks to services like Amazon-owned Twitch, watching players compete in real-time has become more accessible. Especially to more casual gaming fans, who can’t travel to events to watch in person.
This is not Twitter’s first step into the esports space, says TechCrunch. The company last year announced a partnership with Eleague to live stream the organization’s semifinals and championship competitions.
Original content for Twitter
Twitter started to live stream the first tournament of this new deal on Saturday, March 4th, Intel Extreme Masters Katowice.
ESL will also produce live original content for Twitter, the network said. It will include a weekly 30-minute show featuring highlights and behind-the-scenes footage.
All DreamHack events will also be live streamed. It will start in April with DreamHack Austin.
Both ESL and DreamHack are a part of the international digital entertainment group, MTG, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.
“Twitter is a very strong esports platform, where many of our fans and followers already engage with DreamHack events,” said Marcus Lindmark, CEO & President at DreamHack. “This will be a shortcut for fans, as they can both watch and engage on the platform at the same time.”
“Esports is growing at a rapid pace and we see this collaboration as a way to tap into the engaged audience of gamers that are already using Twitter as a primary source of content,” said Anthony Noto, COO at Twitter.