After their move to live stream traditional sports was an overall success, Twitter is branching out to digital sports. The social network has announced a partnership with two of the biggest pro gaming organizations, DreamHack and ESL, that would allow them to live stream e-sports tournament and other events for free.
Twitter is taking advantage of the partnership right away, streaming their first event on March 4, the ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters World Championship from Katowice, Poland.
15 more live e-sports events are already scheduled, plus a 30 minute weekly live talk show with highlights and behind the scenes footage.
The agreement solidifies a move Twitter has been making in the last few years to become an actual broadcasting platform, not just a social media site. They’re already live streaming football games and other big name events (like the Presidential debates), and the addition of e-sports is just another entry into their portfolio.
Live streaming of e-sports also Twitter as a potential future competitor for video game streaming service Twitch. While Twitch is already well known in gaming circles and is the present go-to home for many e-sports events and live video game streaming, that’s really only because it’s the only option. And Twitter can gain enough of a foothold, they can likely convince gamers to watch somewhere else.
Twitter does have a few distinct advantages. One, they have a built in user base of millions of people, and two, Twitter has a clear advantage in user communication (that is, unless you enjoy sitting through a blisteringly fast flurry of meme-filled messages in a Twitch chat).
E-sports has seen an incredible rise in popularity over the last few years, becoming an actual profession for many gamers. If you’ve ever considered starting your own e-sports blog, there’s never been a better time to get one off the ground.