Our recent posts have taken a big focus on the games and titles that have made esports as big as they are today. Whilst each have had their role to play, one of the biggest factors in the success of esports has certainly been seen through the world of streaming, and the invaluable resource that continues to deliver.
Streaming personalities – The biggest streaming personalities may not always be involved in esports, but the biggest esports stars certainly go on to become streaming personalities. It comes with the territory, the best players will always attract an audience as fans want to both interact with their favourite player whilst also watching high level gameplay, but it also goes a little further. It creates a unique relationship that isn’t seen across any other sport. For the first time, fans have been able to directly reach out to, talk, and interact with their favourite player, and more commonly even be able to play games with them. This creates a dynamic where the best players feel a lot more accessible because of streaming,
Big events – Early on in the world of esports, broadcasting options to get the games and tournaments out there was difficult. There were no big TV deals or similar styled platforms to get things out there and streaming was the only way forward for esports. Delivering free options to viewers early on certainly helped but streaming itself was still within its early days and it allowed the big companies, such as Riot Games, to grow alongside streaming and develop the platforms with their own broadcasting needs. This has been a large reason why streaming has been so successful with esports integration.
Viewer gifts – Many of the big tournaments and games also partner with the big streaming services, such as Twitch for the major events, largely in part to reward viewers. Whilst many have started to integrate an internal viewing platform for doing this, streaming definitely helped early on. Games such as Counter-Strike would hand out souvenir packages for the main events, which users could open for free to receive limited cosmetic items. League of Legends had started to recently do something similar by giving viewers rewards for the period of time they had watched. Not only did this encourage users to watch the live events, but also generated higher viewing numbers as users would feel rewarded for watching and would stay tuned in for longer periods of time.
The success of streaming as a whole can’t be understated. Some of the biggest celebrities in the world have turned to Twitch to help grow a fanbase, but for esports in particular, it was the platform that allowed broadcasting to get off the ground and allowed the initial spot of growth that wouldn’t have otherwise been found. At its current size, esports betting doesn’t need to rely on other broadcasting options, such as television deals that have plagued more traditional sports, and with things such as Twitches live chat becoming such an integral part of the experience for fans it isn’t likely to away any time soon. Both esports and streaming have grown together hand in hand and have become a main reason for the others success. It also shows the strengths of an interactive and open platform, that allows viewers to connect with each other, with the star players they watch on a daily basis.