Twitter has announced that they will be streaming original eSports content, including live streams of eSports tournaments, in 2017.
The social network behemoth has reached deals with ESL One, DreamHack, and Intel Extreme Masters to live stream over 15 tournaments this year. ESL will also make its own originals for Twitter, including a weekly 30-minute show that covers competition highlights and behind-the-scenes stories.
“Esports fans are endemic to digital and this partnership with Twitter expands ESL’s reach for all of our major tournaments for fans around the globe,” said Johannes Schiefer, Vice President Social Media & Editorial at ESL. “Intel Extreme Masters Katowice is our most anticipated live event, and we are excited to bring premier content from this tournament and beyond to more fans in a premium experience.”
Twitter is looking to produce over 1,500 hours of live streaming esports competitions this year, all of which can be accessed through their site and their mobile app.
Anthony Noto, COO of Twitter, had this to say after the announcement:
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. By partnering with the leading esports companies like ESL and DreamHack, we look forward to bringing the best of esports live video and conversation together on Twitter.
Twitter also stated in their press release that live streams will include advertising packages that will use TV style ad spots combined with original highlights and recap clips that advertisers can sponsor and promote on Twitter.
Twitter has been increasingly expanding into live streaming sporting events. The company teamed up with the NFL to live stream Thursday night football games last season and has also reached deals with the MLS and NBA to stream original content this year.
Twitter has also previously partnered with Eleague to live stream the organisation’s semifinals and championship competitions.
The next event to be live streamed on Twitter will be DreamHack Austin in April. Starting April 28th through the 30th, fans will be able to watch all of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, StarCraft II, Street Fighter V, and Hearthstone action through Twitter.
“Twitter is a very strong esports platform where many of our fans and followers already engage with DreamHack events,” DreamHack CEO and President Marcus Lindmark said in the statement. “This will be a shortcut for fans, as they can both watch and engage on the platform at the same time.”