YouTube acquires rights to eSports leagues
In the latest streaming war twist, YouTube has secured the rights to Activision Blizzard’s eSports leagues.
This will come as a big blow to rivals Twitch, Mixer and Facebook Gaming as it now has exclusive access to titles such as Overwatch, Hearthstone and the inaugural Call of Duty League.
The partnership arose between Google and the publisher. It is a multi-year deal which will see its games hosted on the tech giant’s cloud.
The new deal has been signed just after Activision Blizzard’s previous partnership – with Twitch – ended. The financial details of the fresh partnership have not yet been revealed.
While YouTube has long been the go-to place for videos, it has struggled to cement itself as the key player in the live streaming market.
This is largely due to Twitch which, up until recently, held a firm iron grip. However, the arrival of opposing platform’s such as Microsoft’s Mixer and Facebook Gaming has led to various players vying to take the crown.
This is evident from streaming sensation Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins controversially switching sides from Twitch to Mixer last year.
More recently, YouTube itself made a bold move in snatching up three stars from Twitch. Namely Rachell ‘Valkyrae’ Hofstetter, Lannan ‘LazarBeam’ Eacott and Elliott ‘Muselk’ Watkins.
Global head of gaming at YouTube, Ryan Wyatt, said: “Both the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League are the quintessential examples of world class eSports content.
“As a former Call of Duty eSports commentator myself, I couldn’t be more excited for Activision Blizzard to choose YouTube as its exclusive home for the digital live streaming of both leagues. This partnership further demonstrates our dedication to having a world class live streaming product for gaming.”
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