As it stands, Twitch is the largest online streaming platform for gaming. YouTube Gaming has never really kicked off, but there is another player who has somewhat hid in the shadows. Facebook Live has slowly started integrating live gaming steams into their platform, a platform which is visited by millions of people every second. A number of top pages make use of the Facebook Live function, but we haven’t seen any major tournaments work with Facebook exclusively until now.
Famed collegiate tournament, Heroes of the Dorm, was one of the first major tournaments under the Blizzard banner to get a featured spot on EPSN’s online service, with the final stages being streamed live to TV. ESPN held these rights until now, which has just been taken over by Facebook Live. For 2017, Heroes of the Dorm will be streamed exclusively to Facebook. During EPSN’s two year broadcasting deal, viewers had to have a subscription to watch online. Facebook is streaming all games live, and for free.
Blizzard have already announced that 2017 will see $500,000 in scholarships being awarded to the winners, and we all know the plagues of tuition. Heroes of the Dorm isn’t the only company interested in Facebook Live, and it’s understandable why. Multi-gaming organization G2 Esports also announced today that their gamers will be making use of the Facebook Live feature in order to promote and market their team to a wider audience.
“One of G2’s biggest goals is to share our love of this industry with all fans by making our content as accessible as we can, while also helping lesser-known streamers looking to make a name for themselves,” G2 CEO Carlos Rodriguez Santiago said in a statement. “We pride ourselves on innovation and by leaning into Facebook as an audience platform, we see a world of new opportunities beyond what the current streaming ecosystem offers.”
This deal, however, is not exclusive and the players have the choice whether they want to make use of the platform or not. It’s no doubt that making use of Facebook Live will increase their social reach, but the big question is what are Facebook giving in return? Twitch has a subscription model that can be lucrative for players. While G2 are not exclusive, there’s no word on Facebook’s involvement with Heroes of the Dorm. It seems as if this is a decision by the organizers and not an exclusive partnership with Facebook themselves, but there’s no doubt there is a mutual agreement between the two parties which has not been revealed yet.