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Esports streaming gets a new home with Twitter partnership

ESL, one of the top esports leagues in the industry, is bringing esports to a whole new platform, thanks to a partnership with Twitter.

The partnership will see Twitter streaming more than 15 esports events over the next year. The move represents Twitter?s move into a relatively untapped market as esports are new on the scene, but with a popularity that has beeng rowing at astonishing rates.

"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," said Anthony Noto, COO at Twitter. "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."

While sports have long been an advertisers dream, with millions of viewers and high-profile celebrities to endorse products, other types of competitions have usually fallen by the wayside.

But with the rise of YouTube streaming and Twitch, video game spectating has become an incredibly popular pastime.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the momentous rise of esports as a popular form of entertainment.

Just like traditional sports, esports have their own teams, star players, championships and dramatic rivalries.

Esports contains all of the nuance and variety of traditional sports but with a uniquely digital twist.

Twitch and YouTube streams of esports routinely see hugh numbers of views.

Twitter is capitalizing on this by partnering with the ESL, one of the biggest esports organizations in the world.

Through this partnership, Twitter will stream 15 major esports events throughout the year.

Any user can tune in, as well as joining in a live chat and all the other features that come with a live stream.

"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 of social media and 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."

Live streaming
Esports relative explosion in popularity comes along with the general trend of video games becoming more mainstream.

In addition to competitive games, YouTube gamers and Twitch users often get millions of hits on videos of themselves streaming a video game.

These numbers are enticing to marketers, and live streaming esports provides the optimal opportunity to cash in on the massive demand for video game streaming content.

Twitter has had similar successes streaming a wide variety of content, from a partnership with Mashable to cover the SXSW festival live (see story) to extended behind the scenes coverage of Rogue One before it debuted in theaters (see story).

With the growing popularity of esports now being streamed to one of the most popular social media platforms, the advertising industry will be wise to keep an eye on how to leverage esports for their own uses.

"Twitter is a very strong esports platform, where many of our fans and followers already engage with DreamHack events," said Marcus Lindmark, CEO & president at DreamHack. "This will be a shortcut for fans, as they can both watch and engage on the platform at the same time."