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All Blizzard Esports To Be Streamed Exclusively on Youtube

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Activision Blizzard released a statement today announcing a multi-year "strategic relationship to power new player experiences" with Google. While this deal includes Google Cloud being the main host of the companies game infrastructure, the more immediate effect of it is that all Activision Blizzard esports will now be exclusively streamed on Youtube. This includes the Overwatch League, Call of Duty League, Hearthstone Esports, both Arena and MDI WoW coverage and more.

The deal was initially announced as Overwatch League news, but the post itself also mentioned Hearthstone and WoW, albeit with somewhat unclear wording, and the press release later cleared everything up.

Blizzard LogoOWL + Youtube Gaming (source)

The Overwatch League is teaming up with YouTube for a multi-year deal to provide world-class livestreaming for our fans! Starting with the 2020 season opening weekend—with home matches in New York City and Dallas—YouTube will be the league’s exclusive streaming partner, home to all live and on-demand Overwatch League matches.

In addition to hosting all matches, the Overwatch League YouTube channel will also be home to other special video features throughout the season and beyond. 2020 Overwatch League matches will premiere on youtube.com/overwatchleague on Feb. 8.

In addition to OWL, the Call of Duty League, Hearthstone Masters and Grandmasters, and the World of Warcraft Mythic Dungeon International and Arena World Championship will also be livestreamed and available on demand on their respective YouTube channels. 

Overwatch League match livestreams and VODs will be available in China on different platforms.

Click here for additional details. More information will be announced soon.

And here's the full press release:

Blizzard LogoActivision Blizzard and Google Deal (source)

SANTA MONICA, Calif. and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Jan. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Activision Blizzard and Google announced today a multi-year strategic relationship to power new player experiences. Google Cloud will serve as the preferred provider for Activision Blizzard's game hosting infrastructure and YouTube as its exclusive streaming partner worldwide, excluding China, for live broadcasts of its popular esports leagues and events — including Overwatch League, Call of Duty League, Hearthstone Esports, and more. 

With hundreds of millions of monthly active users around the world, Activision Blizzard sought a partner to help enhance its gaming infrastructure, as well as deliver superior, low-latency player experiences. The company turned to Google Cloud because of its highly reliable global footprint, advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, and commitment to open source, creating a platform for building future gaming innovations.

Players will benefit by experiencing premium network quality-of-service, including low latency and packet loss when playing high-fidelity games on any device. They will also have optimal personalized interactions, as Activision Blizzard can tap into Google Cloud's AI tools to offer curated recommendations for in-game offers and differentiated gaming experiences. 

"We've worked closely with Activision Blizzard for the past few years across mobile titles to boost its analytics capabilities and overall player experience," said Sunil Rayan, Head of Gaming, Google Cloud. "We are excited to now expand our relationship and help power one of the largest and most renowned game developers in the world."

"We're excited to partner with Google to drive the next generation of gaming innovation for the industry. Google Cloud's best-in-class infrastructure gives us the confidence to deliver great entertainment to our fans around the world," said Jacques Erasmus, Chief Information Officer, Activision Blizzard.

Additionally, beginning this week, YouTube will host the official live broadcasts of Activision Blizzard's popular esports leagues and events including the newly created Call of Duty League, Overwatch League, Hearthstone Esports, and more. The inaugural Call of Duty League season kicks off on Friday, January 24, with 12 teams competing in Minnesota, and the Overwatch League's 2020 season will follow on February 8. All competitions will be livestreamed on each league's YouTube channel and will include archived and other special content. 

"With more than 200 million gamers a day watching more than 50 billion hours of gaming content per year, YouTube provides gamers and their passionate fans with the most popular video gaming platform in the world," said Ryan Wyatt, Head of Gaming, YouTube. "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." 

"This is an exciting year for Activision Blizzard Esports as we head into the inaugural season of Call of Duty League and our first ever season of homestands for Overwatch League all around the world," said Pete Vlastelica, CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports. "It's our mission to deliver high-quality competitive entertainment that our fans can follow globally, live or on-demand, and to celebrate our players as the superstars that they are. This partnership will help us deliver on that promise at new levels, by combining our passionate communities of fans and players with YouTube's powerful content platform and exciting history of supporting next-generation entertainment."

This collaboration with Activision Blizzard represents Google's ongoing commitment to supporting game developer success around the globe. Across its business units, Google offers comprehensive solutions for game developers, empowering them to create great games, connect with players, and scale their businesses.

About Google
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Google Cloud, Chrome and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.

About Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard, Inc., connects and engages the world through epic entertainment. A member of the Fortune 500 and S&P 500, Activision Blizzard is a leading interactive entertainment company. We delight hundreds of millions of monthly active users around the world through franchises including Call of Duty®, Spyro®, and Crash Bandicoot™, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft®, Overwatch®, Hearthstone®, Diablo®, StarCraft®, and Heroes of the Storm®, and King's Candy Crush™, Bubble Witch™, and Farm Heroes™. The company is one of the Fortune "100 Best Companies To Work For®." Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard has operations throughout the world. More information about Activision Blizzard and its products can be found on the company's website, www.activisionblizzard.com.

SOURCE Google Inc.

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2 hours ago, Zelendel said:

They couldn't have done this at a worse time. With more and more streamers leaving Youtube due to their practices against streamers.

This doesn't seems to affect private streams, only the official channels. Besides that, online streaming will hardly become a monopoly market in the near future, so appearing both on Twitch and YouTube seems like an ideal choice.

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1 hour ago, Badadada said:

This doesn't seems to affect private streams, only the official channels. Besides that, online streaming will hardly become a monopoly market in the near future, so appearing both on Twitch and YouTube seems like an ideal choice.

People aren't going to youtube for game streaming these days.  For many it is a second or lower upload option mainly for game streaming.

We will see how well it goes. I dont expect much.

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2 hours ago, Badadada said:

This doesn't seems to affect private streams, only the official channels. Besides that, online streaming will hardly become a monopoly market in the near future, so appearing both on Twitch and YouTube seems like an ideal choice.

What? Youtube is dying, far from an ideal choice? What rock have you been living under.

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6 hours ago, Zelendel said:

They couldn't have done this at a worse time. With more and more streamers leaving Youtube due to their practices against streamers.

Nobody can actually leave YouTube and it stand up to them, though. People are leaving Twitch, do you mean? YouTube is a far greater streaming platform for things like the OWL. It has a higher bitrate, you can slow down, speed up, rewind as well as pause. Much better than Twitch and on a platform everyone knows how to use.

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59 minutes ago, Basque said:

What? Youtube is dying, far from an ideal choice? What rock have you been living under.

It depends on your audience - Twitch is indeed very popular amongst a certain 'hardcore' PC-gamer community (and teen girl chat streams), but I'm not sure it's the site you want to be associated with if you organize professional tournaments for serious promotion money. YouTube - still being the biggest video sharing site on the internet - is far from dead. They may not have the competitive edge in the gaming scene, but they have a proven track record of broadcasting tons of live international sports events (not just esports), which may be more useful for the kind of task an official channel requires.

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2 hours ago, leapingshadow said:

Nobody can actually leave YouTube and it stand up to them, though. People are leaving Twitch, do you mean? YouTube is a far greater streaming platform for things like the OWL. It has a higher bitrate, you can slow down, speed up, rewind as well as pause. Much better than Twitch and on a platform everyone knows how to use.

You totally do not understand streaming. Tell that to all the content creators that MS is paying millions to so they stream only on their platform.  There is a huge push for a new video streaming service due to youtube policies.

 

Also you dont clearly keep up with creators on youtube do you?As an example I will be interested to see what Blizzard will do as they will not be able to target his to kids.

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Google is a satanic company, in 2018 they partnered with pentagon and removed all videos that say illuminati exists, and all 9/11 documentaries.

 

They called their censorship project, "project owl", owl has always been the symbol of bavarian illuminati.

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14 hours ago, Zelendel said:

There is a huge push for a new video streaming service due to youtube policies.

It is unfriendly for individuals, but not for large companies, most of their policies are tailored for them (usually smaller channels have suffered the most from their changes in policies). At the same time, these rules are vague enough, so people can get suspended or removed for basically any reason.

It's interesting though, how OWL is faring these days. Perhaps it's not doing as good as expected, so they had to go with this deal, because revenue from Twitch wasn't enough? Can't say much as someone who doesn't like e-sports, but it seems to not have such mainstream presence, as they would have wanted (HotS e-sport is dead and Starcraft is a niche now).

Edited by Arcling

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Thats because most streamers are on twitch And MS option. Not to mention the new option called float plane.

 

Youtube has many issues not just to individuals.

 

Esports are not as dead as you think. I just missed a large tournament last night myself. (different game.)

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1 hour ago, Zelendel said:

Esports are not as dead as you think. I just missed a large tournament last night myself. (different game.)

Meant Blizzard games specifically. Most of them are pretty dead, HotS completely, SC partially, OWL is still alive, but it kinda disappeared from mainstream, and they obviously wanted to have an explosive audience. Many people aren't on YT these days, because their policies screwed many individuals, it's easy to get demonetised (or lose channel altogether).

Edited by Arcling

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4 minutes ago, Arcling said:

Meant Blizzard games specifically. Most of them are pretty dead, HotS completely, SC partially, OWL is still alive, but it kinda disappeared from mainstream, and they obviously wanted to have an explosive audience. Many people aren't on YT these days, because their policies screwed many individuals, it's easy to get demonetised these days (or lose channel altogether).

That makes more sense. I agree with the blizzard esports being DOA. The same thing with the D4 esport they are gonna try. (Still not sure what they were smoking for that to be come a thing lol)

 

To be honest. I dont think people should monetize videos. But then I run system wide adblockers in all my homes and business. Also making money from videos is starting to change. More and more game streamers are going full contracts.

 

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/26/tech/video-game-streaming-wars/index.html

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On 1/25/2020 at 5:55 PM, Zelendel said:

They couldn't have done this at a worse time. With more and more streamers leaving Youtube due to their practices against streamers.

The weird thing is, here in Germany, more and more Streamers leave Twitch and cancel their deals. There is one 24/7 Gaming TV show that streams on both platforms and has twice as much viewers on Youtube.

It is quite the other way around in some countries. The conditions have become worse on both platforms.

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12 minutes ago, Alkasar said:

The weird thing is, here in Germany, more and more Streamers leave Twitch and cancel their deals. There is one 24/7 Gaming TV show that streams on both platforms and has twice as much viewers on Youtube.

It is quite the other way around in some countries. The conditions have become worse on both platforms.

Im not sure how that is going to keep going. With the new taxes coming to companies that operate in Germany. Also the EU attack on Google.

 

Do many German Youtube creators not complain about youtube? I Only know one really and he complains about it.

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2 hours ago, Zelendel said:

Im not sure how that is going to keep going. With the new taxes coming to companies that operate in Germany. Also the EU attack on Google.

 

Do many German Youtube creators not complain about youtube? I Only know one really and he complains about it.

Yes, they complain a lot. About Youtube and Twitch.

The taxes and the EU attack on Google are not the problem. The problems are already there for years. Smaller channels make no money through these websites directly. They rely on Patreon and live donations. That has been the case since Youtube went harsh on copyright claims. And since Twitch belongs to Amazon, there have been many unexplained bans and breaches of contracts which made Streamers cancel their partnerships.

(Plus there is a crappy German law which allows you to sue Streamers for livestreaming with a schedule but without a TV broadcasting license. To get that license you need to pay in 5 digits and hire a team including a youth protection commissioner.)

Nowadays the bigger German channels get funded by their network companies, fan support, or through sponsorships. They made the transition from simple ad revenue to a fully established business management. Pretty much like Fine Bros or GMM. There was no other choice. Today they make enough money and seem to reach more people over Youtube this way. So if you see a big German Youtuber playing on his own, like HandOfBlood, he has most likely a full team working for him. Some of them even record in office buildings. Small channels can hardly establish something beyond viewer donations. Strict rules on Youtube and unreliable partnerships on Twitch. It is a crisis.

This might not sound like a global issue, but issues on that level can spread easily.

 


Back to the topic and long story short, I don't think Blizzard made a bad decision here. Twitch and Youtube have both grown so much that they are crumbling below their weight and the governments. It doesn't matter anymore where you get your livestreams or videos from. We can just be glad that they still exist.

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