The inaugural NBA 2K League will broadcast its series of almost 200 exclusively on Twitch.tv, the league announced.
Watching video games could become more popular than playing them.
Watching gamers play video games online is becoming a major growth market. That’s why Amazon bought Twitch, the world’s most popular video game streaming platform, for $1.1 billion in 2014.
Between 2014 and 2017, Twitch’s unique monthly viewers grew from 100 million to more than140 million. The platform has 2.2 million broadcasters. Fifteen million people watch content on Twitch daily, spending an average of 95 minutes. These were the top five games they viewed in June, according to Newzoo.
Three companies dominate that list. Valve publishes “Dota 2,” one of the world’s top multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) titles, and the first-person shooter “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.”
Tencent‘s Riot Games produces “League of Legends,” the top rival to “Dota 2” in the MOBA space. Activision Blizzard publishes the popular shooter “Overwatch” and the online card game “Hearthstone.”
All five games are easy to understand, making them ideal for esports competitions. Newzoo expects the number of e-sports viewers worldwide to grow from 380 million this year to 589 million by 2020. It also expects the market to grow 38 percent to $906 million this year, with sponsorships, advertising and media rights generating most of that revenue.
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Games aren’t the only stars at E3. Online video streaming sites such as Twitch and YouTube Gaming have made stars of game enthusiasts who play video games and comment online. It’s a fun hobby that’s now serious business. (June 16)
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