Popular video game livestreaming platform Twitch just announced that it has officially agreed on a new deal with Blizzard Entertainment, granting the service exclusive third-party rights to stream Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm tournaments.
Blizzard And Twitch Cozy Up To Each Other
The deal makes for a significant turn in the world esports — as the frenzied world of video game tournaments become even more bigger and prominent, securing exclusive broadcast rights will start to become a heated competition in the sphere. Think of Twitch as a TV network trying to capture exclusive broadcast duties for football games and you'll understand how big of a deal securing Blizzard tournaments is.
A Twitch spokesperson confirmed that it will serve as the only third-party livestream platform outside of Blizzard's own platforms for streaming tournaments. Yes, that's right — Facebook, YouTube, and others, are out.
"Twitch and Blizzard are officially teaming up in a bigger way than ever before. We might not have Pharah and Mercy beat, but this combo has to be close," said Twitch in a blog post. "Twitch will be the exclusive third-party streaming platform for more than 20 Blizzard tournaments."
As part of the deal, Twitch will livestream the following, which comprises more than 20 individual events:
• Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC)
• StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS Circuit)
• Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT)
• Hearthstone Global Games (HGG)
• World of Warcraft Arena Championship
• Overwatch APEX League
• Overwatch Premier Series
Whether the deal would also include the forthcoming Overwatch League appears uncertain, a Twitch spokesperson did say that any additional programs will be announced later.
Sweet, Sweet Loot For Twitch Prime Members
Apart from exclusive broadcast rights, there will also be "some sweet, sweet loot." So if you don't care much about esports, then listen up: Starting Tuesday, June 20, all Twitch Prime members will get an Overwatch Golden Loot Box, which, unlike a standard Loot Box, contains a guaranteed legendary item, aside from three in-game items.
Twitch Prime members may claim their freebie by logging in to Twitch, pairing your Amazon Prime account if you haven't already done so, and then visiting the dedicated website for Twitch Prime and Overwatch freebies. Members will receive a code that can then be redeemed on Blizzard's website.
Gamers will be able to collect 10 standard Loot Boxes — five each for August and October. Moreover, Twitch Prime members will also receive free Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm loot, presumably card packs and Loot Chests. Freebies for Heroes of the Storm will launch on August. Those for Hearthstone will launch in September.
Again, all these will serve as the benefits of Twitch and Blizzard's deal that will last until 2018. The move makes sense too — Blizzard's cache of games serves as among the most watched of 2016 and are also some of the most popular esports games in existence.
Thoughts about Blizzard giving Twitch exclusive streaming rights? What about the free loot for Twitch Prime members? As always, if you have any thoughts or opinions, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!