Twitch is a video platform similar to YouTube. Acquired by Amazon and introduced in June 2011, it broadcasts users playing all sorts of video games. As of last December, Twitch had averaged more than a whopping 100 million viewers per month, and this July it was reported that at any given time there are 50,000 to 100,000 users watching the professionals play.
Currently a hot topic, this gaming website just might be a revolution in competitive gaming.
Twitch allows individuals to stream the games they play, and provide commentary via voice or video recording. Like YouTube, Twitch has channels and millions of subscribers who devoted their time to watching the most popular videos and channels. Twitch also lists the amount of views each video has and the amount of subscribers per channel. Perhaps what is most astonishing about Twitch is that, similar to YouTube, you can get paid for making videos if you manage to round up enough viewers.
Video games have generally been bereft of an easy, widespread platform for real-time broadcasting. YouTube features millions of videos of individuals playing everything from Mario Tennis to Counter-Strike, but these are always previously recorded. With Twitch, one can view players interacting in real-time from basically anywhere in the world: a true revolution in gaming.
The site has also broadcasted massive video game tournaments and assemblies. And because of its popularity, the site has attracted many businesses and advertising agencies.
I believe that Twitch is the catalyst that will bring gaming on par with major league sports.
But what is most interesting is that gaming is now truly being taken to higher level, and I forecast that it won’t be long until professional gaming actually goes professional. While there have been many famous individuals who make lots of money being the best at certain games, I don’t think it is a stretch to say most of these people live in Asia.
All of the top StarCraft players are from South Korea, and the top League of Legends players from Taiwan, for instance. Professional gaming seems more accepted in Asia. While North America may lag behind in this sense, Twitch is the catalyst that will bring gaming on par with major league sports.
I can envision flipping on my TV on and, similar to ESPN running highlights of major league sports, I’ll see the Major Gaming League, broadcasting highlights from a Super Smash Bros. competition or a Mario Kart race.
Unfortunately, a stigma still surrounds those who take gaming seriously. Personally, I don’t think that one should be too judgmental, as it takes a considerable amount of time to develop the kind of mental acuity with some of the strategies used in games such as Call of Duty.
To reach the level that some of these gamers play at takes years of practice, and now that Twitch is publicizing the talent of these individuals, they can finally be recognized for their devotion, and hopefully be able to do what they love for a living.