Esports streaming platforms: where can you watch Esports online?
How we enjoy watching esports streaming has changed quite a bit over the last few years. This way, the first great wave of streamers that was born thanks to the Twitch impulse has given birth to a whole legion of online esports streaming platforms that have brought the best live esports tournaments to millions of people around the world.
Esports Streaming Platforms: where to see what?
Just like in conventional sports leagues, esports streaming platforms ensure that they have some exclusivity in terms of the reproduction of the most important events, which is why you have to go to specific esports streaming options if you want to see, for example, this year’s Overwatch Open Division tournament or the CSGO Blast Pro Series.
Here, we’ll talk a bit about each of the most important esports streaming platforms (Twitch, YouTube, Facebook Gaming, Mixer, Caffeine and Steam TV) as well as other options where to watch esports online and on your TV.
It’s impossible to start talking about streaming platforms without mentioning Twitch, this platform is the one that revolutionized the way we enjoy esports, besides continuing to be one of the biggest options in the market.
Currently, you can watch a wide variety of game content on Twitch, including titles from League of Legends, Fortnite, Counter strike global offensive, Overwatch, Dota 2, Apex Legends and World of Warcraft. In short, Twitch covers practically the most important, most played, and most-watched games in the world as well as the most relevant events around them.
This platform has remained at the forefront of the esports industry thanks to its system after being absorbed by Amazon, which allows content creators to get more revenue while subscribers have access to more content. But Twitch is far from being the only platform on which you can watch esports online.
While Twitch grew through esports live content presentations, YouTube didn’t want to be left behind and took advantage of its share of the growth of the esports industry quite well. At YouTube Gaming, Google has dedicated a space in which players offer their gameplay in a live format, which has taken advantage of a large number of content creators and players looking for content that YouTube already had before implementing this strategy.
Up to this date, the most-watched game on YouTube is Fortnite with over 9 million of views in content each month, although Call of Duty and Minecraft tutorials have been part of the most popular videos on the platform for quite some time as well.
Unfortunately, YouTube has not been able to manage agreements with the most important esports leagues, so as a streaming platform for esports it fails when it comes to tournaments. In this way, YouTube only covers live the most important tournaments such as the world leagues of League of Legends or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
3. Facebook Gaming
The rivalry between Facebook and Google is quite notorious in the business level and as expected after the entry of YouTube Gaming to the Esports streaming market, Facebook took the trouble to create a “follow” system so that you can see the tournaments and gameplays of your friends directly in your feed.
On the other hand, Facebook has been a little more aggressive than YouTube in terms of tournaments, making agreements with the ESL to obtain exclusivity in terms of games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2.
The third technology giant couldn’t miss the party, and Microsoft was already an important part of the esports world – as this company produces several titles for both PC and Xbox One formats.
The Mixer platform entered the market much earlier, however, it was acquired by Microsoft in 2016 and its main attraction is the low frequency that allows observers to get more interaction in real-time with The Content Creators –Due to faster connectivity and response. Unlike the platforms mentioned above, Mixer is aggressively targeted to players. For this reason, it presents features like Mixplay, designed to interact directly with the game that is in streaming.
It is an excellent option for esports streaming since it has specialized agreements with Microsoft that include tournaments such as The Professional Smite League and The Smite Console Series. You can also see here the ESL events that are not exclusive to other esports streaming platforms.
This is probably the newest esports streaming platform that is growing in the market. Led by two former Apple designers, it has secured investments of over $40 million and has already won private contracts with the ESL including the Intel Extreme Masters with full coverage of the event.
What makes this platform interesting is that it works on its own without the need for broadcast software such as OBS or XSplit and allows streamers to use the camera more freely. On the other hand, the number of users isn’t as great yet so you may not find the most famous streamers here.
Read also: How to stay healthy while gaming.
6. Steam TV
Steam, a company that develops several esports including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2, took the initiative to develop its platform so that its community of players could perform live screenplays and share game content.
The extensible platform works mainly as a community medium as it pays a lot of attention to communication between the content creator and viewers as a good chat integration including a voice chat option for private groups through Google Chrome. However, the only really important tournament that has covered this platform so far has been the DotA 2 The International. Despite this, there is a lot to be expected from Steam’s esports streaming platforms.
7. Game launchers
Just as steam took the initiative to take advantage of streaming esports through its platform, other brands such as Blizzard Entertainment have taken the initiative to add streaming modalities and live events to their game launchers.
This way you can keep up with Overwatch and World of Warcraft news, follow other players, and even enjoy live events – such as the Overwatch Open – through the desktop program you normally use to access your favorite games.
8. Cable TV
When you ask yourself “Where to watch esports?” you don’t have to limit your mindset to streaming platforms in your digital devices. Nowadays you can enjoy the most important events through TV chains and channels.
Put simply, it is not a secret that the transmission of sporting events is quite lucrative, for this reason, channels such as TBS, ESPN and BBC have taken the initiative to enter the esports market, especially after the resounding success of the League of Legends World Championship in 2014 – which ended up with a record of more than two million spectators worldwide. This way, although these chains lead the esports on TV market internationally, they only cover some esports events.
In a very low-risk bet, TBS started broadcasting esports on TV with only the ELeague tournament, which includes games such as counter-strike global offensive, Street Fighter V, Overwatch and Injustice 2. However, during the past tournament season, they took the risk of transmitting Clash for Cash: The Rematch as well as the Overwatch Open.
Just as expected of the sports channel that is risky to cover almost unknown sports in its affiliated channels, ESPN didn’t waste time before entering the esports market in full. Thus, since 2014, ESPN has been covering the League of Legends international tournament. Additionally, ESPN3 has been in charge of giving live coverage to the Blizzcon events and the International Tournament of DotA 2 for the last two years.
9. The Regional TV & Streaming Options
While most of the international streaming programs move through the media we comment on in this list, dozens of regional media are dedicated to reporting the most important sports events in each region. The most noteworthy case is that of China, which due to state policies does not allow International streaming within the country.
However, platforms like Huya, have had a public offer of up to 180 million dollars and more than 90 million users within the Chinese market. This platform, for example, has covered important events such as the World Electronic Sports Games and the 2018 League of Legends Korea Champions.
There are also platforms such as OPENREC which broadcasts only in Japan, and Garena Live which is accessible from Taiwan, Vietnam, and Thailand.
10. Other options
There are many other options in which you can observe streaming esports, for example, there are platforms like Sliver TV, which offer IPTV connection include channels from other regions in which they broadcast the best local tournaments and even large-scale international tournaments like the LoL World Championship.
On the other hand, betting channels, such as Betway, usually follow most major tournaments and are connected to streaming channels so you can keep track of what is happening at each event. Although not all the esports betting sites allow you to watch esports online.