With the exclusivity deal between streaming service Twitch and ESL Faceit Group expiring, fans can now watch ESL Faceit Group events on multiple live streaming platforms — including YouTube. IEM Katowice, one of ESL Faceit Group’s top historical events, will begin play-ins for the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event on February 1. The move to multiple platforms is the latest in a series of esports exclusive media rights deals expiring, including Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League and Call of Duty League. While the move to multiple platforms is a net benefit, it’s also a tacit admission that media rights have not fully matured as a revenue stream for esports.
ESL Impact, Snapdragon Pro Series, DOTA 2, ESL R1, CS: GO and Starcraft II are set to be broadcast on YouTube as well as Twitch beginning today. According to a press release, the events will also be streamed live across other unspecified “dedicated broadcast partners.” The expansion in broadcast outlets for several of ESL Faceit Group’s premiere competitions is bound to see a small bump in viewership for these events. While several platforms have effective tech, Twitch still holds a cultural monopoly of sorts on the esports audience.