Twitch denies claims platform suppresses CSGO streams despite popularity

Alex Tsiaoussidis

Twitch has denied claims the platform suppress popular CSGO streams in favor of other titles like Valorant, insisting the game’s esports streams — which are its most popular — aren’t recommended to new users because historically, those users prefer other things.

The CS:GO community has criticized Twitch after a screenshot from CS:GO caster Alex ‘Mauisnake’ Ellenberg went viral, with the game nowhere to be seen when new users log onto the site despite it being in the top 10 streams at the time on December 11.

“Using Twitch on a new PC, and they really hide CSGO well,” he said. “Opened my eyes to how much the Twitch algorithm works against CS. Despite the ESL stream being the sixth most-viewed stream right now, it’s not even recommended.”

His post gained traction on the CSGO subreddit, which snowballed into a heated discussion between players.

Tom Verrilli, the Chief Product Officer at Twitch, responded to Mauisnake’s tweet several hours later. He denied the claims, saying: “This is my first time hearing ‘Twitch nerfs CSGO,’ but I can assure you it ain’t true.”

He explained that when someone loads Twitch for the first on a new PC without signing in to an existing account, the algorithm makes recommendations for brand new users based on what other new users watch.

“In general, esports channels don’t feature heavily in those not because we don’t love them — we very much do — but because tournaments infrequently happen, so they don’t tend to be the channel that someone watches daily, weekly, or frequently.”

However, not everyone was satisfied with his explanation.

“We can only speculate, but it’s interesting to me that it gives off the impression to an outsider that CS:GO has almost no extra weight associated with it in their algorithm,” wrote one player.

“It’s such a dumb reply,” wrote another. “You won’t even see CS:GO during a major, and if you click into CS:GO, it again hides it because it doesn’t even sort by views anymore. He can provide as much reasoning as he wants, but it still makes zero sense.”

Mauisnake also replied to Twitch’s statement and wrote: “Just gonna say following those retweets… lmao,” implying he also isn’t convinced.