Fwiz Explains the Challenge YouTube Faces to Grow Esports Live Event Viewership Against Twitch - Dexerto
CS:GO

Fwiz Explains the Challenge YouTube Faces to Grow Esports Live Event Viewership Against Twitch

Published: 29/May/2018 14:07 Updated: 13/Oct/2020 16:04

by Calum Patterson

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As a former esports caster and host, now head of YouTube Gaming, Ryan “Fwiz” Wyatt is perhaps the most well suited individual to lead YouTube in its quest to increase its share of the esports broadcasting pie.

However, as Fwiz himself explains, the head start which Amazon owned Twitch has on YouTube is major hurdle for them, as well as balancing the risk and reward dilemma of challenging Twitch’s dominance in the esports space.

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Appearing on a recent episode the ‘Esports Salon’ podcast, hosted by popular CS:GO analyst and self-proclaimed ‘esports historian’ Duncan “Thorin” Shields, Fwiz broke down exactly the challenges facing YouTube.

YouTube Gaming has been a wholly successful venture so far, tying in with YouTube’s live streaming capabilities (similarities with Twitch are clear with loyalty badges for ‘sponsors’ and ability to donate to streamers, as well as filters by game), but it is yet to topple their rival.

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While YouTube has plenty top streamers who can attract thousands of viewers regularly, what they are perhaps missing out on is the hardened esports audience, over which Twitch holds somewhat of a monopoly.

“Twitch has a very unique model, where they are a live-native platform and live-first, and they’re just trying to grow their unique user base. They kind of groomed and started esports.

The difficulty for us is, we are so big on how many unique users we have watching gaming content on YouTube, that you’ve got to be able to justify doing licensing deals, if they are going to add incremental users to the platform.”

What Fwiz is referring to here as ‘licensing deals’ is attaining rights to broadcast live esports events, which YouTube has done more frequently over recent years, particularly in CS:GO with the ESL Pro League.

Fwiz explains that he and the YouTube team are doubtful as to whether these exclusive licensing deals for esports events actually bolsters the “unique user base”, or are they simply forcing viewers to, temporarily, watch the content elsewhere from the norm (Twitch).

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“The case is still out on: if you license this content – any content for that matter – and bring it over exclusively to YouTube, are you actually increasing the unique user base, or are you just displacing what they’re watching?”

YouTube does however hold a dominance – where Twitch dominates live esports events, YouTube’s domain is the VOD content such as match highlights and event vlogs, or as Fwiz calls it “ancillary human interest content.”

“If you are just displacing them from watching human interest pieces to just watching the live stream, it is really hard to rationalize the investment in licensing.”

Update – Since posting this article, Fwiz has clarified that his points relate mainly to the growth of esports as a genre, and believes the popularity of gaming content on YouTube already can be a vehicle for this.

You can watch the full episode of Esports Salon below, with Fwiz’s discussion of YouTube and live esports content beginning at around the 7:00 minute mark.

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CS:GO

Nadeshot frustrated as ESL shut down his restream of CSGO finals

Published: 19/Oct/2020 0:49 Updated: 19/Oct/2020 11:59

by Theo Salaun

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Ahead of 100 Thieves’ announced departure from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Mathew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag came under a bit of fire for disinterest in his org’s finals match at IEM New York and, subsequently, admonished by ESL for streaming the event.

Nadeshot came home to Los Angeles after 12 hours of travel and was excited to stream some of the Black Ops Cold War open beta for the first time, but, as the stream started, he also mentioned that he wouldn’t be responding to chat as much as usual because 100T was facing Furia in the IEM New York Grand Finals.

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Unfortunately, some found it disappointing that the organization’s founder would multitask and play another game during his team’s final CS:GO match ever, with former pro Chad ‘SPUNJ’ Burchill even calling him out.

With people like SPUNJ discrediting Nade’s loyalty to his team and Black Ops Cold War coincidentally crashing, the 100T CEO attempted to switch over to the big match. But, in another string of disappointments, that idea wasn’t meant to be either.

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After trying to watch the Grand Finals with about 13,000 viewers, Nade received word that this re-stream was against ESL guidelines and that he was not allowed to do so.

Frustratedly, he returned to his initial Black Ops Cold War plans and expressed some understanding, as well as disappointment with the tournament organizers’ decision.

“At the end of the day, I get it from a business perspective on ESL’s standpoint,” Nadeshot said. “I mean, they pay for broadcast rights and they’re putting on this tournament and all these things.

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But, from my perspective, I have all of their sponsors and broadcast assets on my stream … I’m essentially just on a soapbox right now, blasting the stream but with just 12-13,000 more viewers.”

As he explained on stream, by putting the stream on full screen without any of his brandings, he felt that he was just giving the official broadcast more exposure. But, ultimately, he understands why the decision was made.

In a later clip, following his return to streaming BOCW, the 100T head honcho added further clarification.

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While affirming that he fully understands why he wasn’t allowed to re-stream the event and that he respects ESL’s business decisions, he felt that this situation was unique and could have been handled differently: “Well, I got your logos up here, I’ve got none of my sponsors up here. Can’t we just make an exception?”

First criticized for not giving his team’s play enough attention and then reprimanded for giving it too much attention, this wasn’t one of Nadeshot’s more fortunate streams. Still, he understands why ESL came down on him and, perhaps more importantly, he did eventually get to play BOCW without his PC crashing.

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