If you were to travel back in time about ten years and tell me that one day in the future that people would flock in drones to watch people play videogames, I probably would have called you crazy. I also would have been very wrong. What used to be a pipe dream for gamers has quickly become today’s reality. In the four short years Twitch has been with us, it’s grown from a small branch off of the late Justin.tv to a veritable juggernaut that went to Amazon for the hefty price tag of $970 million. Streaming video services like Twitch are still relatively new to the internet, and the explosion of Twitch’s popularity leads other businesses to try to capitalize on the situation, hoping to garner huge profits of their own. MLG is no stranger to this practice. Recently, they have been trying to get the attention of some very popular names in gaming in an attempt to bring MLG.TV up to a level that may one day entice some of Twitch’s fanbase to come watch their favorite players compete.
MLG is no stranger to the gaming community. They are best known for Gamebattles, a service provided for players to compete against one another in over 40 different games. Their MLG.TV service is centered around popular games like Call of Duty, or Counterstrike: Global Offense, so it’s not that surprising to find out that prolific players like Matt “Nadeshot” Haag have been approached with rather large signing bonuses in an attempt to get them to leave Twitch behind to stream on MLG.TV exclusively.While their main focus has been making esports as big as it can possibly be, MLG has been looking to expand their horizons to attract fans that are just looking for entertainment. Last year they struck a deal with the Youtube superstar Pewdiepie for exclusive livestreams, and his “BroKen” podcast. They have also been known to boast being able to pay their streamers much better than Twitch currently does.
For some, leaving a platform as large as Twitch could be a dangerous move, as there is no guarantee that their fanbase will want to follow. In the past, some teams have lost players over signing exclusive deals with competing streaming services because most fans enjoy the idea of having all the games they’re interested in available on one hub. Another hurdle that MLG has to jump while approaching their goals is being one of the things that the internet loves to hate in spite of how big their fanbase is. However, less-than-kind words from the denizens of the internet hasn’t stopped MLG from striving to make their service the “premium streaming platform for eSports,” and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of competition.