Twitch Inks Two-Year Deal To Stream Blizzard’s Top Esports Events For Hearthstone, Overwatch And More

Written By Dustin Gouker on June 20, 2017 - Last Updated on January 22, 2018

[toc]If you want to see some of the top championships for Blizzard Entertainment esports like Overwatch, you’ll likely have to visit Twitch for the near future.

Twitch + Blizzard = Streaming

The video streaming platform and the game developer and publisher announced a two-year partnership on Tuesday. The deal includes third-party live streaming rights to select Blizzard esports content for Twitch. There will also be “special game content” for Twitch Prime subscribers.

The deal will cover a great deal of content from the Blizzard catalogue:

  • Hearthstone
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • StarCraft II
  • Overwatch
  • World of Warcraft

“We founded Twitch as a gaming platform heavily based on our community’s reaction to games like Blizzard’s StarCraft II,” Twitch COO Kevin Lin said in a press release. “Since then, our large, but tight-knit community, our constantly evolving suite of interactive features, and a native emote-driven chat language celebrated by viewers enable us to support and grow Blizzard esports in a manner that best serves our collective fans.

“This includes providing Blizzard fans with exclusive in-game content for those who subscribe to Twitch Prime, another defining and cherished component of our brand.”

The deal builds upon Amazon’s commitment to esports since it acquired Twitch in 2014.

Twitch solidifies its standing

Twitch, of course, is no stranger to streaming esports events, as it was the original home for such content. But solidfying its spot in the marketplace is crucial as other heavyweights like Google, Twitter and Facebook increasingly want to get into the vertical.

“We’ve had great experiences and a long history of working with Twitch, and we’re thrilled that this landmark agreement with them will help us bring some of the most exciting esports action in the world to Twitch fans and everyone who follows Blizzard esports,” said Frank Pearce, chief product officer and co-founder of Blizzard.

“Our esports communities are vital to us. We know there are millions of people out there who love Blizzard esports as much as we do, and we’re committed to making sure they’ll be able to cheer on their favorite players in all of their favorite Blizzard games for a long time to come.”

Specifically, the deal covers the following and involves more than 20 major individual events through the end of 2018:

  • Heroes of the Storm Global Championship
  • StarCraft II World Championship Series
  • Hearthstone Championship Tour
  • Hearthstone Global Games
  • World of Warcraft Arena Championship
  • Overwatch APEX League

What Twitch Prime members get

Members of Twitch Prime — now available in over 200 countries and territories — will get special in-game loot and deals for Overwatch, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm.

Now through August 10, current and new Twitch Prime members will receive a Golden Loot Box for Overwatch, containing a guaranteed legendary item for one of the game’s heroes along with three additional in-game items, such as emotes, voice lines or character skins. Over the coming months, Twitch Prime members will receive ten additional Overwatch loot boxes containing more in-game content.

Similar promotions will begin later this year for Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone players.

Twitch Prime is available to Amazon Prime members.

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Dustin Gouker

Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. You can also find his work at Legal Sports Report.

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