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Volume 26 No. 85
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Twitch Dealing With Fallout Of Losing "Ninja" To Competitor

Ninja had over 14 million followers on Twitch when he left the streaming platform earlier this month
Photo: getty images
Ninja had over 14 million followers on Twitch when he left the streaming platform earlier this month
Photo: getty images
Ninja had over 14 million followers on Twitch when he left the streaming platform earlier this month
Photo: getty images

Pro gamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins was the "first high-profile talent to leave" Twitch for a competitor, but industry observers "expect that he won’t be the last," according to Max Willens of DIGIDAY. Within days of Ninja announcing that he was leaving Twitch for Microsoft-owned rival Mixer, a talent agent that works in esports was "awash in messages" looking for more stars to "peel away from Twitch with guaranteed checks." Blevins' departure has also "cast Twitch’s pluses and minuses in a different light for gamers and for advertisers." Twitch "still commands a dominant share of the livestreaming audience," but it "faces well-heeled, patient competitors." Neither Ninja’s departure nor Twitch’s "streamer scandals is likely to scare away advertisers that are already investing in livestreaming." But they "could make ambivalent ones more reluctant to invest in livestreaming as a category." Though Twitch experienced its "first-ever decline in hours watched" in the second quarter of '19, it still "accounted for more than 72% of all the streaming video watched in the gaming space." Meanwhile, Mixer is "off to a good start" with Blevins. But some streamers said that they are "unsure of whether people will stay" (DIGIDAY.com, 8/14).

For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.