Activision Blizzard Esports Streams (including Hearthstone) Move from Twitch to YouTube

2020 looks to be a pretty solid year when it comes to esports in Hearthstone. With six big Masters Tour events, two seasons of Grandmasters as well as a yet unannounced World Championship (possibly at BlizzCon), the year will be packed with tournaments. Until now, you could watch everything on Twitch.tv, but 2020 events will no longer be streamed on that platform. As Kotaku reports, Activision Blizzard has struck a deal with Google, and one of the points is moving all of the Esports streaming (including Overwatch League, Call of Duty League and Рof course РHearthstone Esports tournaments). Blizzard already let their fans watch some events through YouTube, but they had an exclusive deal with Twitch when it comes to most of their Esports content. For example, you could watch most of the Hearthstone card reveal live streams on YouTube, but Overwatch League was only accessible on Twitch. Now all of the content will be streamed through YouTube.

I have to say that I have mixed feelings about the whole thing – while YouTube stream quality is good and the entire site it’s way, way better than Facebook (sorry Mark), Twitch still feels like a better gaming streaming platform as a whole, with better UI and emotes being some of its strong points. Despite YouTube being significantly bigger, its gaming streams are still less popular than those on Twitch, meaning that most likely those tournaments will have less viewers. There’s also no telling what will happen to promos like pack drops. I think YouTube allows drops, so it’s something they might be able to figure out. They don’t have much time, though. The first tournament happens in just a week – Masters Tour Arlington starts next Friday (January 31).

The deal is much bigger than just moving streams to another platform – Activision Blizzard will also use other Google services such as Google Cloud, their data analysis or AI capabilities (including to serve people better tailored ads and offer recommendations – well, yeah…). However, those things most likely won’t impact individual Blizzard games fans as much as moving streams to YouTube.

Stonekeep

A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

Leave a Reply

4 Comments

  1. Tbrandst
    January 27, 2020 at 6:16 am

    What YouTube channel will the events be on?

  2. Nerose
    January 24, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    I play clash Royale, and I get drops from YouTube. I love twitch, but I am happy about the change so I can watch events on my smart tv.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      January 24, 2020 at 10:03 pm

      Yeah, YT does have drops, but they weren’t implemented for Blizzard games yet.

      As for the second part, what TV do you have? I think that you should be able to watch Twitch on most of them. Even if not through an app, then through a web browser. I thought that I can’t watch Twitch on my LG TV and then I found that there’s an app for that (called Backseat Gamer).

      • Nerose
        February 27, 2020 at 12:44 pm

        Thanks, Stonekeep! I will try it through the browser. I have a samsung 6500