It appears that the Twitch exodus continues as it's not only being abandoned by some of its most prominent streamers, it now lost a valuable partner in Activision Blizzard, who will be taking their esports streaming business to YouTube.
Having signed an exclusive deal with Twitch in January 2018, Activision Blizzard decided not to renew the deal and instead opted for YouTube, i.e. Google Cloud's game hosting infrastructure.
"Google Cloud will serve as the preferred provider for Activision Blizzard's game hosting infrastructure and YouTube as its exclusive streaming partner worldwide, excluding China, for live broadcasts of its popular esports leagues and events — including Overwatch League, Call of Duty League, Hearthstone Esports, and more", they wrote.
Starting this week, YouTube will be hosting the official live broadcasts of all the existing Activision Blizzard sports leagues and events. This includes the obvious suspects like Overwatch and Hearthstone, as well as the newly created Call of Duty League.
In case you're anxious to watch the inaugural Call of Duty Season, it's already on YouTube as it started yesterday, January 24. Overwatch's season kicks off on 8 February 2020.
Even though there have been some doubts as of late in regards to Activision Blizzard's esports aspirations, from losing some of the key esports personnel from Blizzard to the Hearthstone fiasco. Interestingly, Blizzard's J. Allen Brack apologised to the fans but to the player himself.
Now, however, it seems the company has been merely streamlining their operation, as evidenced by the recent agreement to move Starcraft 2 and Warcraft 3: Reforged esports tournaments to ESL and Dreamhack's official events.
CEO of Activision Blizzard's esports Pete Vlastelica said, "It's our mission to deliver high-quality competitive entertainment that our fans can follow globally, live or on-demand, and to celebrate our players as the superstars that they are. This partnership will help us deliver on that promise at new levels, by combining our passionate communities of fans and players with YouTube's powerful content platform and exciting history of supporting next-generation entertainment."