Now I'm not sure whether Twitch is already twitching but perhaps they should, because Valve have officially launched Steam.tv. The service kicked off with The International Dota 2 event, even though features are still relatively simple.
Having said that, don't confuse simple with lack of functionality, because Steam.tv already has some features that its competitors don't. While standard stuff like scrubbing is there, clever integration of the service with Dota 2 brought about team fights marked on the stream, so you can quickly switch to the juicy parts at your convenience.
Valve also made sure you're not forever alone, at least not without choosing to do so since logging into Steam.tv with your Steam account lets you create and manage chat groups with your buddies or buddettes from your friends list.
The company says "there's effectively no limit to how big (or how small) your group can be", so you can practically create mini, or maxi, communities on the fly. Naturally, you can join the main chat as well, although if you're like me, you'll probably opt out of that verbal diarrhea if not absolutely needed.
As you'd expect, this is only the tip of the iceberg and Valve is planning on implementing the currently active Dota 2 TI features to the remainder of games broadcasting on Steam. Moreover, Valve are set to "expose a new broadcast Steamworks API to Steam partners."
While I'm sure that Twitch won't really like what Valve are doing at the moment, I'm also quite confident Steam owners will see it as a huge convenience, not least for the obvious advantage of easy integration with your existing library. We're pretty confident that Dota 2 TI will result in a few other goodies added as the team go along, but we'll know more once it's here in full.
True to their promise from May 2018, when they were rolling out Steam Link and Steam Video for Android and iOS, Steam's video service indeed arrived as planned - late summer of 2018. So basically, all we need now is Half Life 3 so we can better employ Steam.tv - who's with me?