A few years back when the ability to stream and broadcast content on the web was really picking up, I discovered a site called Justin.tv. The site allows users to broadcast their own content to a open viewer base from around the globe. This ability to stream content has progressively moved from streaming movies and tv shows, to live concerts, personal video streams, and more recently the ability to stream live video games. This is where this service really grabbed my attention.
Everyone knows what it feels like to watch your friend play a game while you wait your turn, or while your brother or sister is trying to beat a level. This is what Justin.tv brought to the online game-streaming scene. Recently the “gaming” component of Justin.tv has transitioned to a new site known as Twitch.tv. This is the best thing that has ever happened to online streaming, from my perspective. Tuning in every night to some of the worlds best gamers is a whole new way to enjoy video games. Especially being a long time MLG follower, this now gives fans and enthusiasts and opportunity to see your favorite players compete in their natural environment.
When using Twitch.tv viewers can browse through the most popular games of that night and decide whom they want to spectate. Whether its Battlefield 3, League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Star Craft 2, Halo: Reach, Gears of War 3, or a number of others, this site has a variety and a huge community in each game. These streams hosted by these players are not just pro’s either, your average gamer can also broadcast and use this site as a launch pad for their personal gaming communities. Some major contributors to Twitch and the competitive scene have been highlighted do to the streaming communities. I for one am a total advocate of what Twitch is doing for gaming right now, because gamers deserve their own online hub where you can watch and share quality live entertainment, and pick up some serious tips along the way. Interested to see how your favorite COD, BF, or Halo player dominates online, tune in and watch, or better yet, hop in the chat and potentially play some games with them.
The opportunities that are being created through a site like Twitch.tv are limitless, but one thing is for sure, gaming communities are united, and the rise of e-sports is right behind this movement. This needs to happen for gamers, we need an online home where we can share gameplay, tournaments, ideas, creativity, and have open communication with some of the most talented players in the industry. The site is opening up new games to new people, and in the process walls are being broken down between communities that once clashed.
Most recently many Halo pro’s have been starting there own nightly streams due to some awesome advice from the Gears of War community. A few years ago Gears of War was on the MLG pro circuit, after the league dropped the game, the community found themselves with out a home. Some of the Gears ambassadors took it upon themselves to compete in tournaments streamed online to prove that the community was alive and kicking. This initiative taken by these underground gamers has since sparked a fire in the dying halo community. With Halo players and pro’s alike facing a new MLG season with potentially no Halo on the circuit, Halo community members are looking at GoW and what they did in their time of despair. After a few community meetings it was decided that if Halo was going to live, it needed to find a new home. Twitch.tv has been that new home for the past few months. Now I know Twitch has been around for a while, but the Halo community that I follow religiously has just begun to really utilize this space, and in the process, it has opened my eyes to the potential of this site. Clearly some notes were taken from successful communities like SC2, and others.
This article today is just out of pure personal interest and passion. I love games, watching games, playing game, and even writing about games. What Twitch has done is incredible and if Halo ends up on the 2012 pro circuit, I know what made the difference. Take some time and visit Twitch.tv. There is something for everyone, and even if there isn’t than use this site as a way of demoing an experience you may not have had otherwise. My next step it to start an IGX stream where we can finally tap into our community at the most important level, the game floor. I want to play games with you, and if you feel the same let us know. If an IGX stream is something you would like to see, we would like to provide that for you.
Check out some streams: