Facebook Live has made no secret of its all-conquering ambition to become the go-to game-streaming hub for gamers everywhere. There’s just one small obstacle that stands in the way of its goal; a platform known as Twitch, which currently boasts a massive legion of viewers.
To help it reach the heights that Twitch has already scaled, Facebook has made the strategic decision to hire an individual who has an in-depth understanding of gaming. Stephen “Snoopeh” Ellis has been assigned the role of e-sports strategic partnerships manager at the social network.
Using the hands-on experience Ellis gained from his pro gaming days on the e-sports circuit — and his extensive list of contacts — he will work to bring developers and players, and their streaming content, to Facebook. Ellis was reportedly recruited in May, and is working under Facebook’s head of games partnerships for North America, Guy Cross, reports TechCrunch.
In the short time that Ellis has been at the social network, several major gaming initiatives have been pushed through. On May 13, it was announced that publisher Activision Blizzard was expanding its MLG.tv streaming platform to broadcast events and its e-sports tournaments using Facebook Live. Less than a month later, on June 6, it was announced that Blizzard would be integrating Facebook login and Facebook’s Live API into all its games, including massive-selling titles World of Warcraft, and Overwatch.
During his pro-gaming peak, Ellis gained acclaim for successfully competing in e-sports tournaments, playing one of the most-popular games in the world, League of Legends. Since putting down the gamepad, Ellis has worked as an adviser for gaming analytics firm Repable, and as a VP at e-sports betting company Unikrn. “I’m going to help shape the future of e-sports and gaming,” he declares on his LinkedIn profile.
Facebook’s own outlook when it comes to game streaming is certainly promising. With an existing audience of 1.65 billion users, Ellis shouldn’t have a hard time luring games studios to the social network. Additionally, as a former professional gamer, he understands what other gaming enthusiasts seek from a live-streaming platform. With Ellis in tow, you may end up seeing a lot more gaming content on Facebook Live in the near future.