Skip to main content

In spite of criticisms, Twitch dreams of eSports expansion

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 11.13.37 PMOnce again, San Diego Comic-Con refused to be confined to only celebrating comics, and instead played host to events ranging from movies to video games, and everything in between. Starry-eyed comics readers did have the chance to meet bleary-eyed comics writers though, while celebrities and consumers clashed in the convention center’s cavernous halls, and video game companies hosted private parties on pirate ships. Among the non-comics related events was composer and producer Tommy Tallarico’s Video Games Live, which found itself delighting thousands in San Diego’s Civic Theater with special guests like Solid Snake voice actor David Hayter, Bungie composer Marty O’Donnell, and more.

Twitch Vice President of Marketing Matthew Dipietro
Twitch Vice President of Marketing Matthew Dipietro Image used with permission by copyright holder

Although the theater was not fully packed, VGL’s audience was far bigger than just those physically in attendance: online broadcasting service Twitch was on hand to stream the three-hour plus event to users at home, marking the first time the two organizations have worked together. “What we’re really excited about is to take this from the venue that [Tallarico] is doing and broadcasting it live online to, you know, at a huge scale,” Twitch Vice President of Marketing Matthew Dipietro told Digital Trends before the show. “We can get this out to an audience that Tommy has probably actually never seen.”

Video Games Live is always evolving, and that night marked the premiere of songs from the Assassin’s Creed series and The Secret of Monkey Island. Highlights also included music from Final Fantasy VII, Beyond Good and Evil, Shadow of the Colossus, and Destiny, and a rousing Foo Fighters song on which an audience member accompanied the orchestra on Guitar Hero. He chose expert, despite the $1,000 Amazon gift card and Kindle Fire riding on his performance, and tensions were high until he passed the pivotal 400K point milestone. During the show the VGL hashtag “#playtheclassics” trended in the top ten on Twitter, and a publicist told me that 11,000 people were watching from home. The full event—including a two hour pre-show—can be watched on

According to its latest numbers Twitch boasts over 38 million unique viewers a month and over 600,000 unique broadcasters, most of which are everyday gamers. Those numbers also include game media sites like Destructoid, game publishers like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and 2K.

“When you bring it all together, Twitch is the underlying live video platform for everybody in the video game space,” Dipietro said.

One of the most popular types of programming on Twitch are the growing eSports competitions, like those hosted by Major League Gaming. Earlier this year Twitch entered into an exclusive streaming agreement with MLG. But when Digital Trends spoke with MLG President Mike Sepso earlier this month, he suggested that he doesn’t consider Twitch to be the ideal partner for his organization.

“When you spend ten million dollars [a year] to produce video content you don’t necessarily want it sitting next to, you know, some kid in sweatpants in his basement streaming or whatever, without any content control and production value,” he said. “It’s sort of akin to HBO putting Game of Thrones and True Blood on next to cable access.”

“I can’t speak specifically to what he was saying,” Dipietro said at the VGL event. “What I can say is on Twitch, no matter who you are, whether you are a premium content player or an individual, passionate gamer, your channel is your channel, you know? If you come to the eSports league channel XYZ, that’s your channel, and it’s all yours. And our only goal is to make sure that you have the ability and the promise to broadcast to the largest audience that you possibly can and build a community around your content.”

“We love MLG,” he continued. “We love all of our partners. And they all … they make Twitch, and that’s why we’re here.”

Speaking more generally, Dipietro said Twitch wants to continue working with a variety of eSports organizations in addition to the other organizations, companies, and gamers that use Twitch every day. “Esports is a very large industry all its own,” he said. “We want to be the platform by which they broadcast to a large audience online.”

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Rougeau
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Mike Rougeau is a journalist and writer who lives in Los Angeles with his girlfriend and two dogs. He specializes in video…
Fortnite’s Rocket Racing is so fun, it could have been its own game
rocket racing hands on impressions jumping through air

Yesterday, Fortnite began its biggest expansion yet by dropping Lego Fortnite, a full survival crafting game that's playable for free within Fortnite. It was a pleasant surprise, but it isn’t the best piece of new content coming to the live-service juggernaut this week. That honor goes to Rocket Racing, an arcade racing game from the developers of Rocket League that’s available in Fortnite today.

This isn’t a simple kart racer that anyone could have put together in Fortnite’s creative mode. It’s a full-throated, free-to-play game that features 26 tracks at launch and some surprisingly deep driving systems. While Lego Fortnite may have had trouble standing on its own two feet outside of the Fortnite client, Rocket Racing could very well have launched as its own game -- and it still would be the best racing game of its type this year.

Read more
How to get planks in Lego Fortnite
lego fortnite hands on impressions village


Collecting resources and building isn't a foreign concept to Fortnite players. A major part of the game, unless you're in zero build, is smacking trees, walls, rocks, and basically everything with your pickaxe to get materials to build basic walls and structures to give you an edge in battle. Lego Fortnite has its own crafting and building system, but doesn't work in quite the same way. Planks in particular are the most essential building material in the game, but you can't get them by simply whacking a tree. Here's a quick rundown on how to collect planks to build your dream world in Lego Fortnite.
How to get planks in Lego Fortnite

Read more
Where to find knotroot in Lego Fortnite
Brite Bomber in Lego Fortnite.

Crafting is at the heart of Lego Fortnite. Without the right materials, you will never be able to get new gear, build new structures, or do any upgrades. And knotroot is a key ingredient in a ton of recipes. While not the rarest of items in the game, it is at the uncommon rarity level, meaning you won't just stumble upon it very often, and certainly not enough to satisfy your need for it. Let's narrow down your search so you can collect as much knotroot as you need in Lego Fortnite.
Where to find Knotroot

Despite being a type of wood, knotroot isn't found in a tree like normal wood. Instead, you will need to head to underground caves to get your hands on some. But before you go spelunking, you will need the right tool to collect knotroot , namely an Uncommon Forest Axe, as the base-level version won't cut it (literally). You can upgrade your axe to the Uncommon level using your Uncommon Crafting Bench with three bones and three wooden rods.

Read more