Facebook are set to challenge Twitch as the major eSports streaming platform after announcing a brand new deal with ESL, one of the world’s largest eSports leagues.
The streaming deal will see Facebook become the primary broadcaster for all English language streams for ESL’s Dota 2, CS:GO competitions – including the CS:GO Pro League.
The new streaming platform got under way with the ESL One Genting 2018 in South Korea which runs from the 23 – 28 January.
Speaking about the new deal Leo Olebe, the global director of Facebook Games Partnerships at ESL said: “For years ESL has used Facebook to nurture its global community while broadening the audience for eSports competition to millions of fans worldwide.
“Having two of ESL’s most adored properties for CS:GO and Dota 2 streaming exclusively on Facebook is the next step in our efforts to delight the passionate eSports community on Facebook.”
Unfortunately for ESL and Facebook, the news has not been received as well as they’d have hoped by the wider eSports community.
Many fans have taken to Twitter to express their discontent over the switch, and to highlight the various issues which they have encountered when trying to watch the new streams.
The first day of the new platform attracted around 7,000 viewers at its peak with the number only reaching 2,000 for most of the day. This is much lower than the usual and generally what was expected.
Users also seemed to experience technical issues with the stream’s picture quality, whilst others struggled to watch the streams on their mobile devices.
Here is some of the reaction below:
Don’t even have to go on facebook, you can go on ESL’s site and watch the embedded stream. But that’s “supporting facebook” so not many will do that.
— Hayter Snake (@SnakeDaHayter) 24 January 2018
You go to bed thinking, hmm, ESL can’t screw this up anymore. Then you see they’ve illegally DMCAed streamers (without ads/overlays) in a move to get viewers to watch their crappy Facebook stream. Also against Valve’s policy. Well played @theflyingdj. #eslfail
— grayhairgaming (@grayhairgaming) 24 January 2018
Had to turn off ESL’s stream on Facebook. I can tolerate it, but not how they dealt with other streamers and the audience complaining about the stream. 🙃
— ♡ L I L I P U T ♡ (@daryyyyyll) 24 January 2018
Main event streams have never struggled to maintain more viewers than alternative streams like Bulldog’s. ESL chose to forego the standard Esport streaming website. People don’t like change, nevermind worse content and a lacklustre platform.
— Lehan Lotter (@LehanLL) 24 January 2018
It is okay if ESL wants to stream on Facebook but then I hope they dont cry about the viewers lost or blame PPD/Bulldog for it.
— Flash- (@JuanCar_Agua) 23 January 2018
hey ESL, just wanted to let you know I’m not watching your Facebook stream on principle now, have a good one xd
— Mintberry Crunch (@NathanHiggz) 24 January 2018
List page image © James Cao