More high-profile streamers are expected to make the jump from Twitch to Mixer and YouTube, following in the footsteps of Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Michael “shroud” Grzesiek, and Cory “King Gothalion” Michael, "Lachlan," and today, Jack “CouRage” Dunlop. Ninja’s move this summer made waves, as he was the first big streamer to switch platforms with such an exclusivity deal, bringing more attention to Twitch’s Microsoft-owned competitor, Mixer. It recently became clear that Ninja’s move wasn’t a one-off phenomenon, when Gothalion and Shroud also dropped Twitch for Mixer.
Once the only real name in streaming, Twitch has seen its popularity waning recently as the amount of controversies it faces seemingly mounts. While it’s still the top game streaming site, major streamers have been more vocal lately about the site’s problems. Back in May, Twitch launched subscriber-only streams, which drew criticism across the board, and the site’s reputation doesn’t seem to have improved since then. Also in May, streams labeled as Valve’s Artifact began popping up with all manner of offensive content, some of which stayed up for days before Twitch removed them. A few months later, Twitch was hit with boycotts over its parent company, Amazon, during its Prime Day promotion. Twitch’s own contract with partners was reportedly what drove Ninja to leave the service in the first place, and once he did, the site briefly used (read: hijacked) his channel to promote other channels, including (accidentally) pornography.
If recent reports are true, Twitch may have even more to worry about soon. According to esports analyst Rod Breslau, more big streamers are planning their departure from Twitch soon. Breslau announced the departure of Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, who left Twitch for YouTube, moments before that become official. CouRage is represented by the Loaded agency, which also represents Ninja and Shroud, among others, and Breslau points out that “nearly all of Loaded’s clients” are in talks to jump ship to Mixer or YouTube, or lock down a major deal with Twitch to stay.
CouRage's agency Loaded negotiated the deal, the same agency who represents Ninja, shroud, timthetatman, LIRIK, and summ1t among other clients— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) November 4, 2019
additional Loaded streamers are expected to more announcements in the near future
Twitch’s name recognition, along with its ability to pull viewers and sponsors like no other streaming service, may be enough to keep plenty of streamers there - and it's certainly where the most viewers are - but it’s clear that Mixer can offer some things that Twitch can’t, including some exciting marketing opportunities and branding partnerships next year when the Xbox Scarlett launches. In Ninja’s case, it was a significant chunk of change, but that’s not the site’s only advantage. When Gothalion switched to Mixer, he said he would be better able to raise money for charity and help his fellow streamers there, in part because partnering with Microsoft opens the door for larger gaming events.
While some people, most notably Herschel “Dr Disrespect” Beahm, have criticized streamers who are leaving Twitch, the moves have largely avoided criticism. It may have been more convenient for viewers to have all of their favorite streamers on the same platform, but the increased competition is good for streaming as a whole, as platforms will need to offer more to streamers and viewers alike to keep their attention.
Source: Rod Breslau/Twitter