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FaceIt Switches From Twitch to YouTube for ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’ Esports League Streaming

Variety logo Variety 3/16/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

Competitive-gaming platform FaceIt has switched off Twitch for its Esports Championship Series, announcing a multiyear deal with YouTube making it the exclusive online home for the league.

ECS, which features Valve’s “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” will stream exclusively on FaceIt’s YouTube channel starting March 25 with the ECS Promotion matches. FaceIt launched ECS last year in partnership with Amazon-owned Twitch, which had previously been the exclusive streaming partner. The league offers the participating teams and players ownership stakes and revenue-sharing agreements.

The deal with FaceIt represents YouTube’s most significant investment in eSports to date, according to Ryan Wyatt, global head of gaming content at YouTube. “We know the ‘CS:GO’ community is already watching clips, highlights, and rebroadcasts on YouTube, so we are excited to be able to bring them all this same action live.” Wyatt said.

On YouTube, ECS fans will see key features including 1080p HD live video at 60 frames per second and instant replays. Additionally, under the deal YouTube will actively work with ECS league players to provide guidance to maximize engagement on their YouTube channels and build their audiences. The companies also said they will pitch advertisers on new sponsorship packages of the league on YouTube.

”YouTube offers fans of the ECS an unmatched online viewing experience,” said Michele Attisani, chief business officer and co-founder of FaceIt. “YouTube is by far the most watched platform for gamers in the world and continues to innovate and lead on video technology, making it a great place for us to call our new home for the Esports Championship Series.”

U.K.-based FaceIt, founded in 2012, says it has more than 6 million users on its platform, who log on to play over 12 million online game sessions each month. The company last year raised $15 million in venture-capital funding from Anthos Capital, Index Ventures and United Ventures.

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