There’s no doubt that Twitch.tv is one of the biggest recent success stories in the online gaming space. Increasingly powerful tech has given the opportunity for a great number of people to stream their own content and for others to enjoy the show in hi-definition.
Originally aimed at computer gamers, Twitch ushered in a new era of esports that now rivals the support of many mainstream sports. Online poker hitched a ride on this powerful beast , but was it a net winner or loser overall?
Are Esports Too Powerful for Poker to Compete?
We have Jason Somerville to thank for the Twitch poker revolution. In late 2014 he began streaming his own games and became an instant hit. It obviously helped that he was already an established player who had won millions. Novice players streaming their frustrating exploits would not have had the same effect.
Soon after, other players, such as Jaime Staples, decided to try and emulate Somerville and a whole new genre was born. The problem for poker was that it would have to compete with esports to attract new players.
It’s almost impossible to accurately analyse the demographics, but many claim that online poker streams on Twitch are almost exclusively watched by people who already play the game on a regular basis. It doesn’t look as if Twitch is where poker’s new recruits find and fall in love with the game.
Does Poker Twitch Help Online Poker Today?
Although many small poker channels have popped up on Twitch in the last couple of years, the big names are still the same, and aimed at entertainment rather than taking a more educational slant.
This has provided one useful support mechanism to the online poker community in that many players who don’t have time to study and play can still get behind their favourite streamer and follow their poker journey.
The streamers can also now support each other with the “raid” feature. Once their stream has ended they can send their viewership to a friend’s channel, some of whom will undoubtedly become fans of both channels.
Overall, Twitch poker probably does a good job of supporting online poker but it isn’t likely to be responsible for enough of an influx of new players to have a significant impact on traffic. Esports is now firmly established and too much of a monster for poker to overcome.
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