By Chris Lucey SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – When Twitch.TV and the Newhouse School agreed to partner for the first eSports college course in the U.S., it was a mutual exchange. Newhouse gets its students expert insight into the world of eSports, while Twitch gets something that every industry giant needs: young, innovative minds tackling its problems.
eSports is growing at a rapid pace. Business Insider reports that eSports is projected to bring in $696 Million in 2017, and to continue growing exponentially after. By 2018, it reports that the audience will grow to nearly 600 million followers by 2020 and bring in almost $1.5 Billion. With this much money at stake, Twitch is aware of how crucial it is to maintain its position. 90 percent of the sport’s current audience of 323 million tunes in to the major tournaments and daily streams via Twitch.TV.
Companies like “Riot Games” have their games streamed through Twitch but keep strict control on how it’s intellectual property is displayed on the interface. Its biggest property is “League of Legends,” a game played professionally by some. “League” tournaments are often streamed on Twitch and generated nearly $30 million in prize money for its champions by the year 2016, according to Techvibes.com.
Finding a way past possible conflicts over intellectual property is of paramount importance to Twitch, which has forced its way into the ground floor of a booming eSports industry. It’s open to suggestions and fresh ideas about how to maintain that coveted title.