Now the gaming wars are getting seriously interesting! Following fast behind Ninja & Shroud, Faze Ewok has just announced that she too is leaving Twitch for Mixer. What on earth are Twitch going to do about it – and are pro gamers not-so-subtly telling Twitch that they have just gotten too big for their boots…?
A period (of) drama – what is going on with Twitch?
As a quick recap, Twitch is the market leading, Amazon-owned gaming giant with an anticipated 2020 audience of 589 million users. Estimated to be worth approaching $4 billion, Twitch is a behemoth of an enterprise.
Lately though, there have been some rumblings of trouble in gaming paradise. And they are getting way too loud to ignore.
Considering both platforms are owned by huge corporations, this isn’t really a David and Goliath situation. However, it is becoming more and more interesting to see pro gamers, followers and players showing that quality really matters more than quantity.
As we reported recently, Mixer is gaining on Twitch, and fast.
Who is Ewok and why has she switched to Mixer?
Ewok (actual name Soleil Wheeler) was the first female member of the gaming team Faze Clan; hence Faze Ewok. She is also just 14 years old and joined the team aged 13; the second team member under the age of 14.
Ewok is a Fornite pro gamer with 284,000 followers on Twitch. Although less high profile than some of the other pros switching to Mixer, she has a loyal base of followers. Ewok, who is also deaf, started scaling the popularity charts when TimTheTatman (real name Timothy Betar) decided to host her early this year.
Check out Ewok’s Twitter announcement (ok, more of a subtle tease!) below – I like her style.
— FaZe EwOk (@Ewok) November 14, 2019
What other superstar gamers have Twitch lost to Mixer?
Twitch must be reeling from the big names jumping ship. One would hope they are considering some serious self reflection to understand why.
We reported last month that Shroud (Michael Grzesiek) had made the same move. It has seemed to pay off, with Shroud breaking the Mixer servers – just temporarily! – right off the bat during his first big stream playing Modern Warfare when the servers crashed under the huge influx of viewers.
Shroud was following in the footsteps of Ninja (Tyler Blevins) who hit the benchmark of 1 million active subscribers just five days after his debut with Mixer.
They are joined by Destiny gamer King Gothalion (Cory Michael), who made the exact same move explaining that he ‘believes working closer with Xbox and Microsoft would allow him to help more streamers, raise more money for charity and throw larger gaming events’.
So why are all these gamers switching allegiance?
A lot of the reasoning is to do with scale. Twitch really is massive, and ranked one of the top 40 websites in the world as we reported recently.
The problem is that gamers need their own followings and sponsorships to be able to enhance their personal careers. With Twitch taking it upon themselves to restrict licensing deals, Engadget reported that Twitch was ‘unresponsive’ to requests from Ninja prior to his departure.
Not really the way to treat the biggest superstar on your platform with 14 million followers…
Reactions are mixed; Business Insider reports of viewers feeling that Ninja was a ‘sell out’ for making the move.
Personally, I disagree. Gamers should have the autonomy to choose who they represent just as we all have the choice of who we work for. If Twitch is too big to care about their gamers, to respond to their requests, or to be able to work collaboratively with them, why would they not consider making a statement move?
It is a genuinely massive personal career risk for these players. Mixer is nowhere in the league of Twitch quite yet in terms of numbers. But in terms of work ethic, of team culture and of the emphasis on gamer experience and valuing their viewers? Actions speak louder than words.
I’m sure Microsoft are rubbing their hands with glee!
What do you think? Good move for Ewok?