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Category: Streams

Twitch Does Cooking: The Rise of Streams Other Than Gaming

Over the last six few months we have seen Twitch begin to move back to its Justin.tv roots by introducing more variety into Twitch. Justin.tv was for a long time a site for the streaming of everything. It was the Wild West, people pretty much streamed whatever they wanted ranging from the video game streams we see on Twitch now, to illegal rebroadcasts of sports programming. Justin.tv quickly became the internet’s destination for video game streams and closed its doors to re-brand itself as the Twitch we know and love today.

 

twitch bob ross
The Twitch community has embraced Bob Ross with passion

 

Now we are seeing Twitch, intelligently, re-diversify. Starting a few months back with the addition of Creative Streams and the launching of the Bob Ross streams, we are now seeing Twitch double down on creative content. In what could be seen as an attempt to encourage even more variety among the creative streams to go along with the musical and artistic content we are seeing the content tab become lush with Twitch is introducing a 24/7 Julia Child cooking channel.

Some may be frustrated by these moves – mostly individuals who appreciate their walled garden of gaming content not wanting he site to get too far away from gaming. I however love the moves. We on Twitch are communities of people, and people have multitudes of interests not only in gaming but also in art, cosplay, programming, and yes – even cooking. I applaud Twitch for encouraging content beyond gaming and look forward to seeing what interesting things us can Content Creators think of next. What are your thoughts on the move?

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The Great Twitch Emote Purge

Twitch emotes are one of the most important aspects, if not the most important aspect of Twitch as a website. They help set broadcasters and themselves apart from the rest of the internet. Broadcasters have their own emotes that they get to use once they are partnered on Twitch, but Twitch also has its own emotes than can be used in any chat by any user. On January 20th 2016 Twitch decided to remove some of these global emotes from expired promotions. Casualties of this emote purge included but were not limited to OSsloth, OSfrog and all of the tb emotes such as tbBaconBiscuit which were left over from Twitch’s promotion with Taco Bell. Most of these emotes went uneventfully into their good night, but favorites OSslothand OSfrog could not be killed. After much hullabaloo Twitch decided to put it to a vote, they asked the community on Twitter rather they should bring back OSsloth or OSfrog.

OSsloth and OSfrog
OSfrog and OSsloth, respectively

After the voting Twitch surprised the community by bringing both back. I am personally excited the Taco Bell promotional emotes are gone, as they were mostly used by my chat to tease me with food as I was nearing the end of my streams. I am however excited they decided to keep OSsloth, which has to be one of my favorite under the radar emotes. Were one of your favorite emotes removed in this purge, are you happy about any emotes being removed like I am about the Taco Bell emotes, or did I miss any that were removed? Let me know in the comments below.

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Streaming Platform Exclusivity Issue Ends in JMIF’s Disqualification

A team was eliminated from a CS:GO tournament due to streaming platform exclusivity for what is believed to be the first time ever.

Team Just Make it Fast (JMIF) was  playing Cloud9 in a best of three for the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Game Show Global eSports Cup on January 13th 2016 when JMIF player Launders began streaming from his point of view on Twitch.

This is not typically an issue except in this case the tournament is sponsored by and intended to be streamed exclusively on Azubu.

Launders Ban Stream
After a warning Launders started his stream again

To Azubu’s credit, they did not disqualify JMIF on the first occurrence. They gave Launders a clear warning to stop his stream – which he did – just before starting it back up again. Upon this happening, Azubu pulled the cord and DQed JMIF from the rest of the tournament and gave Cloud9 the forfeit win.

This only got more interesting when the rule book was analyzed and it was found to NOT be against the rules for a player to stream their point of view on a service other than Azubu, which many on Reddit and elsewhere the internet called them out on. However, the tournament’s first rule states that “…we reserve the right to change, modify, or adapt all rules as deemed appropriate…”

I believe this is the first time we have seen a streaming platform (or any sponsor) step in to disqualify a team during a tournament, but I think it was Azubu’s right to do so. Since they are streaming with an exclusivity agreement with the Game Show Global eSports Cup, Azubu has every right to protect their investment as such. In the future I would like to see – and I would imagine others do too – a clear cut rule that players are aware of so that we can see these tournaments played out as they are meant to be, instead of disqualifications based on technicalities.

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New Year’s Resolution: Higher Resolution?

We have recently seen streaming service Hitbox.tv introduce 4k streaming into their platform. For those unfamiliar: 4k resolution is 3840 x 2160 – a big step above HD resolution which is typically 1920×1080 or 1280×720.

Rank Up Lawl
My own stream at a measly 720p

This is a huge improvement over the quality Twitch streamers typically see, where it’s difficult and largely frowned upon to stream at 1080p 60 FPS because of bitrate restrictions (restrictions made by streaming platforms that limit how much data you can upload to the servers to prevent eating up a ton of resources). While the community and content on Twitch is undoubtedly larger and more prevalent, these are the kind of improvements a streaming site can make over the typical formula to perhaps open some people’s eyes to what they are doing.

It would be much harder for a site the size of Twitch or Youtube to begin pushing out 4k resolutions due to the user base size of both broadcasters and audience. In the past we have seen smaller companies innovate and grow, while bigger companies settle and stagnate in many other fields. However this is also part of the beauty of competition: streaming on Twitch and streaming in general has largely been an activity done at 720p and 30 or 60 FPS, but with Hitbox innovating and improving their content to be streamable at 4k resolution we can maybe start looking forward to Twitch and other platforms making this level of quality possible.

Competition is the mother of innovation, and hopefully this competition is one that we can all benefit from. With 4k capable equipment becoming more readily available and cheaper, I would expect to see a shift towards this super high definition sooner rather than later. I’ll be ready when it happens.

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