October 1, 2018
SportsPro has reported on its website that the Amazon-owned esports streaming service, Twitch, had experienced a surge in viewers tuning in to the Asian Games where an esports competition was taking place as a demonstration sport at the event hosted in Indonesia.
SportsPro says that the sudden rise in viewers saw the Twitch app ranked third in China’s App Store, but it was made unavailable after days of complaints over a drop in the quality of service.
Twitch confirmed it had been blocked in the country. The Chinese Government has tightened controls over the gaming industry in recent months.
SportsPro said that the Twitch platform, which has become key within esports’ rise in popularity, had coverage of the Asian Games esports competition, while the event was not broadcast on state-run media in China. The development will come as a blow to several big esports organisations. Overwatch League, which has two Chinese franchise teams, is only available to watch in China via Twitch.
The Chinese city of Hangzhou will host the next Asian Games in 2022, with esports looking to become a medal event, though the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) stated last month that the sport requires a governing body before it is confirmed. To read SportsPro’s article in full, click here.