With the launch of their new suite of competitive tools, gaming juggernaut Twitch has debuted a new way for gamers to organize their own tournaments. The suite, called ‘Versus,’ went into closed Beta testing as of the 9th of this month. It’s only a matter of time until organizing tournaments and competitions will be something any Twitch user will be able to do, so what do we know so far?
As Facebook Gaming has continued to establish itself in the esports arena, the recent debut of their Tournaments feature has upped the ante. In a lot of ways, Twitch’s Versus suite seems like a direct response. Just as Tournaments allows users to organize their own virtual tournaments, Versus will also allow users to host competitions of their own. Prior to this, Twitch had started to host tournaments via their Twitch Rivals event, back in 2019, but Versus will serve to democratize tournament organizing for the platform.
The launch of Versus is only the latest in Twitch’s continued investment in esports, with the streaming giant actively looking for ways to boost actual participation and viewing of competitions and tournaments. In fact, Versus and Rivals both follow the launch of Twitch’s esports directory. The directory made it easier for viewers to keep track of which competitions were happening when, as well as which pros were competing where, even going so far as to offer personalized recommendations of which matches to watch, based on prior user viewings.
Although Twitch has long had a secure position in the gaming industry, as the field has continued to develop and prove more lucrative, rivals have continued to arise. From Facebook Gaming to YouTube Gaming, in order for Twitch to ensure its relevance, it has to diversify from being merely a streaming platform, and investing in the competitive aspect of gaming is a surefire way for them to do that. By facilitating the organization of competitions and tournaments for users on their platform, along with their other efforts, Twitch continues to solidify its place in the industry.
While Twitch Versus is still only available to those participating in its closed beta testing—collegiate esports leagues, game developers, Twitch Rivals competitors, and certain Twitch streamers—it won’t be too long until Twitch users will be able to launch their own competitions. In fact, according to this article from The Verge, there’s a wait list available for folks interested in queuing up to give the new suite a whirl.