Absurd payday for lucky gamers
STREAMING sites like Twitch are handing relatively unknown gamers contracts worth $US10 million ($A14.8 million) as the so-called streaming wars heat up.
That's according to a bombshell new report, which reveals the lengths Twitch and rival site Mixer are going to to secure the world's top gaming stars.
Twitch, bankrolled by Amazon, is battling it out with Microsoft-backed Mixer and other platforms like Facebook Gaming and YouTube to be crowned the world's dominant streaming site.
To do that, each needs to pull in new viewers by tying down top talent - mostly video game streamers - with lucrative exclusive contracts.
Backed by the financial might of several US tech giants, the escalating tug of war has proved a goldmine for basement-dwelling streamers, reports CNN.
Gamers already on Twitch - the biggest and longest-running platform of the pack - are being offered exorbitant sums to jump into bed with its rivals, according to Ryan Morrison, CEO of online talent agency Evolved.
Ryan estimated that Twitch gamers with relatively low followings of around 10,000 regular viewers are garnering offers topping $A13.53 million
Those with smaller followings are getting handouts of up to $A1.48 million, he added.
Nabbing streamers with established followings is a crucial step for tech giants to establish themselves as true gaming destinations.
The streaming wars began when hugely popular Fortnite gamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins moved from Twitch to Mixer in August.
The deal, in which Ninja, 28, left behind 14 million Twitch followers, was worth up to $A44.4 million, according to Justin Warden, CEO of Ader, a marketing and talent management agency that works with Ninja.
"Now the streaming wars have begun," said Devin Nash, chief marketing officer at N3RDFUSION, a talent agency that represents Twitch and YouTube influencers.
"But it took someone to fire the first shot. That was Ninja."
Ninja was followed closely by Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek, another Fortnite behemoth who moved from Twitch to Mixer in October.
The 25-year-old Canadian's exclusive deal with the site is worth up to $A19.2 million. He had seven million followers on Twitch.
Streaming sites like Twitch and Mixer rake in cash via paid subscriptions and advertising revenue.
Twitch boasts 15 million daily users and is worth an estimated $A5.9 billion.
Backed by Silicon Valley billions, its rivals are quickly catching up.
Companies are betting big on competitive gaming - also known as "esports" - a rapidly growing industry worth billions.
Fans spend millions of hours online watching others play video games every day, according to CNN.
Video gaming content generated $9.6 billion in revenue in 2019, according to Superdata, a company that tracks the video game industry.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission