Blizzard games such as Hearthstone and Overwatch can now be streamed on Twitch. Picture: A scene from Overwatch being played on PlayStation 4. Blizzard Press Centre

Video streaming platform Twitch and video game company Blizzard Entertainment which makes games such as “Overwatch”, “Hearthstone” and “StarCraft” signed a two-year deal Tuesday, which will give Twitch the exclusive streaming rights of Blizzard tournaments, making it the only third-party company capable of doing so. The deal includes streaming rights of tournaments such as the Heroes of the Storm” Global Championship and the Overwatch Apex League.

“From now through 2018, Twitch and Blizzard fans will get the legendary treatment. Twitch will be the exclusive third-party streaming platform for more than 20 Blizzard tournaments. The best place to watch Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and StarCraft II just became even better with tons of exclusive content. You can also expect community events, and, of course, some sweet, sweet loot,” the company said in its press release.

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Apart from Blizzard’s own platforms, only Twitch will be able to stream its video game tournaments. The deal marks a big step for eSports such as Overwatch since they are now being streamed like Monday Night Football, with the audience in tow to see how players and teams perform against each other.

The deal will cover both Blizzard events announced in the initial release and any additional programs which would be announced in the span of the next two years. This includes events such as:

  • Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC)
  • StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS Circuit)
  • Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT)
  • Hearthstone Global Games (HGG)
  • World of Warcraft Arena Championship
  • Overwatch APEX League
  • Overwatch Premier Series

If you have a Twitch Prime or an Amazon Prime membership, you will get Twitch Prime bonuses for the game as a part of the deal. Prime members will get a golden Overwatch loot box including guaranteed legendary item along with three additional in-game items such as remotes, voice lines or character skins, starting Tuesday until August 10. In August and October, Twitch Prime subscribers will get 10 additional Overwatch loot boxes. Twitch and Blizzard have similar promotions in tow for other games including “Heroes of the Storm” and “Hearthstone.”

While Twitch has been given exclusive third-party rights, Blizzard will continue to stream its games on its website. The deal is a significant step for Twitch and strengthens its position as a video streaming network which specializes in gaming-related content.

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The deal follows the shift of controversial YouTuber, Felix Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie to the platform.

Twitch is steadily becoming the preferred streaming network among gamers, competing with YouTube whose biggest stars included games such as PewDiePie and Markiplier. Many YouTubers are complaining about YouTube’s restrictive standards, which it has begun following to appease advertisers, many of whom recently left the video sharing platform following complaints of ads being played before hateful and racist content.