Cloud9 and Team SoloMid just found a major backer in their quest for more sponsors, and it happens to be the biggest video game streaming site on the internet.
Twitch announced Friday a new partnership with Cloud9 and TSM that will help both major esports organizations court non-endemic sponsors. Such sponsors are brands that do not generally sell gaming-oriented products such as computer peripherals.
"Our goal is to help introduce more sponsors into the space through broad reach that includes media and now sponsorships," Twitch chief operating officer Kevin Lin said in a statement. The Amazon-owned company will use its resources to help create new experiences for viewers that should appeal to Cloud9 and TSM fans as well as make a better case to incoming sponsors. Twitch is currently experimenting with different models and ideas, such as the recently introduced Twitch Prime subscription feature.
"We're thrilled Twitch will be representing TSM for future sponsorships," TSM chief exrecutive officer and founder Andy "Reginald" Dinh said via a press release. Dinh feels that TSM is a brand that can mesh with a lot of other companies, and having Twitch's backing can help seal these deals.
Along with this sponsorship deal, Twitch will be the exclusive streaming platform for Cloud9 and TSM. Twitch is a market leader in video game and esports streaming in the West particularly.
Famously, for a time, both Curse -- pre-Team Liquid merger -- and Fnatic had exclusive streaming partnerships with South Korean site Azubu. But as soon as that contract was up, both organizations quickly moved back to Twitch, where the audience was much larger. OpTic Gaming's Matthew "Nadeshot" Haag also signed a streaming contract with MLG.tv with the expectation that his Twitch audience would follow. Unfortunately, that did not happen, and his viewership plummeted. It's something he cites as a major regret, as it divided the Call of Duty community between the two platforms.
Cloud9 and TSM are two of the biggest esports organizations in the world and may be attractive to new, non-endemic sponsors who are looking for a sure bet. By officially playing the middleman between these teams and such brands and providing the technology to further their reach, Twitch appears to be cementing its role as a significant force in esports in the U.S. and abroad.