Twitch, YouTube, and other live streaming platforms might soon get some new competition. Looch TV, a live streaming service recently launched by Russian giant ESforce Holding, is looking to establish itself in the market.
ESforce investing big in esports
According to Russian news, Vista Media (which is owned by ESforce) set up the new live steaming venture. The Russian conglomerate, which is backed by wealthy magnate Alisher Usmanov, has been investing heavily in esports during the last couple years.
In 2015, esports powerhouse Virtus Pro received a $100 million investment from Usmanov’s USM Holding. The project later turned into ESforce Holding, which currently owns Virtus Pro, has a 66 percent stake in SK Gaming, and owns media rights for the esports organization Na’Vi.
Moreover, the esports company also runs Epicenter, the broadcasting studio RuHub, and betting platforms Dota 2 Lounge and CS:GO Lounge. It also recently opened the modern esports venue Yota Arena in Moscow. In April, the company entered into multi-million dollar partnerships with PepsiCo and MarktMarkt Russia.
While the organization is still fairly new, it has quickly picked up steam. Per the company’s website, ESforce’s media platforms have an audience of over 54 million fans and 180 social pages that cover about 80 percent of the market in Russia and the CIS region.
Signing, sealing, and delivering esports events
While there’s still some work left to do on the website, the platform is slowly coming to life.
“Live-streaming marks a new era in media,” reads the new site.
“Year after year, there has been a steady growth in the quantity and quality of exhibitions, tournaments, and simply people wishing to share their experience and emotion with others. At Looch, we believe that there is no limit to perfection and content quality, and want to make live-streaming better, easier, and more convenient than anywhere else.”
The live streaming platform will allow ESforce to run esports events completely on its own. The company already has an arena, a broadcasting studio, an event organizer, and betting services.
A competitive landscape
The live streaming market is more competitive than ever. While Twitch is still the biggest player in the field, competitors like YouTube, Facebook, and others are slowly securing their fair share in the scene.
Still, more companies are looking to get a piece of the pie. DouyuTV, a big Chinese entrant, is continuously expanding its presence. Azubu, the California-based esports streaming company, also recently made moves by acquiring Hitbox, a European player in the streaming business.
As more measures of esports’ popularity emerge, more companies and organizations will likely realize how lucrative the market is.