Twitch has made a deep foray into touchscreen eSports with a deal to broadcast and promote the Vainglory Championships. The streaming company partnered with the app's developer, Super Evil Megacorp, for three years, with each company investing multi-millions of dollars to support the tournament. As a reminder, Vainglory first appeared when Apple used the title to show the power of its A8 chip. It went on to become the fastest growing mobile Twitch game last year and is available on Android or iOS.
According to Twitch, the game was also the biggest touchscreen eSport last year, with $350,000 in prize money around the world. During the winter championships, the competition drew over 1.5 million viewers on the streaming service. The deal means that Twitch will provide a dedicated broadcast team to cover Vainglory events and handle sponsorship and merchandise deals. The spring championships kick off today with registration for three-player teams competing for a total prize pool of $80,000.
With the new season comes new game options, including a new beta "Battle Royal" mode, along with a new hero, skin and "Halcyon Days" event. According to Twitch eSports director Nick Allen, the deal shows that mobile titles, once slagged by gamers, are on the upswing thanks to higher quality titles. "The eSports industry has been dominated by PC and console titles, but Vainglory is ushering in a new mobile games movement," he says.