Twitch has stepped away from esports team ownership, with the two teams that operated under its banner since 2014: Evil Geniuses and Alliance now becoming owned by the team’s respective players.
Release – Evil Geniuses stakes independence, becoming player-owned organization
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) December 12, 2016
Both brands were initially acquired and owned GoodGame, a company run by Alex Garfield before Twitch acquired GoodGame in 2014.
Kevin Lin, COO of Twitch said:
“Evil Geniuses and Alliance are two of the most recognisable brands in esports in no small part because of the vision and infrastructure of GoodGame, a company Twitch acquired in 2014. We acquired GoodGame for its expertise and leadership in the sponsorship space, and we continue to be captivated by the idea of scaling those services and monetisation opportunities to the wider gaming community. We also had an obligation to ensure the teams operated independently and received no preferential treatment on Twitch.
Today, we’re pleased to fully realize that independence, as we announce that both Evil Geniuses and Alliance will become independent player-owned organizations. While they’ll still be streaming on Twitch and we’ll continue providing support services, both teams’ brands, player contracts, and futures are now in the hands of the players and player-selected management. They will have complete independence and we will work with them as we would any other esports team.”
Erik Barge will become COO of Alliance, whilst The International winning champion Peter “ppd” Dager will become CEO of Evil Geniuses.
The Alliance press release can be found here.
The Evil Geniuses press release can be found here.
Esports Insider says: This is pretty substantial news. These two brands are comfortably two of the biggest in esports so it will be interesting to see how this develops in the future. It is vital for one of the biggest streaming platforms to maintain independence with regards to team ownership, especially when they’re partnered with other teams to assist in attracting non-endemic sponsorship.