Twitch’s official ‘sports’ category has tremendous potential

Twitch at Paris Games Week (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
Twitch at Paris Games Week (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images) /

Streaming platform Twitch has officially added a ‘sports’ category.

As the lines separating sports and video games entertainment continues to blur, Twitch has made it easier for the two coexist alongside each other. As reported by ESPN, the streaming platform has now introduced “sports” as an official standalone category.

There’s not a whole lot there right now but the category could grow thanks to a collaboration between Twitch and major soccer clubs Real Madrid, Arsenal, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain that will result in exclusive content for the platform.

Twitch has featured official pages for many already established sports teams and leagues, including the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, NWSL, RFL and UFC but most of them just tend to create content based around the video game versions of their respective sports. Having an official sports category makes it feel like something more official and less of an afterthought and hopefully encourages these sports and organizations to become more active on the platform.

Right now as I write this on a Sunday afternoon, there’s a stream to watch the Cincinnati Reds vs Detroit Tigers. I don’t know how the rights to baseball broadcasting actually work but this could be huge if sports start to embrace Twitch as a legitimate platform to air games. Baseball, which has long been stuck in the past, could find the younger audience it so desperately seeks if it opens up more of its games on Twitch.

More from eSports

Athletes have already embraced Twitch and video game streaming. With many of them having grown up with video games, it was a natural home for them when the coronavirus pandemic shut down leagues across the world. In fact, some leagues, like the NBA, actually hosted player-driven tournaments.

The NBA 2K Players Tournament featured players from the NBA representing their team in a tournament played out in NBA 2K. While this was hosted on ESPN, it was an opportunity to see the type of engagement sports could achieve with the community via video games.

Twitch has even started to attract talent beyond the sports world. Hip hop artist Logic recently signed an exclusive seven-figure deal with Twitch to become the company’s first musician to stream on the platform. Twitch is about so much more than just video games at this point and sports can obviously become a huge category.