Fans Have Spent Over $US150,000 Cheering Overwatch League Teams On Twitch

Twitch recently introduced "cheering" functionality to its Overwatch League streams, allowing viewers to express team loyalty with actual money. Oddly, however, none of that money is going directly to teams.

In order to use Twitch's cheering functionality, you have to acquire "bits", which you can buy in bundles that come out to around a $US0.014 per bit exchange rate, sans discounts. Since the feature's introduction yesterday, a counter on Twitch's OWL page says that viewers have (virtually) whooped, hollered and idly considered streaking across the field to the tune of over 11,000,000 bits, or more than $US150,000 ($192,113).

Why? In part, at least, because there's a leaderboard and rewards involved. Viewers can unlock Overwatch-themed Twitch emotes for cheering, and once they reach certain cheer milestones, they will unlock new items for everyone in Overwatch, like a special Tracer skin at 40,000,000 bits.

As of writing, Dallas had been cheered the most, with 2,123,370 bits. Also, the top cheerer had spent 122,250 bits, which converts to anywhere from $US1540 ($1972) to $US1711 ($2191) depending on which bit bundles they bought.

As Unikrn points out, however, cheering doesn't directly contribute to teams' earnings, despite drawing on the tribalistic forces of team-based loyalty. "Overwatch League Cheering is part of a larger partnership between Twitch and Overwatch League that supports the League and players as a whole," states Twitch's FAQ. "Your Cheering helps support this partnership, rather than the teams individually."

Like I said yesterday, Twitch's costly $US90 ($115) million deal with Blizzard probably has something to do with this.


Comments

    Does Kotaku have a daily quota of Overwatch articles?

    I seriously dont get why on earth people would waste money on something like that, but you have to give it to Twitch for creating something so stupid and all the suckers line up to use. Maybe I am just jealous I dont have enough money to waste cheering on someone 'virtually'. I would prefer to watch the games after the fact, cut out all that downtime between the fighting and all the time when Soe isnt talking and being funny.

    But hey if those customers keep it free for the rest, hats off to them. hehe

      First of all, you should try to "get" how to be a decent human being and don't insult people for spending their own money. Just imagine like you pick up a chewing gum or a protein bar on your way to check out at the convenient store, it works the same way here for people with disposable incomes.

        Except your talking about food... which is essential part of life.

        People are paying money, to unlock skins, they can buy with credits they earn from watching... its insane, people paid $150,000 so Twitch can tell Blizzard "Yes, we got enough real money, give them access to the shiny cosmetic you already made while we give them virtual money that has no intrinsic value"

        I mean tipping streamers, as entertainers is fair as entertainers who need an income... but this is like if the basketball stadium started throwing $1 dollar bills at the ESPN every time they showed a highlight reel... its mental to think of. Their tipping the broadcaster and blizzard for allowing them to watch the game and buy skins. Twitch, Blizzard and those Teams shouldn't be pan handling like this for mo-money in my opinion. This money is not like the Dota Invitational and going to the prize pool... its profiteering, and exploitative of the Twitch culture by mis-directing it to Twitch/Blizzard directly.

      you want to know what i really despise?

      Those who think they can demand what people spend their money on. And insinuate that they are lower human beings for not spending their money on something you deem worthy.

      Its their money. They can legally spend it how they want.

      Keep your opinions on what people legally spend their money on to yourself. Because frankly its none of your fucking buisness.

        have you ever tried to read a twitch chat stream ever (of a big event like that)?! Even with moderators it is nothing but noise and ridiculousness. And I say that as someone who likes watching the events themselves.

        I couldnt care what people spent their money but at the same time, I applauded things like this and steams cards and other such things for finding silly ways to help part people from their money.

        I merely question surreal insanity of 'digital cheers' for cash. What of other sporting events do you have to ask the groundskeepers for permission to cheer? Selling digital sport skins to support the game I get. Having to pay to cheer. Is so ludicrous and questionable (in terms of children) it would make more sense if it was a Black Mirror plot. But hey if you want to spend your money on it, go right ahead.

    And despite the fact Twitch will happily take our money to pay for these virtual Bits, the viewing rewards are not available to Australians.

    And once again, the author neglects to include this important piece of information.

      Americans don't usually care about what's going on in Australia.

      False I'm Australia and have had viewing rewards, stop spouting bs.

        It's not BS.

        https://blog.twitch.tv/earn-overwatch-league-loot-a494e1c21634

        Open February 21, 2018 to August 12, 2018 to legal residents of Argentina, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States 13 years of age or older.

        Note that Australia is not one of the countries listed as eligible.

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