It was Hearthstone’s closed beta last year that cemented Blizzard’s place at the throne of Twitchdom. Oh, sure - StarCraft II and its fascinating metagame had been there for the streaming site’s founding, and the eminently watchable Diablo III a year later. But only when a digital collectable card game immediately began hoovering up featured slots on Twitch’s front page did it become clear that Blizzard’s future would be on film.
That’s a fact Blizzard have recognised themselves in their inaugural Stream Awards - a chance to shower fame and cash on the most dedicated and entertaining public players of their games.
Intriguingly, Blizzard have already decided on the award’s nominees - this is a company which keeps track of its best streamers, apparently. But voting for winners in seven of the 14 categories has been turned over to the community.
These are them:
- Favorite New Streamer of 2013
- Best Community Channel of 2013
- Most Educational Stream
- Favorite StarCraft II Stream
- Favorite Diablo III Stream
- Favorite Hearthstone Stream
- Favorite WoW Stream
“2013 was a great year for the Twitch streaming community, and many Twitch streamers have dedicated themselves to creating unique content based on Blizzard games,” wrote the developers. “These awards will provide recognition and cash prizes for the best Blizzard content streamers of 2013.”
The winners will be announced on Twitch’s blog on Friday of next week, February 7.
Stranger are the seven “data driven” categories Blizzard plan to announce categories, winners and runners-up for all at once next week: “These are being tabulated by Twitch’s glistening army of robots and number crunchers.”
Stranger still is the omission of the PCGamesN Twitch stream from the nominees. Our Nick doesn’t level his way through Reaper of Souls for recognition or cash, though: he does it out of civic duty.
Twitch will distribute a prize pool of $45,000 or so evenly between the top streamers - all of whom will be Twitch partners who streamed something from Diablo, Hearthstone, StarCraft or WoW in 2013. Who's your favourite? Sorry, favorite?