Twitch Virtual Currency: How it Affects eSports Betting

Dota 2 artwork, with abstract shapes on top.

You’ve probably heard by now that Twitch has a grand plan to introduce a virtual currency for in-play betting purposes.

Their main premise appears to be awesome: while you’re watching or playing a game, you can place a bet on your favorites and earn stuff.

However, the facts we’re working with here are not that straightforward.

See, even though we received reports of Twitch introducing a new currency, we still don’t know their exact plan of action or, let’s say, a main strategy.

So, after bashing my head around a bit and decided to try and come up with all possible outcomes of this latest update.

Let’s take a look.

What we do know

  • We know that the currency is called Stream+ and that it will be introduced with their latest game — Brekaway.
  • Players will have the opportunity to buy the virtual currency (or otherwise called Loyalty Points) and then bet with them on the matches.
  • The system will (for now) remain a closed circuit. Players will earn points and then use them within Twitch. There are no rumors yet about that currency being tradeable for real money.
  • The new wagering system will be limited only to games developed by Amazon Game Studios. In the very near time period, those will be: Breakaway, Crucible and New World.
  • We can expect the system to evolve and expand to individual streams.
  • Wagering system will be backed up by other new features: real time stats, match builder and spotlight. More info or those can be found here.

What we don’t know

  • We have no clue about how the exact system will work. Amazon (Twitch) has to maintain a foggy campaign until the dust with skin gambling settles down.
  • Consequently, we don’t know how the wagering system will be regulated. UK Gambling Commission has already expressed their concern and I believe Amazon will closely follow regulatory rules. They certainly don’t want to create a bad public aura, like Valve did with skins.
  • Last, but not the least, we don’t know how Stream+ trading will work. Will we able to profit out of it in any way? Like, use it to buy game items or similar things.

The only thing we have to do is sit back and wait.

One thing is for certain, this update is great news for eSports betting enthusiasts as it will help with the transition that’s about to happen: Twitch will educate players on the do’s and don’t of betting and then find a way to nurture them into unmatched gaming engagement.

Remember, this has one goal and that’s to keep players within Twitch and to keep them engaged with the platform.

For the rest of us, this could be a great practice for the real money betting. In the end it will come down to the success of their games and from then, only time will tell.