YouTube has launched YouTube Gaming, a website dedicated to live streaming gaming video content.
The service has been in the making for quite some time now, and the media have reported on it countless times before.
YouTube Gaming is the result of Google's failed attempt at acquiring Twitch.tv, an extremely popular video streaming service for gamers, purchased by Amazon in August last year for almost a billion dollars (£620m).
YouTube Gaming will have dedicated sites for more than 25,000 games, with each one collecting related YouTube videos. The service will be available as a website globally and will also have iOS and Android apps in the US and UK.
YouTube Gaming makes games the third entertainment category to get special attention from Google’s online video service, following music and children’s videos. Music-streaming service YouTube Music Key remains in beta testing, while the YouTube Kids app launched in the US in February 2015.
Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s head of gaming, said to The Guardian: “Gaming is so big now. We’re doing billions of hours of watch-time a month, with hundreds of millions of users. It’s astonishing.”
It’s really no wonder: Last year’s International, the global Dota 2 tournament, was watched by more than 20 million viewers, besides the fact that all seats to the tournament were sold out.
Still, it lagged behind League of Legends season finals, which drew 32 million viewers total in 2013, with 8.5 million peak concurrent viewers.
The 10 most popular games channels on the service generate more than 2.2bn monthly video views between them.
It will be interesting to see what the gaming community will gain from this new competition.