A new startup wants to improve the Twitch esports experience with an information-rich platform for competitive gaming fans.
Overcharge is a new platform for watching live esports from Twitch. The site is up now, and it aims to expand how people consume tournament broadcasts by linking Twitter, Reddit, and more into a single hub. Unlike Twitch proper, which only has its own chat, Overcharge wants to provide that chat as well as a live feed from Twitter and other communities related to the competition onscreen. Esports is a growing market worth $493 million before you count any gambling or daily fantasy revenues. Overcharge is expecting to carve out a piece of that business for itself by crafting a viewing experience specifically for esports fanatics.
Stew Houston, who is a former Counter-Strike pro and founder of Overcharge, argues that it is an evolution of Twitch. While that Amazon subsidiary wants to provide a home for both esports viewers as well as people who play games casually or for speedrunning, Overcharge focuses on the competitive gaming. That could help the startup establish a place for itself in the market.
Overcharge works by enabling you to pick the game you want to watch. Choosing Overwatch, Blizzard’s popular team shooter that’s beginning a push into esports, will load up the top livestream featuring the Blizzard shooter. In two sidebars, you can then tune to other channels and participate in Twitch chat while browsing through related Reddit threads, Twitter posts, and YouTube videos.
“With the explosive growth and increasing mainstream awareness of competitive gaming, building the Overcharge platform has not only been a passion project but a business venture that we expect to pay dividends over the next 5 years,” Houston said in a canned statement. “Esports tournaments are now selling out major stadiums, attracting over 10,000 attendees for major events, and online viewership is quickly rivaling that of conventional sports. The League of Legends Championship Series, for example, peaked at over 14 million concurrent viewers on Twitch alone.”