Azubu loses three major partnerships in one day
Streaming platform Azubu lost three of its key partnerships in less than 24 hours as the website plans a major relaunch.
Fnatic, Roccat, and Enemy Esports all started streaming on competitor Twitch yesterday. Fnatic had been partnered with the site for just over a year, Roccat for just under a year, and newest additions Enemy Esports for just six months.
The three organizations were some of the biggest draws to the platform, which has struggled to see consistently high traffic since its re-launch just over a year ago. Other popular Western organizations including H2K, Unicorns of Love, Team Coast and Team Impulse haven't announced any plans to drop.
This isn't the first time Azubu has suffered a big loss. On June 2, 2014, Counter Logic Gaming switched from Azubu to Twitch. And late last year, Team Coast, Meet Your Makers, and Team Curse all lost their Hearthstone lineups shortly after partnering with Azubu.
Since then, the platform secured a deal with Korean esports organization Kespa to stream Korean pro players and teams. Even Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, perhaps the most famous esports pro in the world, could barely maintain 5,000 viewers on the platform, however. Meanwhile, the infamous SpectateFaker stream on Twitch, which broadcasted Lee Sang-Hyeok’s games through the game's spectate function managed to eclipse it regularly.
Azubu is reportedly planning a major redesign and restructuring as it moves to an open broadcasting model. The company had previously focused on signing "premium" content creators—broadcasters with established followings and star power—but its new model will allow anyone to use it, like Twitch. This is likely a response to its low viewer numbers and the news that YouTube plans to enter the esports streaming market.