May 29 2014 - 6:01 pm

More detailed 'Counter-Strike' stats are coming thanks to Twitch and Valve

When it comes to the stats over which so many sports fans salivate, esports seems like an untapped goldmine

When it comes to the stats over which so many sports fans salivate, esports seems like an untapped goldmine. Since gaming competitions take place in a digital world, you'd expect stats would be easy to come by. But bizarrely, that's never really been the case.

This might soon change. Twitch, the world’s biggest video game streaming site, is teaming up with Valve to use Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s metadata. The goal is to build an advanced directory to browse through the game’s streamers based on a player’s skill level and map choice.

alt Image via Twitch

To begin collecting the data, streamers must connect their Steam account to their Twitch account.

Twitch staff had several options when it came to deciding on which details would be most useful to viewers. But they wanted to keep the number small to avoid the bloated creep of too many options and features.

They settled on map and skill level so that players could learn specifics about different maps from competitors on their own level. They also considered using a player’s kill to death ratio but nixed the idea “because it might have encouraged broadcasters to game the statistic by playing against weaker opponents.”

The Counter-Strike advanced directory is the first of its kind, Ben Swartz, Twitch’s senior software engineer said. And it looks like the company is aiming to do more with the metadata system the company has built called Jax.

Jax was originally designed to store information like games played and video format but was recently extended to include any metdata, including that from the games themselves.

The new advanced directory for Counter-Strike is potentially big news for all games. Imagine StarCraft 2 being sorted by race, skill level, map, and even build order and strategy. League of Legends can be ordered by champion, items, role, and more. The possibilities are enormous if the game publishers are ready and willing to participate.

And the potential is vast. Imagine being able to sort videos of premiere Counter-Strike tournaments by highest frag count or most headshots. These are numbers the game already knows, it would be easy and highly rewarding to serve them to the viewer.

Twitch has already run small A/B tests on the feature and they’ve proven a huge success. So the directory will be rolled out to all users immediately.

Image via Valve