Weeks after announcing a partnership with Red Bull, fighting game legend Umehara Daigo has joined forces with another big name in gaming.
Daigo announced on Saturday (Friday night in the United States) that he is Twitch’s first global ambassador. His role will include promoting the streaming service around the world, starting in both his native Japan and the Asian continent as a whole.
Twitch is a streaming juggernaut in many markets, but it is in fierce competition in Japan with NicoNicoDouga, OpenRec, and Line.
Daigo will be attending many events around the world to promote the brand. His schedule will include several fighting game events as well as other gaming events and conventions. One of these events will be TwitchCon, which begins September 30 in San Diego.
Daigo—a winner of six Evo championships, four Topanga titles, and countless other fighting game tournament triumphs—began a weekly stream in February alongside the launch of Street Fighter V.
His streams feature many top Japanese players competing against each other and showing off strategies to deal with various characters and situations in the game. The weekly stream also shows off a lighter side of players who have historically been known as stoic and serious, including featuring some of them in cosplay.
The stream has quickly become Twitch’s most popular Japanese stream. Besides the quality of play and the amount of shenanigans on display, the show’s popularity is helped by a dual-language approach. Daigo and his guests converse in their native Japanese, while Andrew “Jiyuna” Fidelis provides English translations in real time. The audio is split into left and right channels, allowing fans from across the world to enjoy the show in either language.
A partnership between Daigo and Twitch seemed highly unlikely just a few years ago. Daigo had long been known for his supreme skill, but he also had a reputation for secrecy, going as far as to reportedly ask opponents not to record their sets when he played in a Japanese arcade.
The shift from that to openly sharing his knowledge on a weekly basis is drastic, but Daigo says it is rewarding.
“The main motive of streaming is to contribute to the community,” Daigo said in a statement. “By sharing my skills and knowledge, I hope to help the entire community to level up. The stronger you are, the more fun you can have.”
Because he will not be employed by Twitch, Daigo will still compete on the Capcom Pro Tour. His next scheduled event will be this weekend’s Tokyo Button Mashers, the first Japanese event of the 2016 Pro Tour season.