Hi-Rez Studios and Mixer announce exclusive partnership

It has been announced that Hi-Rez and Mixer have reached an exclusive streaming partnership for the SMITE Pro League and SMITE Console Series.

The SMITE World Championship was viewed by over four million people worldwide in January 2018, and Mixer and Hi-Rez are hoping this partnership will see all SMITE viewership records being broken as they move in to SMITE season five.

The season – and the partnership – kicks off on March 20th, with organisations such as SK Gaming, NRG Esports and Splyce investing in the esport in recent months.

In an official statement made by Microsoft’s Mixer, co-founder James Boehm said, “The addition of SMITE Pro League and SMITE Console Series continues our successful esports partnership with Hi-Rez,” following their exclusive streaming partnership with the Paladins Console Series.

Exclusive streaming partnerships have been a hot topic of late as companies try getting in on the esports train; ESL recently controversially signed exclusive streaming rights with Facebook, and the Overwatch League left it very late to announce that they had curated a streaming partnership with Twitch, with fans very concerned about where they would get to watch their favourite matches.

For those unfamiliar with the relatively new streaming service Mixer, Boehm explains that “SMITE Pro League broadcasts will implement Mixer’s unique co-streaming technology to bring fans more camera angles, perspectives and views. This multicast experience enables you to customize your viewing experience by choosing supplemental feeds that enhance the main broadcast”.

Whilst it appears positive, exclusive streaming partnerships with any service other than Twitch have often been met with criticism, yet it remains to be seen how this will play out.

Esports Insider says: As stated, exclusive streaming partnerships are rarely relished by esport fans. With Call of Duty previously streamed exclusively on MLG.tv and ESL tournaments currently being exclusive to Facebook, there is a lot of evidence to suggest these partnerships do little in the way of helping an esport and its growth. That said, it’ll be interesting to see how this affects SMITE going forward.