For those who didn’t know, Twitch, the premier live streaming platform for gaming, has owned two professional eSports teams, Evil Geniuses and Alliance following their purchase of the talent agency GoodGame, which was the previous owner of the two teams. This August, the founder of GoodGame, Alex Garfield, left the employ of Twitch. A few days after that, Twitch shut the agency down, according to a report by thescoreesports.com’s Daniel Rosen.
At that time, both Alliance and Evil Geniuses weren’t doing that well in their main game, Dota 2. More fuel was put into the fire when rosters of both teams were released and rumors spread like wildfire EG and Alliance are about to be disbanded. It turned out that this wasn’t the case. Both Alliance and EG signed new rosters and are now on their way to coming back. EG even dipped their toes into Call of Duty, while Alliance tried to settle into Hearthstone and Smash bros.
Now, Twitch made a statement that they are spinning off the two orgs away from Twitch. In corporate terms, a spin off is a process, where a company splits up its sections, setting them up as separate businesses with their own staff, assets, intellectual property, technology and similar things. The spin off, in this case Evil Geniuses and Alliance, are supposed to act in an independent manner from their previous owners. In this case, the eSports teams are supposed to become companies owned and run by the players.
Twitch is not leaving EG and Alliance to the wolves, however. They promise to support and sponsor the teams’ brands, just like they do for other teams in the scene. Speaking of that, Twitch has recently announced that they’ve become exclusive sponsorship sales partners for two of the most famous North American eSports organizations, Cloud9 and Team SoloMid, especially targeting non-endemic sponsors using Twitch’s vast sales staff all over the world. It’s not explicitly stated that Twitch will act in a similar capacity for both Alliance and Evil Geniuses, however, it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility, keeping in mind the still close ties between the teams and Twitch. What Twitch wants to avoid for certain, however, is the appearance that EG and ALL are receiving preferential treatment on the Twitch platform due to the ties between all three entities. Hopefully, this new arrangement can be beneficial to Evil Geniuses and Alliance, because success of player-owned organizations would make it more likely for more of them to sprout up in the scene. With more power to the players, a sorely needed Players’ Association might come faster.