Jul 11, 2016 - By Bobby Scarnewman

Cheering at Evo, for the players and moments you love

Update: See EVO’s announcement of July 15th.

The Fighting Game Community has been depleting health bars for more than 25 years. Fueled by passion and a love for fighting games, this grassroots community built itself up from humble beginnings, and now holds a place as one of the most dedicated communities on Twitch. It’s the passion of groups like the FGC that inspires us to keep making Twitch better and providing more tools to help those communities thrive.

When we first began talking about Cheering, we thought about the real life experience of cheering at tournaments, at “a stadium full of cheering fans, wearing your team’s jersey and losing your mind with joy alongside people you don’t even know.” We aspire to make Cheering with Bits on Twitch feel like that.

Another of our aspirations was to enable communities to show support for their favorite players, personalities, and tournament organizers during events, regardless of whether or not they were the primary broadcaster, and especially in communities that don’t have as much infrastructure as others. We were inspired by TotalBiscuit and his ShoutCraft Invitationals, which allowed viewers to show support for specific players during the tournament, we’ve been inspired by the crowd sourced successes in the Dota 2 and Melee communities, and we’ve been inspired by our own love for esports and the players who have entertained us for years. And so a natural next step for Cheering is to bring it to esports events, starting with Evo 2016.

When you tune in to watch Evo this Saturday and Sunday on Twitch, you will be able to use Bits to Cheer for any player or commentator you choose. Bits are evolving animated emotes you can buy and use to Cheer by typing cheer and a number e.g. cheer1000. The number represents Bits used to create the Bits emote that appears in your chat message. For Evo, we’ll be adding new functionality just for the event that lets you Cheer for a specific person by adding a hashtag in your chat message, e.g. cheer1000 #gamerbee. When you click on the Bits icon in the chat input box, you will see a list of the people you can Cheer for and their hashtags. Since you’re Cheering for your player and for the joy of being at the event, your Bits will be shared with the player and the tournament organizer. As an example, if you type “cheer1000 #gamerbee” at Evo, we’ll treat your Cheer as if you used 700 Bits in Gamerbee’s channel, and 300 Bits in the main Evo channel.

You can Cheer the next time Gamerbee upsets Infiltration to go to Finals, Axe 4 stocks Silent Wolf, or even when Woshige thinks it’s over. When you do, you’re celebrating with fellow fans in chat in a highly visible way, and you’re helping support the passion of the players and the grassroots community that keeps the scene alive.

Subject to our terms and conditions, eligible partners will receive a revenue share for Bits attributed to them. Just like the rest of Cheering, the Evo experience is a Beta, and we know that some featured players and commentators are not Twitch partners. Our dream is to allow viewers to Cheer for anyone who creates awesome moments on Twitch, so we’re going to try to get as close as we can to that vision for Evo. To make this work, we’ll be reaching out and working directly with all of the featured players and commentators in the main events at Evo to get them set up with partnered accounts on Twitch.

We’re so excited to introduce this new way to use Cheering, and if it’s as awesome as we think it’ll be, we’ll work hard to bring more experiences like this to streams across the platform!


Q. Will this be available for other esports events going forward? (TI, Worlds, etc)

A. We think that Cheering for people who are featured on event streams has the potential to bring a new level of support, sustainability, and infrastructure to gaming communities on Twitch. We worked to get this ready for Evo to put it in the hands of the community and to find out if we’re moving in the right direction.

We have a lot more work to do to make this kind of experience available for all gaming events on Twitch, and we plan to tackle that work based on the kind of feedback we see at Evo. If you’re excited about this, let us know on social media, or better yet, tune in to Evo and Cheer!

Q. I’m not familiar with Bits. What are they?

A. Bits are evolving animated emotes you can buy and use to Cheer in order to celebrate with your friends in chat, and to show support for broadcasters and content. Twitch provides participating partners a share of the revenue Twitch receives from Bits equal to 1 cent per Bit used to Cheer for them, subject to certain terms and conditions such as our Bits Acceptable Use Policy. You can find more details on this help article.

Q. Why have we enabled Cheering for both the TO and the players?

A. For many gaming communities, event organizers are the people who bring us all together, and Cheering as a product is about celebrating awesome moments in a way that supports the entire scene. We believe that Cheering can best contribute to sustainability and infrastructure if Cheers directed towards players and commentators ultimately support that person, as well as the channel that brought the content to the viewers.

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