One of the most popular YouTube channels in esports is expanding into live streaming. With over 1.2M subscribers to the YouTube channel, theScore has carved out a niche for the company on the platform. Even before the pandemic, theScore had seen an increase of 92% YoY for the start of 2020.
Now the company is clearly focused on expansion. With YouTube Gaming investing in live streaming esports content to the tune of $160M for the Activision Blizzard franchised esports leagues, theScore felt the time was right to expand the companies esports offerings as well.
“When we launched our YouTube channel, it took a lot of trial and error to eventually reach this content strategy,” said Aubrey Levy, the VP of Content and Marketing for theScore. “We’ve learned a ton about our audience in recent years but streaming is new. It’s probably going to take us a few years to find out our strategy here but having that YouTube base to lean into certainly helps.”
To start, the company wanted to help support the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The result was a competition called “Pros vs. Plebs.” For a $5 donation to charity, a random Rainbow Six: Siege player can enter a drawing to compete against world champions from SpaceStation Gaming. The competition will take place from 3-6 PM ET on Friday, May 1st and will feature five random contestants against three pros.
“We will see if this ends up being fair but ultimately there is some entertainment value in just going up against world champions,” said Levy. “A lot of this is learning. This is one of our first times standing up a streaming play, our first time hosting an event and it’s all for charity.”
While theScore has been in esports for years, the company is rooted in the sports world. In addition to the esports arm, theScore has also opened up a sportsbook currently operating in New Jersey but expanding to other states in the future. Levy also oversees crucial parts of theScore Bet and so naturally we covered a bit of esports betting as well.
“If you asked me a couple of months ago, ‘what’s the trajectory of esports gambling in North America?’ I would have said we are a couple years out for it to reach maturity,” said Levy. “The [coronavirus shutdown] has definitely put a much bigger spotlight on it. Now, once we emerge on the other side, esports betting may end up on a quicker path to relevancy.”
Listen to the full podcast with Aubrey Levy below which covers the increase in traffic on theScore, the charity event, bringing in non-endemics and esports betting.
Article and Podcast by Mitch Reames