MLS partners with Twitch to stream its eSports games

The U.S. soccer league looks to beef up support for its video gaming presence

Major League Soccer (MLS) wants to attract a bigger audience to its eSports presence. In an effort to achieve that goal, it has partnered with the Amazon-provided streaming service Twitch in a deal that will see all the league’s eSports events streamed on the platform.

The partnership is only set for one year, but it could be renewed if everything goes well. The first eMLS event to be streamed will be the eMLS Cup held in March and eMLS will also enjoy front-seat placement on Twitch. Additionally, MLS will gain inside access to data about its fans in order to better create new events and promotions.

MLS introduced its eMLS league last year. It features pro gamers wearing pro team uniforms as they compete in the FIFA soccer franchise offered by Electronic Arts. This year, it is looking to attract more popularity among soccer fans and to attract fans from across the videogame community.

According to MLS Digital Senior VP Chris Schlosser, “FIFA is one of the main generators of the fans that we have. If you look at it historically – radio built baseball, television built the NFL and NBA, and the Internet is building soccer.”

Twitch is a perfect platform to provide engagement between MLS and its fans. MLS has the youngest fan base of all major sports leagues in the U.S. and that fan base is also the most video game-centric group. Since Twitch streams allow fans to explore various data feeds, chat with each other and interact all on one screen, it has become extremely popular with younger audiences.

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