It appears that Valve is preparing to launch a competitor to Twitch. Yesterday, the domain name “Steam.tv” went live, starting out on a blank welcome page before showing a stream of the 2018 International tournament of Dota 2, complete with a chat bar. CNet reports that the site could link to your Steam account, allowing you to access your friend list to create group chats and it also supported voice chat on Google Chrome. If you try to load the site now, it only takes you to a blank page.
Elaborate prank, or is Valve entering the streaming realm with Steam.tv?
It seems this one is legitimate, although whether Steam.tv is a full blown competitor to Twitch remains unknown. In a statement to Kotaku, a Valve rep said “We are working on updating Steam Broadcasting for the Main Event of The International, Dota 2’s annual tournament. What people saw was a test feed that was inadvertently made public.” Below is a screenshot that CNet‘s Sean Hollister captured while the site was still running:
The main event of The International begins on August 20th, so it seems likely that we’ll get another chance to check out their foray into the streaming world very soon.
It wasn’t that long ago that Steam itself added the ability to directly broadcast your gameplay so other users could pop in and watch you play. However, launching a site to compete with Twitch is a daring move, considering just how much the Amazon-owned business dominates the streaming landscape. Steam may be on the search for a way to build their numbers back up, as more and more digital storefronts continue chipping away at their business model.
Whether Steam.tv is a direct competitor to Twitch or it is just a way for Valve to broadcast special events for their own games, like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike, remains to be seen. Hopefully we’ll get some more answers when the site launches, hopefully in the next few days for the Main Event of The International.