Last Friday, Valve accidentally gave people a sneak peak at Steam.tv, a new livestreaming service that could rival Twitch. Now, Steam.tv has officially launched, and is showing The International, a major Dota 2 tournament.
On August 17, Pavel Djundik, the curator of third-party website Steam Database, was the first to notice something going on and posted a URL in a Tweet:
For a brief time, those who visited the URL found a live broadcast of The International 2018. Shortly after, the website was taken down, leaving those looking for Steam.tv looking at a blank page if they followed the URL. Yesterday, after several gaming news websites asked Valve about it, they confirmed that Steam.tv is indeed a thing, and that leads us to today, when Steam.tv is officially live.
If you visit Steam.tv now as of this news article, you can watch live matches from The International 2018. Viewers can scrub through the stream in a way similar to Youtube, and specific matches are conveniently marked on the timeline, so viewers can easily find the interesting parts. As the name suggests, people can log into Steam.tv with their Steam accounts to join the main chat, or they can form group chats with their Steam friends.
In a blog post made to the official Dota 2 website, Valve said:
This Dota 2 centered update to Steam Broadcasting currently includes some custom elements to support The International. After the tournament we plan to extend Watch Party support for all games that are broadcasting on Steam and expose a new broadcast Steamworks API to Steam partners.
It’s not clear if Valve is planning to make this a major livestreaming service to rival Twitch or simply an extension of Steam’s updated chat system. Nevertheless, Steam.tv is certainly a very interesting development, and we’ll be watching it closely to see how it fares.