Popular streamer Disguised Toast signs an exclusive deal with Facebook Gaming

Facebook (FB) just nabbed a major player for its gaming platform as it continues to ramp up efforts to compete in the video game streaming wars. The company announced on Friday it has signed Jeremy Wang, better known as Disguised Toast with more than one million followers on rival service Twitch, onto Facebook Gaming, its live streaming gaming platform. It’s Facebook’s first big streamer acquisition, and it showcases the company’s ambitions: by decisively entering the bidding war for streaming talent, Facebook is making it clear that it isn’t content to leave streaming to Amazon and Microsoft. The talent acquisition wars between Twitch, Mixer, YouTube — and now Facebook — are just beginning. Disguised Toast, who has broadcast his game play since 2015, is best known for streaming the card game Hearthstone, popular shooter Apex Legends and games from the League of Legends franchise. As part of this deal — for an undisclosed sum of money — all of Disguised Toast’s live gaming will be exclusive to Facebook, in a blow to Twitch. But his other videos, including Offline TV, a YouTube channel he stars in with notable streamers, can appear on other platforms. “I’ve received an offer from every major streaming platform but decided to go with Facebook because I believe it has the most explosive potential.It’s always a risk to move platforms but my research has made me confident in my choice,” Wang told CNN Business. Facebook Gaming launched in 2018 with the potential to leverage the social network’s massive audience. Facebook said more than 700 million of its 2.4 billion active users “engage with” gaming content on its platform each month. But the stat has some caveats: Facebook counts anybody who has watched one minute of content, played a game or left a comment or reaction within a gaming group. The service currently has “tens of thousands” of creators. That pales in comparison to Twitch’s average of 3 million streamers a month, plus its 15 million-plus daily visitors. To date, Wang has gained 1.3M followers on Twitch, 240K on Twitter, and has 950K subscribers on his primary YouTube channel. Facebook Gaming joins a growing list of streaming platforms looking to pull top streamers away from Twitch. Microsoft’s Mixer has signed Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, and Soleil “Ewok” Wheeler; startup platform Caffeine has deals in place with esports organizations like Natus Vincere and Dignitas as well as rapper Kiari Kendrell “Offset” Cephus; and Jack “CouRage” Dunlop recently moved to YouTube.