Twitch is getting out of the eSports ownership business. While the streaming company will still push its platform as a natural hub for competitive gaming events and teams, it has divested itself of its two big-name eSports teams, Evil Geniuses and Alliance.
The company today announced that it has transferred ownership of the squads to the players themselves. In a statement explaining the move, Twitch COO Kevin Lin said the company "had an obligation to ensure the teams operated independently and received no preferential treatment on Twitch."
"Today, we're pleased to fully realize that independence, as we announce that both Evil Geniuses and Alliance will become independent player-owned organizations," Lin said. "While they'll still be streaming on Twitch and we'll continue providing support services, both teams' brands, player contracts, and futures are now in the hands of the players and player-selected management. They will have complete independence and we will work with them as we would any other eSports team."
Evil Geniuses and Alliance had been owned by Twitch subsidiary GoodGame Agency. That eSports-focused group was acquired by Twitch in 2014. GoodGame CEO Alex Garfield left the company in August, and the operation was essentially restructured out of existence, with much of the staff integrated into Twitch more directly.