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Smite esports leagues will be exclusive to Microsoft's Mixer

Xbox streaming service to showcase both the Pro and Console series for Hi-Rez's fantasy MOBA

Microsoft has secured a deal to exclusively broadcast the events of two upcoming esports tournament, both centred around Smite.

The partnership between Xbox and developer Hi-Rez Studios will see the Smite Pro League and Smite Console Series on Mixer, Microsoft's streaming service.

Microsoft has yet to secure many high-profile exclusives for Mixer, with most tournaments going to leading rival Twitch. While Mixer did grab the rights to the console series for Paladins - another Hi-Rez title - the Premier League was broadcast exclusively on Facebook.

Coverage for the console tournament kicks off on March 5th, while the fifth season of the Smite Pro League will begin on March 20th, with all matches and highlights shown via a dedicated Mixer page.

Microsoft is no doubt hoping that the tournament, and the popularity of Smite, will help grow Mixer's audience. The 2018 Smite World Championship was viewed by over four million people - while Mixer viewers were among them, the service still has some catching up to do if it wants to rival Twitch and YouTube.

The Smite tournaments will also be a chance for Microsoft to introduce some of Mixer's unique features to potential audiences. The Pro League broadcasts, for example, will use the service's co-streaming tech that allows viewers to customise their feed with multiple camera angles and player feeds.

A recent report showed that the number of streamers using Mixer is growing, up 58 per cent over the course of Q4 2017.

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