Competitive video game playing, also known as eSports, has become an increasingly huge industry, and while the major competitions still revolve around PC and console games, mobile is a growing sector with its own subset of star players.
Now, Amazon-owned live-streaming service Twitch is embracing mobile gaming as it prepares to form a league with the makers of Vainglory, a popular mobile game available on both iOS and Android.
A series of Vainglory tournaments for teams will be co-produced by Twitch and Super Evil Megacorp, the developers of the game. The three-year initiative will involve online broadcasts of the tournaments and, depending on their popularity, could expand to include matches held at public venues for in-person viewing.
Vainglory was the fastest growing mobile game on Twitch in 2015, with 150m minutes viewed by global audiences, and also had the largest prize pool, with the autumn league offering $350,000 (£247,000) in potential winnings. The deal with Twitch will see the audience grow even larger, and the rewards even more substantial.
"The eSports industry has been dominated by PC and console titles, but Vainglory is ushering in a new mobile games movement," said Nick Allen, director of eSports operations at Twitch. "The incredible engagement Vainglory has garnered on our platform is testament that our community welcomes the convergence of eSports and mobile gaming."
"We've been working closely with Twitch since even before the global launch of Vainglory, and their massive, wildly passionate gaming community has helped our game develop a loyal and growing following," said Kristian Segerstrale, COO and executive director of Super Evil Megacorp.
"By working with Twitch in this new and expanded capacity, we're going to be able to bring our eSports programming to the next level and provide better and more frequent coverage to fans."