Two eSports organizations, Alliance and Evil Geniuses, announced this week that they're stepping away from parent company Twitch.tv to become fully independent organizations in an effort to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
It's nice to see prominent teams and stakeholders making an attempt to avoid the appearance of skullduggery, since in recent years the business of playing games competitively for money (i.e. eSports) has boomed. That boom has brought with it money, attention -- and criticism over the regulation and sustainabilty of eSports.
Alliance and Evil Geniuses actually came under Twitch's sway two years ago, when their majority stakeholder GoodGame (a sort of talent agency for video game players and broadcasters) was acquired by Twitch for an undisclosed sum.
You may recall that was Twitch's first big acquisition, and since then GoodGame (and, by extension, Alliance and Evil Geniuses) have apparently continued to operate independently -- until this summer. ESPN reports that GoodGame founder Alex Garfield left the company in August, and after that the GoodGame website went offline as many GoodGame employees transitioned to roles at Twitch.
"We acquired GoodGame for its expertise and leadership in the sponsorship space, and we continue to be captivated by the idea of scaling those services and monetization opportunities to the wider gaming community," wrote Twitch exec Kevin Liu in a press release published by Evil Geniuses. "We also had an obligation to ensure the teams operated independently and received no preferential treatment on Twitch."
Going forward, both teams are now player-owned but are otherwise expected to continue business as usual.