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Live-streaming site Justin.tv buffing up for e-sports channels

Justin.tv, a site that lets web browsers watch and publish live video streams, is recruiting additional developers to build an exclusive electronic sports live-streaming website for games like real-time strategy game Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty.

The live streaming site launched a new landing page for job-seekers, saying it wants to “be the world’s best live esports site.” Justin.tv is already widely used as a place to broadcast live streams of video game matches in games like World of Warcraft and Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. Gamers also use other live-streaming sites like UStream to broadcast their game matches.

Electronic sports leagues, or e-sports, are already really popular internationally — particularly in countries like South Korea, where players compete for tens of thousands of dollars in prize money in massive tournaments. But the league has only grown slowly in the United States because it hasn’t achieved the same level of visibility that professional gaming has internationally. But a number of companies are doing their part to bring more attention to professional gaming.

Activision-Blizzard, the developer of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, cut a large chunk of content from that game and made it less graphically demanding to ensure that it would be a better vehicle for professional gamers. The company regularly holds massive tournaments at its annual conference in Anaheim, Calif. There is also a professional gaming league site called Major League Gaming that features clips from professional gaming matches and a forum where gamers can meet and schedule matches.

Justin.tv gives individuals a way to stream content live to the internet, whether it is from their webcams, mobile phones or wired in from a TV. The company also has iPhone and applications for phones running Google’s mobile operating system Android. Both apps let users live broadcast video streams from their phones. The company just launched a new app focused more on video-sharing than livestreaming called Socialcam.

Live streaming has become pretty popular — live stream usage jumped 650 percent in 2010 when compared to 2009. The San Francisco, Calif.-based company was part of the Y Combinator incubator program and has also received funding from Alsop Louie partners and Tim Draper — though the exact amount of money they have raised is unclear.

[Photo: VideogameVisionary.com]


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