On Friday the world got an early peek at a Twitch-like live streaming platform from Valve. The site Steam.tv went live for a brief period of time, showcasing a stream from Valve’s own annual Dota 2 tournament, The International 2018. Shortly after, the site was pulled and left with a blank page, although Valve has confirmed that the platform is real and was only made public by accident.
During the time the site was live, it had the message “Welcome to Steam.tv,” and featured a live broadcast of The International 2018. Similar to Twitch, the stream featured chat integration, and logging in with a Steam account gave the options to easily create group chats with people from the friends list. However, there was no ability for users to start streaming their own games for others to watch.
Shortly after the early reveal, Valve released a statement explaining that “We are working on updating Steam Broadcasting for the Main Event of The International, Dota 2’s annual tournament. What people saw was a test feed that was inadvertently made public.”
The International is one of the world’s largest esports tournaments, and the Main Event is scheduled to begin on August 20th, making it the perfect time for Valve to debut a new Steam-based streaming platform. Twitch is the leader when it comes to game streaming, but there’s increasing competition from Google’s YouTube and Microsoft’s Mixer. Steam is another logical rival for this mix, but it’s not clear yet if Valve plans to open Steam.tv for all users, or use it strictly as a broadcasting tool for esports and other related events.