The importance of Twitch Chat during eSports events.

Some people hate it, some people love it.

Twitch Chat is a little like Marmite. You either hate it, or you love it. It’s a place where you can interact with people from all over the world watching the same content as you in REAL TIME and I LOVE it.

Let’s imagine you were watching a Twitch stream, and you just saw this:

That number at the bottom: 19,407, what does that mean to you? That’s how many people are watching LIVE right? But how do you know, how do you know that they are REAL people? This is where Chat comes in and plays an important role. 20,000 is enough people to fit into a small stadium, but what if no one cheered, no one shouted, screamed and showed passion? You’d feel as if you were watching alone. To me, Twitch Chat is the closest we can get to the adrenaline feeling of being in a sports stadium.

When a player makes a HUGE play, you want to express yourself, and you also want to see how other people express themselves. Heck, you might even wanna CopyPasta their message to join in with them, I compare that to someone who starts singing a chant at a stadium and people joining in slowly and slowly until EVERYONE around you roaring with passion. Whether that’s a ‘VAC’ spam, ‘BOT ___’, ‘1G’, all of it is the expression of thousands of people watching live.

I’ve been moderating Twitch channels for over 2 years, currently moderating for some of the biggest channels in CSGO eSports (IE ESL, FACEITTV), and have learnt what makes a chat experience good and what makes a chat experience bad.

What makes a chat experience bad?
Slowmode — Some channels have REALLY high slow modes, which causes people to be demotivated to engage in the discussion surrounding the event. An example of this is ELeague, which currently has a slowmode of 120 seconds, meaning, you have two wait two minutes between each chat message. Now, imagine if your favorite player clutches a 1vs5, you’ve already sent your message 1 minute ago, now you have to sit there as chat gets all hyped and you have no way to express yourself.

Bot configuration — Some channels have poorly configured bots which allows racist & discriminating messages to be posted. Moderators should have access to the Bot throughout the stream, so they can add banphrases as the stream goes on. This is important to counter new CopyPasta that may offend people in the chat, and also those advertising gambling sites.

Lack of a moderation team — Some channels just have a lack of mods, which is possibly the worst scenario since it allows people to spam whatever they want, racist, sexist, discriminating chat messages which could target anyone.

What makes a chat experience good?
Pretty much exactly the opposite to the points stated above. It’s important to have a reasonable slowmode that should increment depending on the amount of people watching the stream. IE, if you have 10,000 viewers, you don’t want a 30 second slowmode. However, if you have 100,000 viewers, you would definitely consider it.

For an easy to configure & useful Bot, I’d recommend Moobot, however, you may need to contribute to Moobot to unlock banphrases and other features that are a MUST.

TL;DR
Tournament hosts, please make sure you understand Twitch Chat, and make sure you have a solid moderation team that know what they are doing.

If you have any questions about moderating Twitch channels, or just want to engage with me, tweet at @TheGrech

Thanks for reading.