Steam already has streaming capabilities with its Steam Community hubs, but it’s far from an extensive experience and doesn’t come close to matching Twitch.
For the short time it was available, Steam.tv showed a livestream of DOTA 2 from Valve’s The International Tournament 2018. The stream, which wasn’t available on the Steam desktop app, let viewers access their Steam friends list. Users could invite friends and create groups to watch the video together while discussing the action. There was also built-in voice chat support for Google Chrome.
Valve later confirmed to CNET that its broadcast was unintentional. "We are working on updating Steam Broadcasting for the Main Event of The International, Dota 2's annual tournament," a representative said. "What people saw was a test feed that was inadvertently made public."
With Twitch constantly averaging over 1 million concurrent viewers—this year has seen it reach a maximum of almost 3 million viewers at once—Steam.tv has an uphill struggle if it wants to compete with the industry leader. To a lesser extent, YouTube Gaming and Microsoft’s Mixer offer alternative game streaming capabilities.
Live Broadcasting is the latest Steam element that the company is upgrading. Last month, its new chat system, which boasts many of Discord’s features, was rolled out to everyone after completing a beta phase.