Last year, Blizzard announced its partnership with Twitch in bringing the latter’s Cheering program for Heroes of the Storm. This year, it’s back just in time for the Mid-Season Brawl.
The way it works is the viewer purchases Bits, a currency exclusive to Twitch. These, in turn, are used to “cheer” streamers or teams in various games. Think of it like supporting the Cleveland Cavaliers despite getting swept by the Golden State Warriors. Instead of just hollering and hooting for Lebron and giving him a standing ovation, you’re instead throwing money at him on the court.
That’s essentially what “Cheering” in Twitch does. These are “tips” provided to streamers or competing teams. The smallest purchase would be $1.40 for 100 Bits. Bulk purchases for bigger values naturally have bigger discounts. Streamers, meanwhile, earn 1 cent for 1 Bit. This means if you purchase 100 Bits for $1.40, and use up all of it to Cheer a streamer, he or she would get a dollar.
Sounds fairly straightforward. However, with the means to provide straight donations or signing up for a paid subscription for a player or team, why even bother with Bits? Simple — there are perks.
The first is that Cheering shows flashy icons popping up onscreen — a “cheermote” if you will. That means recognition from other viewers, and, more importantly, recognition from the streamer. It’s not uncommon to see streamers thanking <insert username here> for the Cheer they’ve provided. Sometimes it might elicit surprised reactions from players, especially when they aren’t expecting it — such as a fella getting 50 bucks or 5,000 Bits from a Cheer.
Or you might see these moments live, where a viewer Cheered a streamer to the tune of 100,000 Bits — a whopping $1,000 in one go. So yes, it’s a means to support a content creator, and it also provides that additional surprise moment and reaction. Oh, and you earn a badge depending on the Bits you’ve Cheered. That’s visible for everyone in the channel you’ve earned it in.
Apart from that, an additional perk would be unlockable cosmetic items. With Blizzard’s partnership with Twitch, they have implemented the Cheering program for Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm. In Overwatch’s case, every 100 Bits Cheered unlocked an emote for one of the game’s characters. More emotes unlocked would lead to you getting exclusive skins for Mercy and Genji. Meanwhile, for every 150 Bits Cheered for a team, you got that group’s emote. It’s not just your individual spending that’s taken into account. There are also team-based and global milestones. The program was so successful that within a day of its introduction, viewers already spent $150,000 in Cheers for their favorite players and teams.
In Heroes of the Storm last year, the feature coincided with the game’s Heroes Global Championship — HGC 2017 — and the Mid-Season Brawl. Teams earned half a cent for every Bit Cheered. Viewers meanwhile received thematic emotes, banners, sprays, and banners depending on the team they rooted for. The global milestones unlocked exclusive mounts for everyone seen in the images.
#HGC Cheer is officially BACK for 2018!!! 🎉
Head over to the Twitch page and check out the new exclusive chat emotes, mounts, and more!
— Heroes Esports (@HeroesEsports) June 8, 2018
This year looks to capitalize on the program’s success. After all, it looks like players have been anticipating its return and the previous news did say the program would be back. The mounts are here, and so are the sprays, banners, and loot crates. New packs are also up featuring “meme-fied” casters and emojis. Team-based rewards are also in for favorites such as Dignitas, Fnatic, and HeroesHearth.
If you wish to partake in the festivities, you’ll need to:
Heroes’ Mid-Season Brawl 2018 starts today, June 9, and the tournament will conclude on June 19. This major event will feature 12 teams from around the world. There’s a lot of Cheering to be done.
I’m a contributor for various sites under the Enthusiast Gaming umbrella: Destructoid, Dailyesports.tv, and Flixist. Games. Movies. Travel. History. Warhammer. Dad jokes. All around nerdy stuff. You name it, I’ll happily chime in.
I don’t have any backed Kickstarter projects to disclose, although I used to be a CM for a local MMO — this was way back in 2006. I also used to be really good in Counter-Strike, and I mean “bunny hop to avoid AK-47 bursts and shotgun AWP you in the face” good. Then I got old.