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TimTheTatman/Twitter

DrLupo isn’t the only big-name Twitch streamer leaving for YouTube. TimTheTatman (aka Tim Betar) has announced he will stream “exclusively” on YouTube Gaming as of September 2nd. He didn’t explain the reasons behind the leap, but it comes less than two years after he (plus DrLupo and Saqib “Lirik” Zahid) signed a multi-year deal with Twitch.

Twitch didn’t issue a formal response. It wished TimTheTatman well on Twitter, though, saying the streamer would “always be a King” to the service he left.

It’s not yet certain this represents a second wave of defections from Twitch. Microsoft spurred the first round, paying Ninja, Shroud and other top streamers to jump ship for Mixer. We wouldn’t expect a similar outcome, though. Mixer struggled to compete against its livestreaming rivals, leading Microsoft to shut the service down. Creators had to quickly find alternatives, and some of them returned to Twitch with exclusivity deals. YouTube is in a considerably stronger position, even if it’s not the dominant home for live game streaming.

Even so, the moves represent gambles for TimTheTatman, DrLupo and others who might follow suit. While many larger creators have an established YouTube presence for their on-demand videos, that doesn’t guarantee they’ll watch live shows on Google’s service. Even so, this could be a coup for YouTube — and a blow to Twitch if it can’t hold on to its best-known stars.

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