TWITCH TOP 10 WEEK OF DEC 4TH: PUBG, HEARTHSTONE AND CALL OF DUTY
By Feature Writer Jordan Fragen
TNL Take: Welcome back! This is The Next Level’s take behind the key storylines behind the Top 10 Games on Twitch. Last week, we looked at Fortnite’s trajectory in overcoming PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, predicted the imminent rise of Hearthstone and followed up on the lasting effects of the Overwatch League.
Now, let’s explore the top headlines from the week of December 4th through the 10th.
Thank you once again to our data partner, Waypoint Media. They are the leader in esports and gaming audience data. They support clients like Nielsen in their efforts to understand the esports audience. Reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUBG’s New Map is Luring Back Lapsed Viewers… Right?
Last week this column detailed the stagnation of PlayerUnknown’s Battleground’s viewership and subsequent rise of its rival Fortnite.
However, things have changed dramatically since then.
Following a surprise reveal at Friday’s Game Awards, PUBG’s new map dropped just a few hours after the first footage debuted.
Fans have since flocked back to the game to explore the new content. And of course, the viewership followed. PUBG saw a boost to every stat we track compared to last week. From a 28% rise in Total Hours Watched, a 29% increase in average concurrents, and a 23% increase in Unique Viewers, PUBG roared back to life in the last week.
However, not all of this should be attributed to the game’s new content. In fact, the largest boost to PUBG’s numbers this week was the official BlueHole and Twitch sponsored PUBG Winter Charity Invitational that featured teams of the game’s top streamers.
Perhaps most notable about this tournament is that fans elected to watch the personal feeds of their favorite personalities rather than the official tournament stream. Anecdotally, I tuned in to C9 Shroud’s stream (like most others considering his peak concurrents topped out at nearly 113K, the highest for a single channel this week) while listening to the caster audio from the official tournament stream.
To put this into perspective, the most recent major PUBG tournament was IEM Oakland. It’s peak concurrent viewership topped out just under 91K, 22K fewer than Shroud saw during this week’s tournament stream.
This is additional evidence that much of PUBG’s success is due to the personalities it has managed to attract.
Hearthstone’s Expansion Drives an 80% Increase in Viewership
Last week, we predicted an imminent surge in Hearthstone Viewership. And wow, we were right.
Compared to the previous week, Hearthstone saw:
- 80% more Hours Watched
- 38% more Hours Streamed
- 81% increase in Average Concurrent Viewers
- 154% increase in Peak Concurrent Viewers
- 38% increase in Unique Viewers Reached
- Nearly an extra hour watched per viewer
However, we can’t jump to conclusions too quickly. As we pointed out last week, Hearthstone’s popularity on Twitch is highly cyclical and generally concentrated around expansion releases.
So how did this expansion compare to the last?
When compared to the week of the Knights of the Frozen Throne release, Hearthstone saw:
- 19% increase in Total Hours Watched
- 15% more Hours Streamed
- 3% more Average Concurrent Viewers
- 14% increase in Unique Viewers Reached
- 5% more time watched per viewer on average
Now that’s a big buff.
Add this to the ever expanding list of reasons to keep an eye on Blizzard’s stock in the coming month.
CWL Dallas Propels Call of Duty: WWII into 10th
As the first major tournament following Call of Duty: WWII’s release, fans were prepared for some chaos at CWL Dallas but nobody could have been prepared for everything that happened. After receiving a bomb threat early Friday, Dallas police rushed to evacuate the CWL venue in the middle of the tournament. After several hours of delays, matches were postponed until the following morning.
Somehow, MLG squeezed a massive 3 day affair into 2 and Team Kaliber walked away with the grand prize.
Despite the compressed stream, CWL managed to pull in enough viewers to secure the #10 spot on our list. Unlike the PUBG Winter Invitational, Call of Duty’s official tournament streams accounted for the vast majority of the viewership.
CWL’s 3 channels accounted for over 80% of all hours spent watching Call of Duty: WWII in the last week. To put this into perspective, Riot’s official channel aired the League of Legends All Stars event this weekend and only captured a measly 14% of all League of Legends hours watched during the week. Note that this viewership doesn't include MLG.com.
That’s an insane level of engagement that only serves to show the dedication of the Call of Duty community.