Twitch Top 10 Week of Nov 6th: League Stays On Top

TWITCH TOP 10 WEEK OF NOV 6TH: LEAGUE STAYS ON TOP

Doublelift Back and Boosting the League Numbers (Photo: CLICKON eSports)

Doublelift Back and Boosting the League Numbers (Photo: CLICKON eSports)

By Feature Writer Jordan Fragen

TNL Take: Welcome back! Every week, The Next Level dives into the past week’s Top 10 Games on Twitch to bring you the key storylines behind the data. Last week, we dove into the League of Legends World Championship, the potential cracks in PUBG’s armor, and whether Overwatch’s World Cup pointed to success for OWL.

Twitch Top 10: Week of Nov 6th (Infographic: Waypoint Media)

Twitch Top 10: Week of Nov 6th (Infographic: Waypoint Media)

Waypoint Media is the leader in Esports and gaming audience data. They support clients like Nielsen in their efforts to understand the Esports audience. Reach them at info@waypointmedia.com.


Worlds Maybe Over, but League Stays on Top

Frankly it was initially surprising to see League hold the top spot in such dominant fashion. Despite being the first week of the official off-season, League of Legends was watched for almost double the amount of hours of PUBG despite the fact that both games were streamed for roughly the same number of hours.

However the data suggests that the offseason itself is responsible for League of Legend’s dominance. The majority of the streamers responsible for the most viewer hours were pros. Out of the top 10 channels, 8 were current or former pros.

Pros Streaming League of Legends (Graphic: Waypoint Media)

Pros Streaming League of Legends (Graphic: Waypoint Media)

Without Worlds keeping fans up at all hours of the night and pros regaining some free time, fans flocked to their favorite personalities in droves. Alone, these 8 top channels associated with pros earned over 5.9M viewer hours, nearly ⅓ of all the hours fans spent watching League of Legends in the last week.

Beyond showing the importance of players’ personalities, this data shows that esports provide a meaningful platform for talent discovery. Imaqtpie, Yoda, Dyrus, and Shiphtur are all former LCS stars, but have turned that success into a second career of streaming. In fact, 3 of these 4 all belong to Echo Fox’s memtastic challenger series team Delta Fox. The team’s stated strategy was to acquire the top streaming talent for their challenger roster so it would generate meaningful revenue. Given that these stars are still pulling in the number, it seems to have paid off.

 

Overwatch League’s Momentum Carried Over Another Week

In last week’s article, we discussed the importance of Overwatch’s viewership during the World Cup. Many looked to it as a barrometer for the league’s potential audience. While the numbers were not outstanding, they certainly helped to clam some of my fears about Overwatch League.

Perhaps more importantly, the excitement about the World Cup and Overwatch League appears to have carried over into this week. Despite all metrics falling from last week (except for hours streamed which rose 20%), the more important comparison is to the weeks before the World Cup.

When compared to the averages for the 4 weeks leading into the World Cup, this week saw a 45% increase in Viewer Hours, a 22% increase in Hours Streamed, a 25% increase in Average Concurrent Viewers, and a 35% increase in Unique Viewers. These numbers are still nowhere close to League, but they are the significant boost that Overwatch sorely needed.

If this becomes a trend rather than a one off boost, Overwatch League may have an extremely bright future ahead of it.

 

Dota 2 Shows the Importance of Knowing Your Audience

This year marks the start of Valve’s Dota 2 Pro Circuit which is designed to bring more organization and stability to the game. Despite this being an off-week without a major or a minor tournament, the game’s viewership held strong. Compared to last week, Viewer Hours increased 16%, Hours Streamed increased 17%, Average Concurrents increased 11%, and Unique Viewers increased 13%. The only drop was 22% lower peak concurrent viewership, but that is to be expected in a week without a tournament.

What is unexpected however, is where those numbers originated from. Unlike every other game on this list (except current obscure indie hit of the week Get Over It), the predominant language for Dota 2 was not English.

44% of the hours viewed were from Russian speaking channels. Russian channels also held their audiences attention for an average of 55 minutes longer than English channels.

While this may be unsurprising to some, it does point to the importance of looking at the metrics holistically. Should marketers want to reach an Eastern European audience, Dota 2 is currently their best bet.

Twitch Top 10 Week Of Oct 23rd: Tournaments Galore

TWITCH TOP 10 WEEK OF OCT 23RD: TOURNAMENTS GALORE

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By Feature Writer Jordan Fragen

 

TNL Take: It’s that time of the week once again. Welcome to our breakdown of the stories behind this past week’s top 10 games on Twitch. 

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Waypoint Media is the leader in Esports and gaming audience data. They support clients like Nielsen and Twitch in their efforts to understand the Esports audience. Reach them at info@waypointmedia.com.


This week was stuffed to the brim for esports fans. Beyond the penultimate weekend of the League of Legends World Championship, both CS:GO’s EPICENTER and DotA 2’s ESL ONE Hamburg took place; and these tournaments secured these games 1st, 3rd, and 4th respectively on our list. Let’s take a look at each one individually to provide a bit more context.

 

LEAGUE OF LEGENDS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2017

Poor China. Despite hosting the tournament and the fans cheering hard for their hometown teams, both RNG and Team WE fell to the Korean juggernauts.

While League took the top spot in dominant fashion, the numbers did fall compared to the previous week. Total hours watched fell by 15%, unique viewers by 2% and viewer hours per unique by 12%. Some of this can probably be linked to fewer matches being played and the resulting shorter broadcasts from Riot.

The 5% increase in peak viewership from last week supports this theory. One way Riot could address this next year is to hold both semifinals matches on the same day to better concentrate viewership, but for obvious reasons ticket sales would suffer. We’ll see next year how they chooses to address this.

 

COUNTER-STRIKE: EPICENTER

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive remains a unique game in the world of esports. Unlike MOBAs and Real-Time Strategy games, CSGO’s dominant teams tend to hail from Europe and more recently Brazil. EPICENTER perfectly encapsulated this regionality both in the teams who played and the location of the tournament itself. Held in St. Petersberg, the tournament was dominated by the excellence of European and CIS teams... with one major exception.

Since 2015, the SK Gaming roster has paved the way for a Brazilian renaissance in Counter-Strike. Lead by the legendary FalleN, the team took the tournament in a close match with Virtus.Pro. Along with their victory, SK also claimed the #1 spot on HLTV’s widely used CSGO rankings, making them the current #1 team in the world.

This tournament drastically improved CS:GO’s numbers compared to last week. Viewer Hours increased by 110%, Average Concurrents by 122%, and Peak Concurrents by a whopping 300%.

This is not only due to a larger audience from last week (Unique Viewers increased by 22%) but each of these viewers also watched 75 minutes more on average. This shows the power of esports to concentrate and drive viewers to tune in.

 

ESL ONE HAMBURG

In earlier years, DotA 2 has struggled to maintain interest leading up to the International each July. Despite insane viewership and prize money each July, a dearth of tournaments leading up to it often created confusion for casual viewers and instability for players. Valve aims to change that this year with the Pro Circuit and ESL One was the first of the 11 planned majors.

Despite falling from 4th last week, DotA 2’s numbers are up. Viewer Hours Increased by 20%, Average Concurrents by 25%, and Peak Concurrents by 46%. Similar to CS:GO some of this is due to a larger number of viewers tuning in (Uniques were up by 8%) and each of those viewers tuning in for an additional 27 minutes on average.

However, perhaps the largest success of the tournament was its effective sponsorship integration. Mercedes Benz was the headline sponsor for the tournament and brands and agencies should take note: This is a perfect case study on how to correctly sponsor an epsorts tournament.

The execution was phenomenal for being both logical and on-brand. Beyond customizing a car for each team (that they could use for the weekend) and elaborate intro videos prominently featuring their product, Mercedes also allowed fans to vote via Twitter DM for their tournament MVP. Virtus.pro’s Solo ended up taking home the vote and a brand new Mercedes worth $50K.

The Auto category has grown astronomically in 2017 and this showcases exactly why.

 

WARFRAME SHOWS THE POWER OF COMMUNITY DRIVEN PROMOTION

Quick flashback to last week: Out of nowhere, Warframe rocketed to 7th on the rankings. The game’s Plains of Eidolon expansion was released and publisher Digital Extreme looked to reward fans for tuning into their favorite streamers with in-game loot. We contrasted this with South Park who adopted the more straight forward strategy of sponsoring Twitch’s Top talent to play the game.

Guess which of these two games managed to stay on the list?

While Warframe certainly had the advantage of a dedicated fanbase, the company’s promo certainly appears to have helped keep fans interested. While the number are down from last week (about a 5% drop for Viewer Hours, Hours Streamed and Average Concurrents, 36% for Peak Concurrents, and 42% fewer Unique Viewers), this is likely due to more casual fans dropping off. However, the dedication among the hard core fanbase shows; on average viewers watched almost 2 hours more than last week.


 

BINGE WATCHING TAKES A WHOLE NEW MEANING ON TWITCH

This past week, Twitch began a two week long marathon showing all 236 episodes of Yugioh. For those of you who didn’t grow up in the late '90's/early 00’s, Yuigoh is an anime based on a trading card game that ran for 236 episodes. It never reached the massive popularity of Pokémon, although it definitely tried. The english dub was made by the same company and it has reached a level of meme-ery unlike almost any series.

Twitch is known for its experimentation and in July it ran its first anime marathon which was a huge success. Love it or hate it, the real time reactions of Twitch Chat make viewing non-interactive media like TV-shows a community experience.

But the only thing Twitch chat likes more than being hyper reactive is memes.

From the over-the-top voice acting and the terrible game play decisions of the protagonist, Twitch chat fully embraced the silliness of this 90s classic. Reaching 525K viewers for an average of 3 hours each, the marathon managed to take the 10th spot on the list.

For brands looking to get into esports, understanding the humor and tastes of Twitch are of the utmost importance. Anime plays a critical role in these tastes and the industry has taken note. The two largest OTT services for anime already sponsor teams Cloud9 and Panda Global.

Consider tuning into the second half of the marathon this week to get a glimpse for yourself.

Twitch Top 10 Week of Oct 15th: League of Legends Remains On Top

TWITCH TOP 10 WEEK OF OCT 15TH: LEAGUE OF LEGENDS REMAINS ON TOP

Twitch Top 10 Week of Oct 15th: League of Legends Remains On Top (Photo: Riot Games)

Twitch Top 10 Week of Oct 15th: League of Legends Remains On Top (Photo: Riot Games)

By Feature Writer Jordan Fragen

 

TNL Take: Welcome back.  Without further ado, let’s get right into this past week's Top 10 Games on Twitch.

Twitch Top 10: Week Of October 15th (Graphic: Waypoint Media)

Twitch Top 10: Week Of October 15th (Graphic: Waypoint Media)

Waypoint Media is the leader in Esports and gaming audience data. They support clients like Nielsen and Twitch in their efforts to understand the Esports audience. Reach them at info@waypointmedia.com.


League of Legends Tops The Charts Again

All eyes were back on League of Legends this week as the knockout stage began at the 2017 World Championships. Worlds has never been a particularly exuberant time for NA and EU fans as their teams struggle to match the skill of their Korean and Chinese counterparts.

The match that took place between EU based Misfits and South Korean powerhouse SKT1 (who have won 3 of the last 4 years) in the early morning hours of October 20th was widely regarded to be the best match of the tournament so far. SKT1 ended up taking the set, but there appears to be a bright future for this young EU Misfits roster. However, none of the EU or NA teams will advance to the semifinals so prepare yourself for the ultimate showdowns between the best teams from the only parts of the world that excel at League of Legends  South Korea and China.

But let’s take a look at the numbers. Did you think that League of Legends did well last week?

You haven’t seen anything yet.

While the Viewer Hours, Hours Streamed and Average Concurrents remained relatively similar to last week (not a surprise considering this looks at aggregated data), the Maximum Concurrent Viewers peaked at almost 840K.

That’s an increase of 64% from last week.

Think the growth is just due to the increased quality of matches? Guess again. Compared to the first week of the Knockout stage in 2016, Peak Concurrent Viewership increased 36% and Unique Viewers increased 43%.

League of Legends is still thriving and I can only assume next week will tell a tale of continued success. Be sure to check back here next week for more info.

 

South Park and Warframe Outdo Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

South Park: The Fractured by Whole follows 2014's The Stick of Truth (Photo: Ubisoft)

South Park: The Fractured by Whole follows 2014's The Stick of Truth (Photo: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft’s latest entry into their South Park series and the latest expansion for Digital Extreme’s Warframe both dropped this week.

However both outperformed Valve’s mainstay Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Let’s take a look a both of these games individually.

South Park’s success may not be a total shock. However, what probably pushed it to 6th was the large number of sponsored high-profile streams that took place. Many of Twitch’s top streamers such as lirik, Joshog, timthetatman, dansgaming, and forsenlol (all in the top 100 most followed on the site) streamed the game. This also likely took hours from CS:GO as all of these streamers are known to play CS:GO too. In all, it appears that Ubisoft’s marketing budget went to good use.

However, this does not appear to be the case for Warframe. Originally released in 2013-2014 depending on your platform of choice, the game’s latest expansion Plains of Eidolon dropped on Friday, October 13th. But Digital Extreme’s marketing strategy was much more community oriented, which makes sense given the game’s online cooperative nature. For the first two weeks after launch, the publisher plans to reward players for watching streams of the game with free loot.

Marketing strategy aside, it will be interesting to see if CS:GO's numbers recover next week.

Twitch Top 10 Week of Oct 8th: League of Legend's World Championship Dominates

TWITCH TOP 10 WEEK OF OCT 8TH:

LEAGUE OF LEGEND'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DOMINATES

2017 League of Legends World Championship (Photo: Riot Games)

2017 League of Legends World Championship (Photo: Riot Games)

By Feature Writer Jordan Fragen

Welcome to The Next Level's newest series breaking down each week’s top Twitch content and diving deeper than just the surface level. Without further ado, let’s break down the most notable trends in this week’s data.
 

Waypoint Media is the leader in Esports and gaming audience data. They support clients like Nielsen and Twitch in their efforts to understand the Esports audience. Reach them at info@waypointmedia.com.

Twitch Top 10 Week of Oct 8th: League of Legend's World Championship Dominates (Graphic: Waypoint)

Twitch Top 10 Week of Oct 8th: League of Legend's World Championship Dominates (Graphic: Waypoint)

League of Legends World Championship's Dominated the Weekend

TNL Take: Ah, Worlds, how we’ve missed you.

This was week 2 of the group stage, traditionally a very bad week for North American League of Legends fans. This year was no exception. In an absolute slaughter fest, North American teams went 2-9. Both TSM and Immortals were eliminated and Cloud9 managed to made it through only by the grace of SK Telecom and God himself, Faker.

Given that Worlds are taking place in China this year, it was aired at off peak times for the North American and European audiences. Notably most metrics were roughly the same when compared to Week 2 of groups in 2016.

Total Hours Watched increased by 6%, but Average Concurrent viewers fell by 9% and Peak Concurrent Viewers fell by 8%. Likely this is due to the time shift and some viewers electing not to stay up until 3AM watching teams from their home region fail to qualify.

Most importantly, total reach appears to have increased significantly. Last year during the same week, League was watched by roughly 2.5M unique users on Twitch. This year that number rose to a staggering 3.2M, an increase of +27%. Frankly that’s huge for Riot and it speaks to the game’s popularity overseas.

 

PUBG Dominates Hours Streamed, But Is Viewership Lagging Behind?

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds continues to be a success by almost every metric. Had Worlds not been this week, it likely would have taken the top spot in most categories.

It continues to be the most streamed game on Twitch, with over 37K hours broadcast in the last week. That’s over 4 years worth of content in 7 days.

However, every other category fell between 3 and 10% from last week but only time will tell if this will be a larger trend.

 

Stars of the Week: Middle-Earth: Shadow of War and The Evil Within 2

When it comes to variety streamers (personalities not known for a single game), recently released games are often popular picks. Last week, droves of viewers watched indie darling Cuphead.

This week, the spotlight was on Middle-Earth: Shadow of War and The Evil Within 2 which were released on the 10th and the 13th respectively. Likely these games will not reappear on this chart anytime soon.

However given that average viewers watched under 1.5 hours for both games, it appears that many were tuning in to see if these games were worth purchasing for themselves.