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eSports driving over 21% of Twitch viewership - Newzoo

"It is sometimes overlooked how eSports has helped Twitch grow to the massive live video platform it is today," says research firm

While Twitch has been popular for game streaming and event streaming of all sorts, it's the eSports boom that's really fueled the platform's momentum, according to research group Newzoo. Based on an analysis of all hours watched on Twitch from July to December 2015, Newzoo found that 21.3 percent of viewership was from eSports competitions.

"While it is often said that Twitch was the true accelerator of the growth of eSports in the West, it is sometimes overlooked how, conversely, eSports has helped Twitch grow to the massive live video platform it is today," Newzoo noted.

Newzoo found 475.5 million hours of eSports content watched across all eSports franchises, representing an average of over 79 million hours per month. There were some notable differences in engagement, however, when it comes to eSports content compared to game content streamed by consumers. The steady top five that generate the most hours watched on Twitch are League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, and StarCraft II, but their engagement varies quite a bit, as you can see in the chart below. Dota 2 and StarCraft II dominate eSports engagement with 51.9 percent and 47.4 percent, respectively, of eSports hours compared to consumer hours.

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It may come as little surprise that the data also shows MOBAs and shooters generating the most eSports interest, taking about 85 percent of total eSports hours watched. "MOBAs account for 58 percent of the total eSports hours watched on Twitch, of which most hours come from Riot's League of Legends and Valve's Dota 2. Combined with Shooters (primarily Valve's Counterstrike: Global Offensive), the two genres racked up 406.7 million hours of watched eSports content in the second half of last year," Newzoo said.

Shooters were far lower on the scale than MOBAs, capturing 27 percent of the total hours, while strategy games like Age of Empire II: The Conquerors, and notables like StarCraft II and Hearthstone, captured about 10 percent of hours watched.

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Latest comments (5)

Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager A year ago
I think it is time for me to totally give up understanding the fascination of watching other people online, trying to deal with the quick cuts/edits, the overhyped/adhd commentators and the players that are almost raised to personality cult level. Im just getting way too old for this.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! A year ago
@Aleksi: I'm already in the boat, so hop on in and let's go for a trip. This stuff baffles me to no end and I've actually been to a few tournaments where it's a great deal more boring because of all the downtime and stuff that gets done behind the scenes. It's about the same thing as being on a movie set and being bored out of one's skull after the magic fades and watching a film where you see the end result (and still aren't that impressed because the film isn't so hot).
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft GermanyA year ago
I still don't get it, but whoever enjoys it glad for him. I'll keep playing my own games for now.
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Srinidhi Naik Founder & Lead Programmer/Designer, SprySpireA year ago
Hmm, seems some of my fellow readers don't really understand Twitch's demographic. I guess I can try to explain some reasons why videogame streaming is popular.

I like watching eSports and Twitch streams for many of the same reasons someone might like to watch Football or Baseball. It's fun to watch competitive play, which allow you to see game mechanics pushed to the limit of human execution and skill. You can now marvel at the highest level of play without practicing combos and techskill for hours on end.

In addition, streams offer an easy way to judge for yourself if a game is actually worth playing without the vertical slice and marketing hype. If you want to see the game as it truly is, streams and unedited videos are the best way to do so.

However, if you aren't invested in the storylines of competition, don't want to check out a new game before buying, or dislike the personalities of streamers, then it makes sense that you probably wouldn't be interested in watching a stream. But it should still be clear why some folks will watch streams, right?

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Srinidhi Naik on 8th April 2016 1:14am

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Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager A year ago
@Srinidhi I know to whom the content is made for and the target audience and i know it is not made for me, was trying be slightly sarcastic in my comments. It just makes me shed a tear to see where we (they) are heading as consumers.
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