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.
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.