The Chess category on Twitch has reached a new milestone of over 21 million hours watched in February 2021, according to data from Rainmaker.gg, StreamElements' analytics partner.
That represents massive growth from February 2020, when it drew 1 million hours watched. StreamElements noted that chess viewership surged in the wake of the Netflix chess drama The Queen's Gambit, which premiered in October 2020, but it has managed to maintain steady growth into the new year.
The new record was not enough to drive chess into the top 10 categories for Twitch viewer hours though. Just Chatting held the top spot with 235 million hours watched, with League of Legends at 144 million and Grand Theft Auto 5 just behind at 135 million hours watched.
Rust, meanwhile, dropped from the no. 2 spot in January 2021 with 189 million to no. 10 at 43 million hours watched.
Chess, meanwhile, occupied the 17th spot based on hours watched, according to a StreamElements spokesperson.
There has also been an increase in women in the top streamers on Twitch, with nine women currently among the top 200 streamers in hours watched compared to two last year.
Both Twitch and Facebook Gaming experienced month-over-month dips in viewership hours during the short month of February, though both boast significant year-over-year growth -- Twitch has grown 82% to 1.86 billion hours watched, while Facebook Gaming grew by 79% to 345 million hours watched.