eSports & Gaming , OTT & Digital

Most-watched esports events record 190.1m streaming hours

YouTube and Twitch aid viewership growth for gaming broadcasts in 2018.

by Steven Impey

Most-watched esports events record 190.1m streaming hours

Four of the world’s biggest esports events accumulated a mammoth 190.1 million hours (21,700 years) worth of live streams in 2018, according to industry research. 

Newzoo, the global provider of games and esports analytics showed 6.9 per cent growth across the industry, based on the League of Legends World Championship Finals 2018, the eLeague Major: Boston, The International 2018 from Dota 2, and the Overwatch League Finals.

“The League of Legends World Championship Finals was 2018’s biggest tournament by live hours watched across Twitch and YouTube Gaming, boasting 81.1 million hours watched,” said Jurre Pannekeet, Newzoo senior marketing analyst, who specialises in esports.

“Although the event’s viewership decreased slightly from last year, it is worth noting that the event’s quarter-finals took place across two days, compared to four days in 2017.

“What’s more, viewership for the event’s top Twitch channel, Riot Games, increased. The channel streamed the event for a duration of 304 hours to an average of 93,000 Twitch viewers.

“Overall, this generated 28.1 million hours of live viewership for the channel—up 11.7 per cent from last year’s numbers.”

In comparison with traditional sport, streaming analyst Conviva reported record over-the-top (OTT) consumption during the 2018 Fifa World Cup, including 5.5 billion viewing hours during the quarter-final between France and Argentina.

In esports, the eLeague Major: Boston was the second most-viewed tournament, attracting 54.1 million hours watched across Twitch and YouTube Gaming, which was closely followed by The International 2018 with a total of 49.3 million hours consumed.

Meanwhile, viewers watched 5.6 million hours of the inaugural Overwatch League Finals – the vast majority via Twitch, which reportedly paid US$90 million to stream the Overwatch League in a two-year media rights deal.