Twitch, the live-streaming site, derives 21.3% of its viewership from e-sports, according to market researcher Newzoo. This indicates that e-sports is becoming a big deal in driving online video traffic. Twitch took just one month’s time to grow to more than 100 million viewers.
E-sports pushing viewership for Twitch
While e-sports is often credited with Twitch for creating a market of game spectatorship, there is plenty of evidence supporting that e-sports has an important role to play in the platform’s growing even more massive. From July to December 2015, fans spent 475.5 million hours watching e-sports content across all franchises, according to Newzoo’s estimates. The average viewing time was noted at 79 million hours per month. A wide variation from 12.7% for Hearthstone to 51.9% for Dota 2 was noticed in the share of e-sports content compared to game content streamed by consumers.
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Of all the time spent viewing e-sports on Twitch, MOBAs and first-person shooters account for 85%. A massive 58% share of total hours watched on Twitch comes from MOBAs alone, of which a major share comes from Riot Games’ League of Legends and Valve’s Dota 2. This, when combined with first-person shooters (primarily Valve’s Counterstrike: Global Offensive), racked up 406.7 million hours of watched e-sports content in the second half of last year.
Streams in the strategy genre like Age of Empires II: The Conquerors, StarCraft II and Hearthstone contributed 10% of the total hours watched. In the last six months of 2015, consumers spent 47.3 million hours viewing strategy e-sports content.
Growing competitive gaming partnerships
Large events such as e-sports tournaments also drive channel views and Twitch’s traffic. IEM Katowice was one of the biggest e-sports events, which took place in the week of March 2-6 and was organized by ESL. The viewership for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive almost doubled to 400,000 viewers during the event and went up to 525,000 viewers at one point during the finals.
It is for this reason that Twitch is rapidly growing its list of competitive gaming partnerships. It has already entered into deals with the people behind Vainglory and Rocket League, and now is entering into a deal with Faceit, which is a leading e-sports platform, for the launch of the E-sports Championship Series.
For the premiere Counter-Strike series, there are 20 teams, and for the first time, ECS was offering co-ownership of teams. Twitch, along with being an exclusive broadcast partner, is also responsible for keeping everyone happy during the series.