Esports

The Start of the 2020 Esports Season: Twitch Top Channels, Jan. 20 – 26


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Dota 2 leads an esports-heavy weekend with the year’s first Valve Major, the second of the Dota Pro Circuit season.

Riot Games kicked off its European and North American pro leagues for League of Legends, launching separate Twitch channels for each.

The Super Smash Bros. community turned out in full force for the kickoff of its 2020 season at Genesis 7.

Note: Due to Activision Blizzard’s exclusive deal with YouTube, the inaugural event of the Call of Duty League was not broadcast on Twitch.

The following content is ranked according to the total number of hours watched on Twitch from Monday to the following Sunday, with data compiled using TEO Access.

It’s Big in Russia

As one of just five Majors held during the Dota 2 competitive season, and the first of the calendar year, DreamHack’s DreamLeague Season 13: The Leipzig Major is one of the biggest Dota 2 events of the entire year. Teams compete for a $1M USD prize pool, and the teams with the strongest performance set themselves up well to qualify for The International later in the year. This time it was Team Secret who emerged victorious, defeating Evil Geniuses in the final match.

As is often the case with Dota 2 events, the Russian-language broadcast of the Major surpassed the main English broadcast, generating 5.48M hours watched, becoming the most-watched channel of the week. The English broadcast came in second with 4.88M hours watched.

Breaking Up the Leagues

Historically, Riot Games has streamed the English-language broadcast of each of its major leagues on a single official channel, which would routinely top the charts during its main competition season. This season, however, the company has separated the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) and League of Legends European Championship (LEC), creating specific Twitch channels for each.

 

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For the opening week, the LCS generated 1.24M hours watched, while the LEC reached 1.13M for a combined 2.37M. It should be noted that the LCS aired fewer games during its initial week due to a new Monday Night League broadcast, which will be reflected in next week’s rankings.

It’s Time to Smash

Despite its massive popularity as a gaming franchise, Super Smash Bros. generally underperforms week-to-week on Twitch. The exception to this is when the game’s competitive community descends upon a city en masse for one of its major tournaments. Genesis is arguably the community’s most important annual Smash-only tournament, and last weekend’s Genesis 7 generated 1.15M hours watched on its main channel alone – surpassing the LEC.

It is worth noting that the hours watched metric is particularly friendly to fighting game tournaments, which broadcast almost constantly for three straight days in order to capture as many matches in their large open bracket tournaments as possible.



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