Credit: Shannon Cottrell/Riot Games
Mentioned in this article
League of Legends is on pace to break 1B hours watched as Fortnite sees a decline in viewership for the first half of the year.
Meanwhile, Just Chatting’s emergence has generated notable growth for non-game-related content compared to its predecessor, the “IRL” category.
Fortnite has seen a significant year-over-year decline in viewership that became particularly noticeable in the spring as the game’s top influencer from 2018 in Tyler “Ninja” Blevins failed to match the sort of success he had from March-June of last year.
Grand Theft Auto V role play streams served as perhaps the biggest breakout form of content on Twitch so far in 2019, even though EA’s battle royale game Apex Legends had one of the most dominant stints in the broadcast platform’s history, despite being short-lived.
Top Content: League of Legends
League of Legends has managed to see a boost in viewership that has it on pace to break 1B hours watched this year, something that only Fortnite was able to pull off in 2018.
The title has been led by 59.2M hours watched on the Riot Games channel that features LoL Championship Series (LCS) and LoL European Championship (LEC) play. The LoL Championship Korea (LCK) was the game’s third most-watched channel with 13.5M hours watched, and a slew of influencers including Tyler “Tyler1” Steinkamp managed to generate more than 10M hours watched.
While Fortnite viewership fluctuated as influencers hopped to trending titles like GTAV or Apex Legends, LoL has managed to maintain a more consistently strong base of viewers due in part to its position as the most established spectator esport.
What’s Trending: Just Chatting
Since its inception in the fall of 2018, Just Chatting has become increasingly important to the Twitch ecosystem as a way for streamers to directly interact with their community of viewers without necessarily “gaming.”
Numerous streamers rely heavily on opening up a stream by “Just Chatting” before getting into gameplay, and others use the Just Chatting category as the main part of their content. So far in 2019, Just Chatting has grown so much that it has outperformed 2018 viewership for “IRL,” the category that retired and was broken up into a number of more specific categories.
Former Overwatch League player Félix “xQc” Lengyel, has posted the most hours watched under Just Chatting so far this year with 11.9M over the course of 787 hours of airtime. Chance “Sodapoppin” Morris is another notable influencer who uses Just Chatting to produce viewership. His 345 hours of Just Chatting produced an average of 18K CCV with a total of 7.1M hours watched.
The increased use of Just Chatting is a signal that influencers are realizing how important it is that content is personality-driven and that it’s not necessarily important that content is tied to a game. The more content creators continue to build out communities of viewers, the more likely it is that Just Chatting will keep seeing growth in the latter half of 2019.
While the most popular games can come and go, the appeal that just talking to other humans has not. With an increased number of high-profile influencers Just Chatting to maintain a level of consistency to their content even if they might be changing up the games that they play occasionally, the category will likely continue to thrive and grow.