The number of hours watched of livestreamed esports content continued to grow year-on-year and is up 15% in the first quarter of 2023, bucking an overall decline in gaming livestream viewership, according to a Stream Hatchet report.
The Esports Live-Streaming Trends Report, which livestreaming analytics platform Stream Hatchet releases quarterly, also indicated that co-streaming continued to boost esports viewership and engagement.
The report noted that authorised co-streaming contributed a 195% growth in viewer hours to the Call of Duty League. The viewership boost from co-streaming — an increasingly popular practice amongst tournament organisers — was spread across various games and content creator.
VALORANT streamer Tarik ‘tarik’ Celik taking the top spot with 13 million hours watched, closely followed by DOTA 2 streamer ‘Nix’ at 12 million, Fortnite and Minecraft’s elspreen with 9 million, and Spanish variety streamer Ibai.
Stream Hatchet’s report identified a higher chat engagement rate among three co-streamers than on the official broadcast: Nix’s viewers sent double the messages of the official stream. These findings potentially indicate that co-streams are a way to engage viewers more closely, as well as raise viewership of esports events.
Esports viewership remains top-heavy, the report also indicated, with the largest tournaments including the VALORANT LOCK//IN and Evo Japan 2023 taking the lion’s share of viewers. The largest 30 tournaments made up over 68% of the total esports viewership.
Meanwhile, YouTube continued to grow its market share of large events this quarter by 10% measured against Twitch — although the Amazon-owned streaming platform continues to dominate the streaming landscape for medium and large events.
Twitch is especially commanding with small events, where it has a market share of 81%. Twitch and YouTube make up 62% and 30% of the market, respectively, Stream Hatchet found.
Content creators also represented the majority of viewership for esports teams, contributing an average of 61% of overall team viewership hours on all platforms.
KOI and Cloud9 were the first and second-most viewed respectively, with Indonesia’s Rex Regum Qeon taking third thanks to 33 million hours generated through viewership of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang events this past quarter.