Stream Hatchet report finds esports viewership up 15% in Q1 2023, co-streaming on the rise

Image: Stream Hatchet

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.

ESI singapore promo banner for articles

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.

Patrick Walker
Patrick is a freelance writer for ESI based in London, reporting on esports marketing and partnerships trends. He's currently playing VALORANT and Overwatch but always looking for the next big thing in competitive gaming.