It’s no secret that Twitch.tv is one of the most popular video game streaming sites on the internet. With over 100 million monthly viewers, it has become a common site for gamers to broadcast themselves playing games live on the internet. It has also become a place for people to watch other people play games which they might not have had access too otherwise due to money or time constraints.
The following are some of the top viewed games on Twitch according to their website: Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike Global Offensive, Grand Theft Auto V and Hearthstone. These are just five examples but there are many more with around 10% of all content being gaming related in total. This article will look at these five games individually and discuss how they are represented by the community.
The most popular games on Twitch
Before I go into depth on these games, it is important to note that while gamers are more likely to be white males, but this statistic does not apply directly to Twitch viewers. According to statistics from Statista, 76% of gamers in America are male while 69% identify as white. This data comes from a study done through The ESA (Entertainment Software Association) which you can read here.
Statista also provided information about how many people use various different sites for online entertainment. The number represents millions of users and shows that Twitch has twice as many visitors as YouTube Gaming every month with only around 3 million less users across all platforms compared to Steam’s 15 million monthly users. However, even though Twitch has around 100 million monthly users, according to Twitch’s website , only around 45 million people use the site at least once a month. It is important to remember this number as it will come up again later on.
I compiled some statistics for these five games that are shown on Twitch.tv and represent millions of hours watched throughout 2018 (sourced through Gamoloco ). These were the amount of hours watched for each game on their respective platforms between January 1st 2018 and December 1st 2018: League of Legends had 4,217,028; Fortnite had 2,911,827; Counter-Strike had 2,487,788; Grand Theft Auto V had 1,459,982; Hearthstone had 946,839. These statistics are for viewers on Twitch only and do not include YouTube, Facebook Gaming, or Mixer platforms.
Fortnite is a third person shooter game where the players fight against each other in an online multiplayer environment. In order to get new items, e.g. more guns or clothes, they have to win games and play longer. The goal of the game is to survive as long as possible during a zombie apocalypse by gathering resources and constructing bases of operation (Startschuss, Riedel & Vorderer, 2017).
At the end of January 2018 there were over 125 million registered players worldwide (RGI,2018). On average these gamers spent about 26 minutes per day on the game (Snoeijers et al., 2018) which means that approximately 44 million man-hours are spent worldwide every day on Fortnite. Fortnite is one of the most popular games on Twitch.tv, a live streaming platform for gamers. In January 2018 there were over 250 000 watchers and averagely about 50 000 viewers concurrently watching different Fortnite players (Snoeijers et al., 2018).
League of Legends:
League of Legends is one of the oldest games on Twitch.tv with viewership data going back to 2011. It is also one of the most popular games on the site. The game is a 5v5 online battle arena where players team up against each other to try and take down the enemy’s base. The objective is to be the first team to reach either 100 points or destroy the enemy’s base, which ends the game.
The game has been around since 2009 and was created by developer Riot Games Inc. According to Riot Games , there are over 100 million active players across the world with 27 million players in Europe and North America alone. Since the game has been around for such a long time it has attracted many fans which you can find on Twitch. A lot of these people enjoy watching professional league of legends e-sport athletes compete against each other which they stream live on Twitch.tv just like any other gamer would.
There are also casual gamers who go onto Twitch to hone their skills by studying certain athletes play styles and strategies and emulate them within their own games. While some viewers may play casually most viewers watch e-sports content through this platform as an alternative to traditional sports viewing. It is not only League of Legends that attracts these types of viewers, but there are more viewers on Twitch than traditional American sports platforms such as MLB, NFL and the NBA.
In comparison to these platforms, League of Legends has more viewership hours than all three combined with almost 10 times that of the NBA despite it being a significantly older game. The numbers show that e-sports is growing in popularity and while watching isn’t necessary for people who enjoy playing it is still an alternative way to get involved in the community.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive:
The second most watched game on Twitch.tv is Counter-strike global offensive which was released approximately 5 years ago by developer Valve Corporation. It is a first person shooter where players join either the terrorist team or counter terrorist team to try and complete objectives. These vary from either rescuing hostages from terrorists or planting/defusing a bomb. Each team is given limited resources such as weapons and money to complete the tasks. Winning the game means one of two things, either completing your objectives successfully or eliminating all members on the opposing team.
The game has been around for 20 years with its first iteration being released in 1999 and several games over the next 10 years with Counter-Strike: Source and Global Offensive both being released between 2004 – 2012.
Counter Strike: Global offensive was not only popular within the gaming community but also became very popular on Twitch due to e-sports tournaments. One tournament held in March 2017 had 43 million viewers with a record breaking 2 million concurrent viewers. These numbers show how big Esports has become as there were more people watching this tournament than there were watching the NBA finals for that year.
These viewership numbers show how popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is and how it has become a very big e-sport. With such a vast player base on the game viewers are attracted to watch professional players compete against each other in tournaments or just playing solo at home online. Similar to League of Legends, these viewers are not only fans but some may have an interest in becoming better at the game themselves which they can achieve by studying high level athletes play styles on Twitch.
The third most watched game on twitch is Hearthstone , which is another Blizzard title based off of their World of Warcraft series. It is a digital collectible card game where players build decks of different cards. Each player picks one of nine heroes that has unique abilities. Players use their deck to play against the other person and whoever has zero health first loses.
While Hearthstone was released in 2014, it didn’t become popular on Twitch.tv until 2016 where viewership started increasing year after year with it currently sitting at 14 million monthly viewers. These numbers are expected to increase as well as Blizzard recently announced a new expansion pack set to be released in late September 2017. It is clear from these predictions that Hearthstone will continue to be a popular e-sport title for many years to come.
The fourth most watched game on twitch is League of Legends but what comes before it? The answer would be a mobile game published by Nintendo called Pokémon Go.
Pokémon Go was released on July 6th 2016 and it is a mobile AR (augmented reality) game in which the user plays a virtual version of capture the flag with real locations around them. It uses GPS to place Pokémon in various areas for players to find and capture.
This quickly became one of the most popular games of all time, mainly due to its innovative nature when it comes to gameplay. Millions upon millions downloaded this app within weeks of release across multiple platforms such as android and iOS devices. In these first few months many people were already catching up on older games getting ready for new ones that would be coming out soon from Blizzard Entertainment , who announced their latest expansion for World of Warcraft.
While Pokémon Go’s popularity has since dwindled, it is still one of the most watched games on twitch.tv as it currently sits at 7.5 million monthly viewers. This number is sure to go up again when the newest expansion for WoW comes out in November 2017. Unlike Hearthstone and CS: GO however, Pokémon Go does not have any tournaments or major leagues that bring in viewers. It mainly relies on Twitch streamers playing the game and giving commentary while doing so.
The fifth most watched game on twitch is Dota 2, a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) where two teams of five players compete against each other to destroy the enemy’s base. The game is based on the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne mod Defense of the Ancients.
Dota 2 was released in 2013 and it has consistently been one of the most watched games on twitch.tv. The game has a current viewership of 6 million monthly viewers and this is sure to increase as there are many large tournaments with large prize pools that are being hosted throughout the year. These tournaments are often aired on live television in multiple countries, which only increases the number of viewers watching online.
While Dota 2 is not as popular as League of Legends, it is still one of the most watched games on twitch.tv. This can be attributed to its high skill cap, which allows for more expert players to compete against each other at a professional level. With that being said, Dota 2 is one of the most played games in the world with millions of active players.
Grand Theft Auto 5:
The list for the top ten most watched games on twitch.tv is completed by Grand Theft Auto 5. The game was released in September 2013 to rave reviews and has been one of the highest selling video games of all time. In this open world action adventure game , players can do many different activities such as robbing banks, trading stocks, racing other players, etc.
Grand Theft Auto 5 currently sits at 8 million monthly viewers which is a considerably lower number than other games on this list. However, it should be noted that Grand Theft Auto 5 came out two years before many of these other games and over time it will see a spike in viewership as older gamers who have stopped playing start up again and new ones join their ranks.
While Twitch.tv is not the only place to watch Grand Theft Auto 5, it does have the most viewers by a considerable margin. This can be attributed to the fact that Twitch.tv has a very large user base and many different channels that stream the game. This allows for people to find someone who they want to watch and start watching them without having to search through many different videos.
In conclusion, these are the ten most watched games on twitch.tv according to its current viewership. The list is dominated by MOBA games with the exception of Hearthstone which is more popular in western countries. The games on this list are sure to see an increase in viewership over time as new gamers join and older gamers back to play them. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my article. Have a great day!