In mid-March, the first event ended in Brawlhalla esports series 2021. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, regional competitions are still held online, and they still grow by viewership stats. Brawlhalla Winter Championship has shown some of the best results in the history of the discipline. Here's what does all this has to do with the game's collaboration with Twitch.
Brawlhalla is the most popular fighting discipline right now
Brawlhalla has become the most popular esports fighting game in 2020. Blue Mammoth Games beat such prominent competitors as Street Fighter, Tekken and Mortal Kombat. At the same time, the main rival to the title is Super Smash Bros: the games are similar in design, but Brawlhalla uses a much more simplified physical model.
Brawlhalla publishers Ubisoft pushed its esports scene even more forward in 2021. Earlier this year it was announced that the prize pool of the competitive season would be $1 million. And this is also somewhat of a nod towards Nintendo, which has been criticized for several years for not developing the esports ecosystem of the game.
In total, there will be four Brawlhalla Championships in 2021 with competitions in five regions: and with the focus on North America. This region will also get the Pro Series League in June with a prize pool of $50,000. Traditionally, the season will end with the World Championship, which is scheduled for November 2021.
What is the secret behind Brawlhalla's viewership success?
Brawlhalla is one of the few games that learned how to successfully convert its players into an esports audience. Developers try to attract players to streams in different ways, and primarily with in-game gifts. This kind of the game promotion is also actively used within Asian mobile game market.
The best example is PUBG Mobile. Its Global Championship had viewership awards within in-game client, so the overall audience of the tournament reached 3.8 million viewers: and this is the third result in the history of esports (only two latest Worlds are ahead).
Of course, Brawlhalla's can’t match with PUBG Mobile, but Ubisoft still successfully purse a similar strategy. In the summer of 2020, the company announced a partnership with Twitch. As part of the agreement, an extension has appeared at the official esports tournaments and promo-events of Brawlhalla: with it viewers started to earn loot.
As a result, the viewership statistics of the events increased ten times. For comparison, let’s check the results of Summer Championship and the 2020 Autumn series, during which the new expansion with in-game prizes was introduced.
As one can see, the peak audience has grown from around 3K people to ~33,7K. The more time viewers spent on the broadcast, the higher the prizes, so the growth in average audience was even more impressive.
The average audience of the summer tournament was only 1.5K people, and during the Autumn Championship it averaged at 29.3K mark on solo tournament stream, and even more people watched the games of duos: 30.4K. Incredible growth.
Viewership statistics of Winter Championship
Winter Championship was divided into doubles and solo tournament. Overall prize pool of the even amounted $75,000 with the largest prize funds in Europe and North America ($25,000 per region).
The main regions showed the best results in terms of viewership statistics. European matches gathered to 64K people at peak, but North America was ahead: it had 5K more viewers.
In terms of the average audience, the championships showed almost similar results: 51K people: the difference was less than 600 viewers. Interestingly enough, Europe has bypassed North America by this metric.
South America, Southeast Asia and Australia are another regions of the tournament. The SA championship was the third most popular, with 10% less average audience than Europe / North America (45.2K people).
Compared to 2020’s Autumn Championship, the average audience of official championships has grown by 68%. The North American Winter Championship is now one within the top 5 events in the history of the discipline.
The current leader in the discipline in is the last World Championship, which at its peak gathered more than 165K spectators with an average audience of 87.7K.
The difference in numbers after Brawlhalla's collaboration with Twitch is striking. Before that tournament attracted on average about three thousand viewers on Twitch, but with in-game prizes the indicators increased multiple times.
The esports fighting game scene has been having hard times in 2020. Sexual scandals shocked local scene damaged festival EVO, which was eventually canceled. As a result, Brawlhalla became the leader of the discipline in terms of viewers.
In 2021, the fight for the title of the most popular fighting game will intensify: EVO will return after a deal with Sony, and Super Smash Bros. will have Smash World Tour, one of the largest series of events in the history of the discipline.