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Battle of the Majors: The Challengers Stage

Posted Feb 28, 2019

Thanks to all of the intense competition, the first stage of the CS:GO major has a reputation of an interesting, even fascinating event. But what about the results of this particular stage, how did they change over the last year? This is what we will try to figure out in today's article.

Firstly, we should note that the last major has expanded its list of broadcasts when compared to the Boston one. The organizer has prepared streams in Turkish, Indonesian, Bulgarian and Czech for the tournament in Katowice – all made possible by the ESL language diversity policy.

Once comparing the last three World Championship, a strange tendency can be seen. The viewability tends to grow, at least in the beginning. The London competition has attracted 20 thousand more viewers than the Boston Major. The matches held in UK have peaked at half a million viewers, while the American ones have peaked at 526 thousand viewers.

Should we add Intel Extreme Masters to the comparison, it would stay 50 thousand viewers behind the FACEIT Major – and it would also mean that the IEM's viewability is inferior to that of the ELEAGUE event. When it comes to the product of the Seattle guys, this does not show a good trend at all.

The biggest decline of the sort can be attributed to the Polish broadcast, for while the Poles were able to gather 11 thousand viewers on average during their London performance, at their native soil this particular figure has suffered a sudden drop to 4 thousand viewers. In other words, only a third of the audience has decided to continue following this part of the championship.

It was only the Portuguese broadcast that has managed to show some growth, increasing its figures by 10 thousand viewers on average. It has attracted 19 thousand spectators at FACEIT Major, and then reached 29 thousand spectators in Katowice. This was made possible through the participation of the FURIA Esports team.

A small adjustment to the tournament's format has ended up playing a deteriorating role – this time the organizers have decided to play the maximum possible number of matches per day. This decision has led to the appearance of two broadcasts occurring simultaneously, forcing the viewers to choose only one of them.

This everyday abundance of matches has also degraded the quality of content. Given their schedule, part of the viewers could not afford watching the matches that started too early in the morning or too late in the evening. And then, there was another negative factor in the form of the technical difficulties present.

Holding the prime battles on a single stream could have a positive impact on the event's statistics, but we have what we have now.

This was partly due to a change in the Valve's capsule drop system. Earlier, anyone had an opportunity to get a unique capsule with a player's autograph – but now such a set can be obtained only by purchasing a special pass first. While this would not affect the loyalty of the true fans of this discipline, it could drive away the part of the audience which has attended the broadcasts only in the hope of getting free items.

As a result, the amount of viewers of Polish championship has decreased. On the bright side, it can be argued that the statistics obtained are more robust than ever, for they are taking into account the true fans of CS:GO, rather than the loot hunters.

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