Twitch analytics

Audience engagement in esports: Twitch analytics

Audience engagement in esports: Twitch analytics

Nowadays the gaming industry, as well as Esports, keep rocketing. It is highly unlikely that any youngster on the street would’ve denied having a PC or a Console. It’s hard to find a kid who didn’t follow his favorite game on Twitch. However, do the streaming fans love to watch esports broadcasts? Today we’ll find out how the audience of most popular games is engaged in esports.

Since June 2020 both online and offline tournaments have gathered only around 10 million unique viewers, which is around 10% of all people who spent time watching broadcasts. It seems that esports should definitely be at least as popular as day-to-day gaming because it includes the competitive component, but the numbers show the contrary. 

However, the number of Unique esports Viewers is expected to be lower than the gaming one due to the high popularity of non-competitive games like GTA V, Escape From Tarkov, Minecraft, etc. The engagement of their audience into esports will not be calculated. 

We’ll take a look at the top 10 most popular games by Hours Watched for Q3 of 2020, deduce which ones are esports, and estimate the engagement of the audience and explain why the esports lovers comprise only a miserable 5% of the total audience.

From July 2020 to September 2020, Just Chatting Twitch category holds the leading position with 500 million HW, which is 130% higher than League of Legends on its second position with 394 million HW. 

5 out of the top-10 categories are not competitive at all so they will be omitted from the analysis, namely Just Chatting, GTA V, Among Us, Fall Guys and Minecraft. Instead of them, the next ones in the top will be taken into account: Dota 2, APEX, Rainbow 6, Teamfight Tactics and PUBG.

The list could have ended with World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Hearthstone, as they are more popular, but the broadcasts of Blizzard esports events transferred to YouTube so these games will not show precisely their most recent esports audience.

Brief Methodology

Let us denote the metrics that will be calculated for each of the categories separately:

  • The ratio between Peak Viewers for the top esports events and peak concurrent viewers on Twitch platform.
  • The number of people that watched any esports event divided into the total number of people that watched this specific category.
  • The ratio between the HW generated by people watching esports of this category to the total HW for this specific category.
  • The average time spent by the viewer on the non-esports broadcast.
  • The average time spent by the viewers on any esports broadcast.
  • The ratio between total viewers of the category and the total channels of the same category.

League Of Legends

The top game among all esports disciplines by absolute values. 794k Peak Viewers seem like an unbelievable number, but everything is about the degree and these 794k look miserable compared to the total 11 million Unique Viewers. 

Nevertheless, 30% of the engagement is one of the top results among the analyzed disciplines, which means that almost every third person watching day-to-day broadcast is very likely to watch some of the esports events.

Call of Duty

The next game by Hours Watched in Q3 2020 is a PC version of Call of Duty. The compound audience of all game versions is huge: more than 15 million unique viewers. 

But the esports popularity is extremely far behind the broadcast one. For instance, it is very surprising that the top tournament Toronto Ultra Payout gathered only 1,6% of total unique viewers. The reason is that many tournaments, including Call of Duty League, are broadcasting on YouTube. Twitch is the main field for showmatches and other kinds of tournaments. Therefore, Call of Duty has a very weak interest in esports, and resulted in being one the least engaged games in our list.


Due to the novelty of the game, esports generated only 12,6 million viewers while the total HW is extremely big - 141,7million. That resulted in a big number of channels, and a very low average time spent on the broadcast. People mainly come to see what the game is about and find some differences and similarities among the FPS.

A similar situation can be seen in Call of Duty, but the numbers are obviously lower, and the esports teams may not even possess the VALORANT team, so their fans cannot be engaged in the esports. That’s why VALORANT is so far the worst game by engagement, but we suppose its success is yet to come.


Almost the top-1 game by the engagement, while far from the top-1 game by HW overall. Despite the high number of the potential audience of more than 8 million viewers, the game shows quite well in our calculations. People watching CS:GO on Twitch are one of the most interested in esports as well. Moreover, esports HW comprises almost 50% of the total HW this quarter.

Dota 2

The outsider by HW, but surely the leader by the engagement. 

More than every third viewer occasionally watches esports of this discipline. But what is the source of these numbers? For now, Dota 2 is the most popular discipline in CIS region, despite the fact that it is far from success abroad.

Rainbow Six Siege

By absolute numbers, the game shows a bit worse results than the previous competitors but still has quite a big broadcasting audience. Especially total Unique Viewers over 3,7 million compared to only some 600k total esports quarter audience. This number mainly does not let Rainbow 6 prove itself because other metrics in percentage comparison are performing well enough.

APEX Legends

Pretty new mobile discipline, compared to the previous mobile representative in our top. APEX faces the exact same problem as Rainbow 6, but in percentage terms, the problem results in being more dramatic.

A lot of unique viewers watch the broadcasts for fun and aren’t interested in esports. Even the top events like ALGS Super Regional in several regions did not change the situation for APEX and it resulted in being the poorest among top-10 esports disciplines by engagement.

Teamfight Tactics

The numbers are performing at least at a level of LoL. 25% of broadcast viewers watch esports, the peak of simultaneous viewers is very close to the esports peak.

However, the game got only 13% of the engagement. This is due to the fact that the average viewer doesn't spend much time watching esports. It looks like he or she comes to see what’s going on just for a minute or two and leaves right away. That’s why engagement resulted in only 13%.


The top hasn’t been without the most popular mobile game. We can clearly see the numbers of viewers, compatible with every PC game, however, it is still a drop in the ocean compared to the total audience of Fortnite on streams. 

The events in this discipline and every player from Friday to Sunday can become Fortnite Champion Series participant and fight for $5M. That’s why it's impossible to distinguish who loves only entertaining or competitive content. However, if we use the same methodology, the game can show a pretty good number.


PUBG could have been the leader from behind. Fair peak viewers of the esports, almost 50% of unique viewers coming from broadcasts. But, the total HW of streaming shows the contrary.

PUBG fans prefer to watch regular broadcasts more than esports. Meaning that total viewers comprise extremely various people, that have a very poor intersection from one tournament to another.This prevented PUBG from being higher in our top engaged list.

Esports Charts has the ability to drive a superior depth of analytics for Twitch. Therefore, if you want to learn more about your audience, here is what we can help you with:

  • find out how big your core audience is;
  • analyze viewers interests (game titles, channels, other teams, etc.);
  • explore the watch time ratio;
  • etc.

Contact [email protected] with any question or request, and we will respond within 24 hours.

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