Quite recently, USA saw the battle of the world's best fighting game players. It took place during the annual Evolution Championship Series. As part of this event, the organizers gather the best players of the most popular representatives of the genre.
If you did not know that EVO is one of the oldest tournament stages. The first competition (then called Battle by the Bay) was held back in 1996. Then no one even thought about esports, but this did not stop all enthusiasts from gathering and competing against each other for the title of the best fighter.
In 2019, the fighting festival disciplines included Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Mortal Kombat 11, Soulcalibur VI, Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[st], Samurai Shodown and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Simply put, gathering at the championship were the very best titles the industry had to offer.
Based on the data collected by us, it becomes clear that Super Smash Bros. became the most popular game of the event, attracting 58 thousand average viewers. Its broadcast also hit the mark of 245 thousand viewers. The number of the hours watched reached a total of 1 million 714 thousand.
At the same time, Street Fighter V boasts nearly the same result. It took the second spot based on the average viewers and the hours watched – but lost the peak viewers-based second spot to Tekken 7. In general, the graphs demonstrate more or less the same situation in regard to the popularity of the disciplines. But what happened in comparison to the last year's situation?
In the 2018 competition, both DBFZ and SFV were in the top. Dragon Ball held the top spot based on the peak broadcast viewers ranking. Street Fighter was the first when comparing the hours watched. But it seems such achievements could not be consolidated once more. In part, the Saturday finals may be to blame for this, as last year's event ended on Sunday – but it is quite difficult to say for sure.
This summer, Dragon Ball FighterZ was not at all able to repeat its success or even at least slightly catch up with its previous achievements. It all came down to the fact that the peak viewers mark of this discipline at the Evolution Championship Series 2019 did not exceed 103 thousand people.
SF has also failed somewhat, lacking only 200 thousand hours to become ranked first based on the hours watched. Instead, its indicator stopped at just 1 million 500 thousand hours. It may well be that a little extra airtime would have corrected the situation, but we have what we have.
Based on this it can be stated that fighting industry trends tend to change and generally have a relatively short lifespan. They are especially strongly influenced by the popular series' newcomers and their diverse addons.
However, it is worth noting that the place's old-timer in face of Mortal Kombat could not adequately prove itself. He became the fifth based on peak viewers, and the fourth based on average viewers and hours watched. The eleventh part of the series clearly did not entice the players.