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Is Twitch still the king of esports broadcasting?

Posted Sep 27, 2019

For a long time, Twitch was no one but a king, occupying the throne of esports broadcasts all by itself. However, new ambitious competitors continue to seriously challenge Twitch dominance trying to entice some of the king's “faithful subjects.”

YouTube Live from Google is one of such daredevils. Having some excellent technical equipment and the status of a global company, the service was able to decisively break into the esports market. Its domination in the mobile devices sector became a great example of “winning the battle, but not yet the war.” Today, YouTube Live is the undisputed leader of this particular sector, which is confirmed by the figures of numerous championships in portable esports disciplines – with PUBG Mobile standing out among these. At the recent PUBG Mobile Club Open Spring Split final, YouTube Live’s share of the audience was over 83%.

In addition, YouTube can boast with increasing its audience in more traditional esports as well. At Mid-Season Invitational 2019 (one of the most important League of Legends tournaments), the hours watched for the platform increased by 66.6% compared to the last year. What about Twitch? Its audience growth was equal to almost half that – 36.7%.

In the case of PMCO Spring Split Global Finals, the once invincible Twitch got as low as a third spot – the platform was able to attract only 6.4% of the views. For the king of the industry, this is completely unacceptable.

It is worth mentioning another representative of the “new school” of broadcasting – Facebook Live with its Gaming section. The new streamer project of the social network did not face immediate success, but rather started from failures – including a terrible deal with ESL and huge problems from the technical standpoint. Despite this, the service is still entrenched in the market and has its own audience. For example, during the already mentioned PMCO Spring Split Global Finals, the platform collected 10% of the tournament’s airtime – the very second place after YouTube Live, which Twitch missed.

The Facebook platform also showed excellent results during the latest Dota 2 season. If we compare The International 2019 with the 2018 tournament, we can see some amazing indicators – the peak live broadcast viewers from the social network grew by 326%. Such phenomenal growth in such a short time implies that we can expect something even more amazing in the future!

With each new big tournament, the competition among platforms becomes more and more severe. Each market player is trying to attract attention using all possible opportunities, including exclusive contracts, technical innovations, and even dirty tricks. One thing is obvious: the winner of this confrontation is an ordinary viewer, which means that such competitiveness is clearly welcome.

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