The world of esports houses an impressive variety of disciplines, and this includes one of the oldest genres of the gaming industry – fighting games. We will tell you what representatives of this genre became most popular in our summary of the results of 2019.
Each particular discipline will be represented by the total results of its esports competitions over the year. Our team has also greatly expanded the fighting game profiles, adding the following games: BlazBlue, Samurai Shodown, Dead or Alive, Soulcalibur, Guilty Gear, and UNIST. This allowed us to create a more objective ranking of fighting game disciplines.
Super Smash Bros! became the genre's most popular game of 2019, becoming able to collect 25 million hours watched over the year. This figure was achieved mostly thanks to Genesis 6. This competition has amounted to a bit more than 13% of the total figure of SSB. Nintendo's creation has received the “best fighting game” award at The Game Awards 2019 ceremony.
Dragon Ball FighterZ has shown worse performance compared to 2018, losing almost 60% of its peak viewers indicator at EVO 2019, with 77% loss of the same indicator at CEO 2019. But despite this, this fighting game still ranks fifth in terms of popularity. A new version of this game was already released in 2020. This should turn the tables and allow Dragon Ball to make a comeback.
Street Fighter V has found itself in a similar situation. While some of the tournaments (including Capcom Cup 2019) have performed better than their counterparts from the last year, other representatives of the discipline show a drop in the viewer numbers. As an example, EVO 2019 has gathered 23% less peak viewers compared to the previous championship.
Overall, 2019 was a comparatively neutral year for SFV. At times, the developers tried to attract new players by setting specific days when the game was available to everyone. But as it can be seen, this didn't have much of an impact on the game's results of the year.
When we look at the overall Twitch results of fighting games (as opposed to the esports ones) the situation will hardly change. The members of our top all retain their spots, aside of Tekken and MK that have changed spots now. This shows that the indicators gathered from the esports competitions can be seen as direct derivation from the overall interest of fans towards any given game.
Festivals are known to be the most popular event format in the esports dimension of fighting games; typically hosting tournaments for a number of disciplines at once. Among such festivals, Evolution Championship Series 2019 became the most popular one.
Championships for nine different fighting games were held within the bounds of the annual EVO fighting festival. Super Smash Bros. tournament has gathered the most views, being watched by 245 thousand peak viewers. The hours watched indicator has exceeded the mark of 1 million 714 thousand hours – which is only 6.7% of the total number of game's hours watched in 2019.
The lack of long leagues or championships is the main draw of the fighting game disciplines when compared to the many other esports representatives. In fact, most fighting game tournaments take only a single weekend. This allows to provide a bunch of powerful emotional moments within a short period of time all while minimizing the possibility of boredom.
However, this does not mean that the world of fighting games revolves only around the tournaments, as it also has leagues. Out of these, Street Fighter League stands out the most. The year 2019 saw two seasons of this competition at once, collecting a total of 650 thousand hours watched. Not too impressive of a result.
Looking back at the year 2018, there was an outstanding championship from ELEAGUE. At that time, the organizer has created 3D models of Tekken characters to be used during official broadcast via augmented reality. The company was even nominated for Emmy Outstanding Live Graphic Design award (although it ended up not getting the award itself). Overall, the year 2019 lacked this kind of high-profile news.
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