The gamers from CIS are visiting Twitch every day, looking for a suitable stream. The process of selecting one depends on the individual: someone simply selects a game and looks for an interesting broadcast for it. Someone else chooses from the list of the favorite players. Others simply randomly select any competitive game and enjoy the show. Let's figure out which Russian-language channels of 2019 became the most popular ones among the CIS-based viewers, and how Dota has once again managed to leave the other competitors to bite the dust.
The esports content
By now, the fact that the Dota 2 broadcasts maintain a sizable and undeniable leadership in CIS shouldn't really surprise anyone. The first spot in the most popular streams ranking was taken by the main channel of the RuHub studio, which had a busy 2019: managing to comment on three majors and several tournaments from ESL, as well as to broadcast the qualifiers for The International 2019. Working hard for 2060 hours of airtime has allowed RuHub to gain nearly 38 million hours watched. This is twice as much as the results of the nearest rivals. Additionally, this allowed the Dota channel of this studio to enter the top 5 most viewed channels not only for the CIS but worldwide as well.
Following the Russia-based studio were the main Maincast and Starladder channels. The former have managed to prove themselves during the qualifiers for TI9, while the latter has accumulated nearly 9 million hours watched due to their own ranking tournaments. The Chongqing Major with its more than 220 thousand viewers was particularly successful. Remember that while Maincast and RuHub have spent on the air from 1500 to 2000 hours per year, in case of Starladder, its mere 600 hours of airtime have allowed it to get into top 10 most popular channels.
However, the most desirable piece of the streamable Dota 2 content, The International, does not belong to any of the studies. This is because there is a separate channel dedicated to the broadcasts of the group stage and playoffs of the main championship of the year: dota2ti_ru. It has easily entered the top 5 most popular channels in merely week and a half. The CIS-based viewers have spent more than 16 hours watched on the broadcasts of TI9 (which has also gathered almost 479 thousand peak viewers).
Still, while the CIS scene seems to be occupied by Dota 2, there still was a place for CS:GO as well. The second spot in the top most popular channels is also taken by RuHub – but now broadcasting the popular shooter. Surely it is a far cry from the Dota 2 results, but the streams of the 9th season of the prestigious ESL Pro League and other major championships have amounted to a total of 18 million hours watched.
Other representatives of CS:GO in the top 10 most popular channels included Starladder5 and UCCLeague. The former have managed to stand out in a positive way due to their successful performance at the StarLadder Major Berlin 2019 and the StarSeries i-League S7 tournament, as well as because of broadcasting the matches of the BLAST Pro Series tournaments. As a result, in terms of the hours watched the Starladder's main CS:GO channel has managed to exceed their Dota 2 channel more than twice: the viewers have generated a total of 16 million hours watched for this shooter.
As for the UCC studio, things are not going so well. While they have managed to gather more than 4 million hours watched (thus entering this very top), they have also spent a record-breaking 3835 hours on air to achieve this. On average, each broadcast of this channel has gathered around 1 thousand viewers.
However, in 2020 the balance of powers for both Dota and CS:GO will change – and not just because of the canceled LAN tournaments and majors for both of these disciplines. The Maincast Studio made a deal with ESL and DreamHack and obtained the rights to all the broadcasts of the competitions hosted by these tournament operators. It can be already seen how the studio's main channels are collecting the “cream of the crop” from the highest ranked online matches of ESL Pro League and ESL One LA Online.
Not by esports alone
While entire teams are working hard on making the studio broadcasts even more impressive, certain streamers have managed to reach their annual results on their own. And this shows the domination of Dota 2 in an even more obvious fashion.
The top 5 most popular CIS streamers includes four Dota 2 players at once. The highest-ranked of them being Oleg “Stray228” Bocharov with his more than 16 million hours watched for his almost 1,500 hours of airtime (overtaking the main Maincast Dota 2 channel by this indicator). Stray is broadcasting almost every day, generating both the entertaining and educational Dota 2 content as well as playing with the members of the audience. The popularity of his streams has allowed him to make the streaming his main occupation, as well as to receive the invitation to participate in covering the qualifiers for TI9 as an analyst.
Accompanying Stray in the top 5 was another popular representative of the CIS community, who has made a name for himself primarily with his personal broadcasts – Fedor "ybicanoooobov" Yurchenko. While he was less than a million hours watched behind his closest rival, he has spent 20% more time on air.
For the viewers following only the esports aspects of Dota 2, the next two names will be much more familiar. Occupying the fourth and fifth spots in the ranking of the most popular streamers were the Andrey “Dread” Golubev and Ilya “ALOHADANCE” Korobkin, amassing 12.2million hours watched and 11.6 million hours watched respectively. However, unlike the leaders of this ranking, these guys aren't spending their time only in Dota 2: Aloha has also broadcasted Mafia, played poker and watched anime, while Dread was also engaged in AutoChess, Escape From Tarkov, and many other games.
As for the sole non-Dota 2 representative within the top 5, that was the professional Hearthstone player Vladislav "SilverName" Sinotov – who has amassed almost 15 million hours watched on his channel. His participation in Blizzard's official tournaments has further fueled the viewer interest in the channel. The steamer has spent most of his time playing his favorite CCG – but also made some breaks to play Skyrim, WoW and Riot Games' Teamfight Tactics. He has also received a New Year Holidays gift of sorts from his viewers – on December 29th his broadcast has gathered more than 29 thousand peak viewers.
As for the second half of top 10, it was filled by the streamers not known to specialize in specific game titles. Their content was quite diverse, consisting of the new titles of the gaming industry, popular multiplayer games, and even movies. Still, nobody of them has managed to exceed the mark of 10 million hours watched in 2019.
Two of such streamers deserve a special notice. Vladimir “bratishkinoff” Bratishkin has managed to amass 8.3 million hours watched in less than 800 hours of airtime. He has also gathered more than 60 thousand viewers on his October 12th broadcast of the final day of Pixel Battle. As for Roman “Gnumme” Oleinik, he has reached a mark of around 5.3 million hours watched. But for this, he also had to reach more than 6,800 hours of airtime in 2019 – even given that his Twitch channel has received a 2-week ban on September 25th.
Could it be that the streamers would be the first to challenge the current Dota 2's domination? Even now, the channel owners are attempting to mix the hardcore Dota broadcasts with other, more casual content. This usually starts from the custom games and ends with switching to completely new games or watching the movies.