The esports life of StarCraft 2 has already overcome numerous challenges – but what happened to it once hosting the online events became impossible? Let's look at this using DreamHack Masters Fall 2020 as an example.
Similarly to League of Legends, a large number of the discipline's strongest players are concentrated in South Korea. This means that the popularity of large international events depends on the offline format – the East vs West style matches tend to attract much viewer interest worldwide.
In the case of DreamHack Masters Fall 2020, an interesting concept was implemented. In the vein of the WC3 tournaments of old, matches between the players hailing from different regions took place on different servers. This way, the series featured the encounters on both the “home” and “away” servers.
This was the organizers' way of troubleshooting the list of participants, ensuring that everyone's favorite battles between cyberathletes of East and West went as planned.
So, how has this impacted the views of DreamHack Masters Fall 2020? The broadcast reached 44 thousand peak viewers and 22 thousand average viewers.
Europe became the most popular region, with its regional qualifiers for the final tournament gathering a total of 34 thousand peak viewers. Such a result was achieved thanks to some interesting participants – such as Reynor and Serral.
For the discipline itself, such a result is more than acceptable – considering that the championships of this series tend to gather from 40 to 60 thousand peak viewers.
English became the most popular broadcast language, becoming responsible for more than half of the championship's hours watched. The second spot was occupied by Korean broadcast, responsible for the 8.5% of the total hours watched – while the Russian-language one was below that by merely 0.2%.
The Russian-language stream deserves a special mention. Unlike the previous years, now responsible for covering DreamHack competitions was Maincast – a studio new to SC2. Found under its wing were both the most popular commentators (led by Alex007) and discipline's popular personalities (like Olsior). All of this allowed the Russian language to become the third most popular one during the tournament.
The representatives of the Western gaming became the most popular players. The first spot in the average viewers-based ranking was taken by a young Zerg player known as Reynor, who has reached 26 thousand average viewers. The second in the top was Terran player Clem, whose matches have gathered 25.6 thousand average viewers. Closing the top 3 was the Protoss player Trap with 24 thousand viewers.
By the way, judging by the playable races, the top 5 was clearly dominated by the Zerg.
It can be said that the gamble taken by organizers by setting up different servers has paid off. The audience was interested in following the event, and its interest was particularly bound to the representatives of the discipline's European scene.