Nowadays RTS are clearly not on the front page of esports. However, its representatives still manage to show us some interesting moments. One of such moments was the recently held Hidden Cup, an event dedicated to the legendary Age of Empires strategy.
This series has increased its prize pool each season, starting from the merely one thousand dollars at the debut event and rising to $56 thousand at the last, third competition. The number of views has also grown accordingly.
Hidden Cup 3 has gathered 57 thousand peak viewers, which is three times more than during the second season. The average viewers indicator for the third championship was equally impressive at 31 thousand. This exceeds the results of the debut tournament far and wide, and even exceeds the result of Hidden Cup 2 by three times.
All of this is an indicator of rapid growth of public interest towards the esports aspect of Age of Empires. This is further supported by the prize fund which has amounted to $56 thousand at the third iteration of Hidden Cup. This amount sets a record in more than 12 years of the existence of the entire discipline.
There was an interesting moment regarding the finalist of the championship - TheViper (belonging a popular Dota 2 organization Team Secret). For all the three seasons in a row, this Norwegian strategist has shown the ability to not only consistently enter the tournament's final match but also to win it every time as well.
When it comes to holding its own against its main rivals, the position of Age of Empires is somewhat ambiguous.
When compared to StarCraft 2, the subject of our article shows problems which are quite minor. The average viewers indicator at the main of the recent tournaments, IEM Katowice, was lower than at Hidden Cup 3 – but the Polish competition has managed to score a higher peak viewers indicator.
When compared to the last major WarCraft 3 event, Age of Empires shows a complete and unconditional victory. The average viewers indicator of DreamHack Anaheim is three times lower, while its peak viewers indicator is two times lower.
Overall, we can state that the Age of Empires game series has managed to stand the test of time. The RTS is able to stand its ground against other members of its genre – but is still a far cry from the titans of modern esports.
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