In the beginning of 2020, Blizzard has announced the switch of all the broadcasts of Hearthstone esports events to YouTube, and exclusively at that. The first championship to go through this process was the Masters Tour 2020 Arlington, and today we will tell you about its results.
Back in 2019 the CCG's esports life took place on Twitch, with YouTube being largely irrelevant. Moving to a new platform was not the best decision for Hearthstone, and the results were less than spectacular. In fact, the example of the Masters Tour 2020 Arlington shows a downright terrible situation.
Looking in the scope of the past three championships, we can see that the peak viewers mark of the series has dropped to 13 thousand, which is an 84% worth decrease compared to the Masters Tour 2019 Seoul. The average viewers mark shows another big decrease of 81%. The results remain negative when compared to the other American stop of the series, Masters Tour Las Vegas. Even in this case, the losses are rather big: 82% for the peak viewers mark and 83% for the average viewers mark.
For one of the game's main esports championships, having such a tremendous gap is unacceptable. This is not the first time the industry sees the negative consequences inflicted by the act of switching the main streaming platform. The guys from ESL are known for the biggest failure of this kind so far, which dates back to when they sold the exclusive ESL One and ESL Pro League broadcasting rights to Facebook.
In case of Blizzard and YouTube, the situation is not just as critical. Furthermore, the situation for Call of Duty (which is also using Google's service now) has turned out to be not that bad. We have already covered this in more detail in this report.
Over the course of several years, the Hearthstone community itself has largely grown accustomed to seeing Twitch as the go-to place for all the esports events of the game, with the majority of the popular HS channels being located on the Twitch.
This rings especially true for the Russian-speaking audience, which holds the Blizzard's CCG in its top 5 most popular disciplines, ranked higher than LoL, PUBG and Fortnite. The switch to the new platform has caused the peak viewers mark of the Russian-language broadcast to drop from almost 9 thousand viewers to 1,400 viewers.
But enough about the negative aspects, let's talk about the most popular participants of the Masters Tour 2020 Arlington. The ranking is based on the average match viewers indicator.
And it turned out that brimful has gathered the most viewers when it comes to this indicator: 10,912. The audience ended up liking this player the most, despite his participation being cut short in the quarter-finals. The second spot in the top goes to TIZS (who has also left the competition in the first playoff match) with his 10,506 average viewers. The bronze spot of the ranking goes to Alan870806 with his matches gathering a total of 10,108 average viewers.
All in all, we can say that this kind of global change was definitely not to Hearthstone's benefit, as the public interest to the game has dropped to an incredibly small amount. This implies that such low figures will continue to appear if the company does not fix anything in the nearby future.