The world of eSports has been on an incredible journey in the last few years, growing to become a global multimillion-dollar industry. According to Newzoo, revenues in the sector could reach more than $1 billion this year, with more than $800 million of that expected to come from media rights and sponsorship.
Its recent success has taken it to the cusp of breaking through into the mainstream, with broadcasters like the BBC now showing an interest in featuring top events on their platforms. However, for many, streaming services remain the key place to experience the action and new figures have put a spotlight on how the leading ones are performing.
At the start of October, data analytics body Stream Hatchet issued its latest figures related to eSports streaming in the third quarter of 2020. The research revealed that competitive gaming earned figures above 500 million watched hours per week during the period, with this being achieved despite the return of traditional sports like football to TV and other platforms.
In terms of the services that people are using to watch eSports, the data revealed that Twitch remains the key name after it achieved around 4.7 billion watched hours per week. YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming are also continuing to grow, with the latter experiencing a 200 percent year-on-year increase in Q3.
Stream Hatchet also found that League of Legends was the most popular title in terms of eSports streaming, with it amassing around 543 million hours watched in Q3. In contrast, Fortnite reached 426 million across the same period.
The 2020 League of Legends World Championship begins September 25th in Shanghai, China. This year marks the tenth version of the biggest event in esports.
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) September 14, 2020
An essential tool
Such figures highlight how streaming remains a key part of the world of eSports. However, the data also reflects how streaming technology has become an essential part of how many people across the world choose to consume different forms of media.
For example, platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ have become massive in the film and TV space. The Hollywood Reporter recently revealed how data from Nielsen has highlighted the billions of minutes which are spent watching content on such platforms. For instance, in the week to September 13th, it is thought that Netflix’s Cobra Kai achieved in the region of 1.66 billion minutes viewed, while Amazon’s The Boys reached 1.06 billion in the same period.
Streaming is vital in music too, as Spotify states on its official site that it has 138 million subscribers. Besides, many bands and performers are taking the step of streaming concerts on YouTube and a range of other platforms, including MelodyVR. The latter service features a catalogue of performances from artists including Kesha, Royal Blood and Panic! At The Disco. Another area where the impact of streaming has been felt strongly is in the world of sports betting. SBO.net’s list of the best bookmakers in the UK details how the availability of streaming options has become a key consideration for sports fans as they look at different sites. Other factors that SBO.net looks at in its reviews include whether sites offer in-play betting, the number of payment options and the range of markets available.
A key part of eSports
All in all, while streaming is a dominant force in so many different areas, the Stream Hatchet data seems to suggest that it remains particularly key in the world of eSports.
It will be interesting to see how the way that people watch their favourite eSports competitors and teams in action develops, particularly with traditional broadcasters seemingly taking an increasing interest in the area. Will Twitch remain the go-to platform despite the growing competition? We may simply have to wait and see.