Esports Fans Watched 2.7 Billion Hours of Content in 2023

In a recent collaborative report published by GameSquare and Stream Hatchet, the state of the streaming and esports industries was outlined in a series of data points. Following a deep dive into the metrics, GameSquare (which recently acquired FaZe Clan) revealed staggering information about esports viewing trends. It was highlighted that in 2023, esports viewers watched a whopping 2.7 billion hours of competitive content, which marked an increase of around 75% compared to 2019.

The free-to-access report went on to detail key statistics related to the streaming industry, outlining trends and growth areas that were identified over the last year. It revealed a paradigm shift in the content being streamed by gamers, the lucrative potential of multicasting, and the power of indie games. With telling quotes from industry experts and big-name creators like Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, it’s a report that’s well worth reading.

Monumental Growth

esports fans

As per the report published by GameSquare and Stream Hatchet, esports viewership reached 1.58 billion hours watched in 2020. By today, that number has swollen to more than 2.76 billion watch hours. There are signs of exponential growth across the board, and in the last few months, we’ve seen viewership records shattered by the highest-performing tournaments in the space. For instance:

  • League of Legends World Championship (2023) – 146,870,583 hours watched, 6.4 million peak concurrent
  • MPL Indonesia Season 12 (2023) – 116,711,889 hours watched, 2.1 million peak concurrent
  • M5 World Championship (2023) – 72,160,064 hours watched, 5.09 million peak concurrent
  • LCK Spring 2023 (2023) – 69,059,483 hours watched, 1.46 million peak concurrent

According to Escharts, the record for the most-watched esports tournament (since records began) is the 2021 League of Legends World Championship event. But if ongoing trends are anything to go by, that record could be beaten in the coming years as the esports industry stabilises and becomes increasingly valuable.

In the GameSquare report, it was made clear that it wasn’t just the official channels contributing to those numbers through 2023. It was stressed that more than a third of all viewership was recorded on co-streaming channels. This includes streams broadcasted by the likes of Nix, tarik, and Scump during live events. There was also a paradigm shift witnessed in the last twelve months, with RPGs and action-adventure games like Baldur’s Gate 3 taking centre stage and seeing growth while battle royales and FPS games saw a decline in popularity.

Trends on Trends

From massively popular creator-backed events – such as La Velada to the Squidcraft Games – to a slew of high-performing indie games, many trends were outlined in the GameSquare report. It pointed out that there’s a staggering amount of value in creator-built events and communities, and that indie developers should lean on small-to-mid-size streamers to get their product into the eyes and ears of viewers around the world.

In a statement, Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, the CIO of GameSquare and one of the world’s biggest streamers, spoke about the ongoing success of ‘simulcasting’ or ‘multicasting’:

‘I love multicasting and definitely think it’s the future for all gaming creators. I’ve never looked back since making this move late in 2022. I’m stoked with the audience growth and engagement I’ve seen across the board, and that I can connect with my fans at the same time, no matter the platform they are using.’

It was reported that since starting his multicasting journey, Ninja’s average viewership has increased by 108% year-on-year.

There are few opportunities to get such detailed information in a free-to-access report, so we recommend taking a look at the document in full and picking up all the latest metrics. For content creators and small developers, there’s even a section suggesting what you should be focusing on to maximise your revenue and viewership streams.

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