The top of the Twitch charts has been static for weeks, but this week saw an interesting diversion from recent trends with VALORANT actually seeing viewership growth for the first time since its first week on the platform.
Twitch’s Top Channel – Anomaly
Ludwig “Anomaly” Lagerstedt joins a small group of streamers that have stayed at the top of Twitch for four straight weeks, such as Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. Lagerstedt’s position this week comes as somewhat of a surprise, as a recent Twitch policy change was expected to dethrone him quite quickly. However, the streamer merely switched from recorded gameplay to marathon live gaming sessions to hold onto his spot despite losing roughly 2M hours watched versus the previous week.
Of course, streaming for 36 hours straight is not a sustainable strategy, so Lagerstedt is likely to see a drop off at some point, but now it is more of a question of which will end first – the VALORANT closed beta, or his body’s ability to stay awake.
Twitch’s Top Content – VALORANT
One could be forgiven for thinking VALORANT is the only thing happening on Twitch given the headlines surrounding it, the streamers focusing on the game, and the esports pros upending their careers to play it. However, the game continues to force its relevancy upon everyone in the esports world, particularly this week as it defies the typical cycle a new title experiences on the platform.
VALORANT had been on a steady downward trend (while still shattering every viewership record on the platform) week after week, landing at 46.01M hours watched in last week’s rankings. With Twitch’s new policy prohibiting recorded VALORANT gameplay to be broadcast on stream, airtime and watch hours should have followed that natural progression. Instead, the game saw dramatic growth, generating 58.53M hours watched.
Historically, after an initial launch, games continue to decline in viewership until they either stabilize well below their initial total, or fall into obscurity. The only time games see major spikes is when new content is released or a big esports event takes place.
Both of these factors did come into play last week, however on a much smaller scale. VALORANT released its ranked mode, allowing talented streamers to change the tone of their content to shake things up, and more and more organizations are hosting small-scale tournaments for the game. However, these smaller updates pale in comparison to the major content additions or international finals typically required to cause significant spikes for a game that has dropped tens of millions of hours watched week after week. In every way, VALORANT continues to demand focus and build up expectations with no way to predict what will happen come launch.
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