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Esports Viewing Rose 9% Last Year as Livestreaming Dipped, Study Says

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A new study reveals that esports viewership jumped 9% in 2023 compared to the previous year, but livestreaming’s weekly average viewership dipped during that same period.

According to yearly livestreaming trends report from FaZe Clan owner GameSquare‘s streaming analytics platform Stream Hatchet, 2.5 billion hours of esports events were watched last year. That data includes a wide array of esports rather than just mainstream events, which in part contributes to the year-over-year growth.

The bump in esports viewership marks a 92% increase since 2019.

The first and second quarters of the year were “the greatest of their respective quarters ever for esports viewership,” with Q2 coming in as the second-highest quarter of all time at 678 million hours watched.

While the weekly average for live streaming fell 3.3% last year, that is a bounce back from the 13.8% drop the weekly average went to between 2021 and 2022. And the 2023 weekly average bests 2020 by 4 million hours.

Additional takeaways in the Stream Hatch report show include the following:

  • Top Games live-streamed in 2023 include Grand Theft Auto, League of Legends, Valorant, Minecraft and Fortnite
  • Top streamers in 2023 include ibai, PaulinhoLOKObr, KaiCenant, AdinRoss and auronplay
  • Top female streamers in 2023 include rivers_gg, Emiru, JenFoxxx, Valkyrae and Kyedae

Stream Hatchet’s full yearly livestreaming trends report for 2023 is available here.

“Continued annual growth in esports live-streaming since 2019 reflects expanding adoption of esports as a form of media and entertainment, while the overall live-streaming market continues to normalize after a spike in viewership in 2020 associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” GameSquare CEO Justin Kenna said. “We believe 2024 will continue to show growth in esports live-streaming as a result of the growth in co-streaming channels, new worlds being developed in popular games, and massive new game launches expected to occur throughout the year.”

(Pictured above: Professional gamer and popular streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, who is chief innovation officer of GameSquare.)

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