Tech & Gaming

Apex Legends Struggles to Maintain Viewership on Twitch – The Esports Observer

What started out as the most unprecedented game launch in Twitch history has turned into something that is subpar compared to the standards the new battle royale Apex Legends set for itself early on in its life.

The game that produced two straight weeks of 30M or more hours watched on Twitch Database-Link-e1521645463907 is quickly becoming a bit of an afterthought as streamers head back to Fortnite Database-Link-e1521645463907,  2018’s most popular game, or follow trendy games like Grand Theft Auto V with its highly entertaining role play servers.

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After Apex Legends released to the tune of 31.7M hours watched in its first week, making it the only game to pass 30M in a week since The International last year, it continued the success for the second full week of February reaching 31.6M hours watch. However, since then, the game has experienced a steady decline in viewership week-over-week until this past week when it didn’t even manage to hit the 10M hours watched mark.

The decline in viewership has a direct correlation to a movement between games by some of Twitch’s most popular streamers. When Apex Legends was at its height during the first two weeks after its release, the top streamers playing the game were also some of Twitch’s top streamers from 2018.

Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek led all streamers with an average of 94K concurrent viewers and 104 hours of airtime, peaking at 211K CCV for a total of 9.1M hours watched. Last year’s most-watched streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins was second with 3.7M hours watched and an averaged of 46K CCV.

Other streamers that reeled in more than 1M hours watched playing Apex Legends from Feb. 4-17 included Herschel “Dr. DisRespect” Beahm (2.8M hours watched), Jaryd “Summit1g” Lazar (2.6M), and Tim “TimTheTatman” Betar (2.1M).

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A quick look at Apex Legends’ top streamers this past week reveals exactly the problem that the game is having. In the last seven days Coby “Dizzy” Meadows from NRG has been the most-watched Apex Legends streamer with 574K hours watched across about 31 hours of airtime. While his 17K CCV average is nothing to scoff at, it’s significantly less than all of the streamers previously mentioned. With 574K hours watched, Meadows wouldn’t have even made the top five most-watched Apex Legends streamers for either of the title’s first two weeks.

While Meadows was a top 10 streamer for the game right after its release, he’s the most popular streamer to give the game more than 20M hours watched in the past seven days.

Grzesiek is the second most-watched streamer for the title even though he only played for 8.8 hours reeling in 403K hours watched due to time taken off for medical reasons. Beahm is the fifth most-watched streamer with 352K hours watched and an average of 20K CCV across just under 17 hours of airtime.

So where have all of the influencers gone? Blevins has returned to his bread and butter streaming Fortnite, and Grzesiek has decreased his time playing Apex Legends, on top of taking a short amount of time off. Outside of streaming 67 hours of Apex Legends this month, Grzesiek has streamed about 16 hours of “Just Chatting” and played four other games for more than four hours.

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Outside of a lot of some of the usual suspects on Twitch transitioning back to Fortnite from Apex Legends, the new GTA roleplay trend has pushed Apex Legends down as influencers like Saqib “Lirik” Zahid, Lazar, and Betar move from game to game.

While there’s no indication regarding how permanent the movement of streamers from Apex Legends truly is, its difficult to see a marketplace in which GTA, Fortnite, and Apex Legends can all coexist and reach 20M hours watched on a weekly basis.

The powerful personalities playing the titles are largely responsible for tilting the scale from one game to another. Barring a few more highly-influential broadcasters rapidly managing to build a viewership base, the fluctuation of viewership between games will continue to be dictated by the changing tastes of a select few influencers at the top.

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