With few exceptions, September has been a quiet month for gaming. Esports-wise, the CS:GO Berlin Major finished in the first week of the month, Dota 2 has been in its post-TI lull period, and League of Legends wrapped up its last qualifier matches and is in preparation for Worlds 2019.
So what does this mean for the Twitch viewership of the most popular games?
WoW Classic still on top, but not for much longer
World of WarCraft Classic launched in late August to much hype and fanfare and immediately skyrocketed to become the most popular game on Twitch. Its banner-bearing streamers such as Asmongold also enjoyed a surge of success and beat the old kings of Twitch like shroud and DrDisrespect with relative ease.
But the excitement about WoW Classic has been subsiding — rapidly. If on launch day WoW Classic sat at 1.13M peak viewers according to Twitch Tracker, nowadays it doesn’t even reach a peak of 250K and averages around 100K daily.
If this trend is familiar, it’s because it’s happened to so many games before already. Two months ago, with the launch of Patch 9.14, Teamfight Tactics — League of Legends’ auto chess mod — hit a peak of 364K and soon after overtook Fortnite as the most watched game on Twitch. These days, the mod averages between 15-25K daily viewers and hasn’t had a peak over 50K since early September.
The same thing happened to APEX Legends: from the most watched game in February to average viewerships in the low five figures.
These numbers, of course, do not speak of the quality of the games and rather are a testament to how difficult it is to keep a returning audience. There needs to be more to the game than just the game — and an active esports scene certainly helps.
League of Legends on course for the #1
Despite being the most established esport in the world, League of Legends is also losing viewership at the moment, which circles back to it being in a pre-Worlds nap. The temp of viewership loss, however, has been much more timid than that of WoW Classic, which is why the two games are so close to each other.
The difference here is that WoW Classic will likely continue to ooze viewers, because there’s nothing new coming to Azeroth in the coming weeks, which isn’t the case for League of Legends. In just three weeks, the 2019 World Championship will begin, and with it will come an ensured rise in viewership, which should be the end of WoW Classic’s reign as #1 on Twitch.
Fortnite hits its lowest point since January 2018
Fortnite is no stranger to losing its #1 spot in the rankings, but it’s never been for long periods of time. WoW Classic, TFT and APEX Legends have all taken swings at the battle royale but the recovery of Epic Games’ product has always been swift.
But this time, it’s different. The average daily Twitch viewership of Fortnite so far in September is 92K — the lowest month for the game since January 2018 and its 61K average. According to a report by TheGamer.com (H/T DotEsports) this is likely caused by the departures of Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, who left Twitch for Mixer, and Turner “Tfue” Tenney, who is currently on a break from streaming. With two of its biggest stars gone, Fortnite’s viewership is bound to suffer.