January is the month of world championships in various esports disciplines, including SMITE. World Championship 2021 featured 20 teams from Europe and North America, who competed for $600,000. The champions are Pittsburgh Knights, who defeated Ghost Gaming in the final. But how many people have followed the tournament since its return to Twitch? You can find the answer in the new Esports Charts article.
Who plays on the SMITE esports scene?
EUnited, Obey Alliance, Renegades and other teams have been competing in the discipline for several years now. However, in recent years many famous organizations, including SK Gaming, Luminosity Gaming, NRG Esports, Cloud9, Fnatic, Dignitas and even Team RivaL (three-time finalists of the World Championship) have left the discipline. And remarkably, Radiance disbanded the team immediately after the 2021 World Cup playoffs.
Other clubs keep replacing them. For example, the finalists of the World Championship 2021 from Ghost Gaming signed the SMITE team only in May 2020.
Did the return to Twitch help SMITE?
For the last two years, the official broadcasting partner of esports in SMITE has been the streaming platform Mixer. After its shutdown in the summer of 2020, the organizers decided to return to the usual format of broadcasts on Twitch.
Mixer hosted broadcasts of the 2019 and 2020 World Championships, and it did not benefit to the tournament in terms of hours watched. Events scored 336-341K hours watched, which is 5-6 times less than the previous competitions of the series, which were broadcasted on Twitch.
The return of the championship to Twitch not only helped to bring back the audience, but also significantly increased it. SMITE World Championship 2021 scored 2.8M hours watched in a week and set a new record for the series by this indicator.
There was no record for peak viewers. World Championship 2021 was watched by up to 98.1K people simultaneously. This is less than it was in 2017-2018, but at the same time a lot more than in 2019-2020.
Most popular teams
In terms of audience, the best team of the tournament was Ghost Gaming — 80.2K viewers on average on broadcasts. The same team played in the two most popular matches of the tournament in terms of peak viewers. The Ghost match with the Renegades was watched by 98.1K viewers at peak, and the final with the Pittsburgh Knights — 86.5K viewers. The third place was taken by the game between Spacestation Gaming and the Pittsburgh Knights in the quarterfinals — 72.3K viewers.
In the near future, SMITE will be the only esports discipline of Hi-Rez Studios: the company recently announced that it will not support esports in its other game — Paladins (at least for the next year). That's why the return of SMITE to Twitch is crucial for the publisher: the more viewers the discipline has, the better chances for it to keep running.