AniMajor from WePlay Esports is the last DPC Major of 2020-21. The organizers have set themselves a huge number of goals, the most important of which was to overtake The Kyiv Major 2017. Let's see how WePlay Esports coped with this task.
WePlay AniMajor took place during June 2-13 in Kyiv. In total, 18 teams participated in the event. There was a problem with the departure of the Chinese teams, causing the organizers to issue a charter flight to send the participants home (as having tickets in both directions was required by the law). During the group stage, players played at the hotel while the playoffs moved to WePlay Esports Arena.
WePlay! Esports are renowned for their creative streaming and AniMajor is no exception. The English studio was decorated based on an anime theme, and during the breaks, you could see a video with casters that was filmed in a style of an anime opening. The Ukrainian studio, even at the stage of its inception, has not lagged behind in terms of the quality of its performance. The Russian broadcast was thematically apart though, due to having Maincast, rather than WePlay, as its organizer.
Asian domination on AniMajor
This time, the tournament was almost completely dominated by Asian teams. The fourth spot went to the Chinese team Vici Gaming, the third spot went to T1 from SEA, while Chinese team PSG.LGD won the final match against the American team EG. In total, the tournament was on air for 136 hours, and during this time the broadcasts collected 37M Hours Watched, setting a new record among the non-TI events.
The most popular teams of AniMajor
However, the way teams were positioned in the tournament results table had zero effect on the top most popular teams based on the average viewers indicator. As such, this top contained the teams that missed the group stage and Play-In and played quite a few matches.
Virtus.pro took the first spot in terms of popularity, with their matches being watched by 317K Average Viewers – despite the team winning not a single match in the tournament. Alliance became the second most popular team of the tournament with 309K Average Viewers – although they triumphed over Team Spirit only at a single map while in the lower playoff bracket, and left the event.
The most popular matches of AniMajor and new records
In addition to quality content, the organizers wanted to make AniMajor the most popular major in terms of peak audience. To pull this off, they needed to attract more than 842K Peak Viewers of the broadcast in order to overtake The Kyiv Major 2017. To attract the audience, the organizers raffled off valuable prizes between the viewers for each next mark achieved – with the final reward being a paid trip to the next offline The International.
The tournament fell short of 197K viewers from setting a complete record, and yet AniMajor became the second most popular major in Dota 2 history in terms of the Peak Viewers (645K) as well as the most popular one in terms of Hours Watched – amassing 37.3M hours total!
The match between EG and T1 in the semifinals generated the most hype among the viewers – while the final match between EG and PSG.LGD took only the fifth spot in AniMajor’s top of the most popular matches due to its late timing.
Considering the support enjoyed by the CIS teams, the match between Virtus.pro and Nigma had a chance to break the record of The Kiyv Major – however, the game was postponed to a later time due to Miracle feeling unwell.
The audience and streams of AniMajor
WePlay! Esports hosted official English and Ukrainian broadcasts on its channels, while Maincast was responsible for the Russian studio. At the same time, community casting was allowed as well, providing the viewers with an opportunity to watch the tournament along with their favorite streamers.
The sheer number of broadcasts has resulted in a diverse audience. 50% of Hours Watched were brought by English-speaking viewers, and 31% by Russian-speaking viewers. Hispanic fans hold the third spot in terms of hours watched, followed by Filipinos and Thais.
Top community casters
Aside from the main streams, we looked at the community’s most popular casters on Twitch. In terms of hours watched, the first spot went to Alexander “Nix” Levin, a former player of HellRaisers (1M Hours Watched). The second spot also belongs to a caster from the CIS – Yaroslav “NS” Kuznetsov, who collected 537K Hours Watched. Among the former professional players, casting the major was also AdmiralBulldog, a former member of the Alliance team.
Community streamers contributed 20.6% of the Hours Watched to the Russian-language broadcasts. English-language broadcasts show a much lower rate of community casting – just 5.1%. Therefore, English-speaking viewers had more of a preference for the official broadcast than the Russian-speaking ones.
WePlay AniMajor was a great way to end the second DPC season, while still managing to set new records. The next milestone on the road to The International 10 comes in the form of regional qualifiers, where teams will have the last chance to enter the most important event of the Dota 2 discipline.
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