ALGS playoffs show a viewership boom for Apex esports after a quiet regular season

Apex esports bounced back after a Pro League lull.

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

The ALGS Pro League had solid but not spectacular viewership numbers during its first split. Many of those regular-season matchups averaged less than 10,000 viewers in two of the game’s most popular regions, North America and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), according to TwitchTracker.

But save your cries of “dead game” for another time. When the Pro League playoffs came around, Apex Legends fans turned out in droves. Whether they were driven by the ability to earn in-game cosmetics from Twitch drops, the larger prize pools ($250,000 in NA and EMEA), or the high-stakes match point format, this weekend saw an explosion of total viewership for the battle royale. At one point during last night’s North American finale, over 300,000 people tuned in to the action arcoss multiple Twitch channels, according to TwitchTracker, continuing a strong showing from other regions like the APAC North matches on Jan. 22.

The official stream saw an average of about 55,000 viewers over the course of the North American finals, according to TwitchTracker, putting it on par with 2021’s ALGS Championship. Considering the matches this weekend only marked the halfway point of the ALGS season, that portends a bright future for the finale of this year’s ALGS, which is scheduled for July.

Big Apex streamers reaped the benefits of the sudden increase in eyeballs. TSM’s Phillip “ImperialHal” Dosen, who won the North American Playoffs with his teammates, averaged 57,000 viewers during the long tournament stream and peaked at 108,000 viewers, setting a new personal record, according to TwitchTracker.

Watch parties for the event, like content creator Dalton “Daltoosh” Hester, were similarly robust. Daltoosh broke his viewership records as well, reaching nearly 30,000 viewers and averaging nearly 20,000 during the tournament stream, according to TwitchTracker.

Not to be outdone, the large and enthusiastic Japanese audience for Apex esports showed up in a big way. The official Japanese-language broadcast also set records for its ALGS viewership, consistently bringing in 20,000 fans, while the popular streamer Shaka maxed out at over 40,000 viewers on his own.

The Apex Pro League features large prize pools ($125,000 in NA) and similarly tough competition. But its 36 games were spread out over a period of many weeks. The $250,000 NA Playoffs were over in seven games, a substantially smaller time commitment for fans. And if the numbers are any indication, viewers also seem to enjoy the playoffs’ match point format, which awards teams that can win games more than consistency over time.

Critics of match point suggest that the best team doesn’t always win and could cite lopsided results like the EMEA finals, which saw a team with 77 points triumph over rivals who had earned more than 100 points over the same matches. But TSM’s 30-point lead over their closest rivals in NA showed that match point can also serve as an enticement that rewards teams who clutch up when it matters most. Clearly, most Apex fans feel the same way.