Race to World First boosts World of Warcraft viewership on Twitch despite difficult raid

This isn't even close to over.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

After one week, the World of Warcraft Race to World First isn’t remotely close to over, but the hype for the raid speedrunning event was strong enough to make it a top-five game on Twitch.

With more than 16 million hours watched in the first week of action, WoW is the sixth-most-watched form of content on the platform, according to Sully Gnome, behind games like VALORANT, League of Legends, Grand Theft Auto V, and Elden Ring. As usual, Just Chatting was the top category.

The viewership is in line with what you would expect from a week of RWF action given the progressive inflation of live streaming viewership, but making comparisons to previous races is a complicated affair.

Metrics for any given race will vary greatly depending on how long it takes for the top guilds to complete the instance, and unlike other races in this expansion, Sepulcher of the First Ones appears to be an exceptionally long marathon compared to Castle Nathria and Sanctum of Domination.

While most races are complete within 10 days, the current RWF is on its eighth day and the top guilds are still several bosses away from the final boss, which typically takes a few days to kill. The length and difficulty of the raid on Mythic difficulty can be illustrated by the more than 300 attempts it took for both Team Liquid and Echo to kill Halondrus the Reclaimer, the raid’s seventh boss out of 11.

Typically, viewership for the RWF will stagnate throughout the middle parts of the grassroots competition, and as the top guilds reach the final boss, viewership will grow stronger. Because the top guilds haven’t even come close to that point yet, it’s tough to compare this raid to other raids, where Echo and Liquid have spent some time progressing on the final boss before the end of the first week.

As one might expect, the top channels during the event have been the channels for the top guilds along with a couple of their players. Team Liquid’s raid leader Maximum is the most-watched channel, and he is followed by Echo and Team Liquid’s official broadcasts.