Photo via Riot Games

Riot Games led all Twitch channels in hours watched in 2019

Esports reigns supreme once more on Twitch.

Riot Games is not only one of the most established gaming companies in the world, but it’s also responsible for the most-watched Twitch channel in 2019.

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Outperforming top content creators like Tfue and Asmongold, as well as esports competitions like the Overwatch League, Riot Games’ Twitch channel saw year-over-year growth on Twitch this year with more than 112 million hours watched, up from just a shade under 102 million in 2018 according to The Esports Observer.

Viewership on the channel was driven largely by coverage of the League of Legends esports which include the League Championship Series (LCS) and League European Championships (LEC) which run two splits each year before the World Championship in the fall. 

The boost in hours watched came following a move by the LEC to use a franchise model, matching what the LCS did just one year prior. The change was a significant factor to the channel’s viewership success early in the year as LEC viewership in the spring doubled. 

In addition, the official “Riot Games” channel is responsible for providing English-language coverage of the World Championship, an event that saw the channel peak at more than 630,000 viewers, up from around 560,000 last year, according to stats by TwitchTracker.com.

The increase in hours watched wasn’t strictly positive for Riot though. Hours watched increases also came with an increase to airtime resulting in a slight decrease to average viewership.

In 2018, Riot had the second most-watched channel on Twitch behind only Ninja, who has since left Twitch in favor of an exclusive deal to stream on Microsoft’s streaming platform Mixer. 

Even before Ninja left the platform in August, however, he wasn’t on the same level that he was last year. Riot was already outperforming the crazy-haired Fortnite player who was seeing a year-over-year dip in viewership as he spent less time streaming and more time expanding his brand with non-endemic partnerships and appearances.


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Author
Max Miceli
Senior Staff Writer. Max graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a journalism and political science degree in 2015. He previously worked for The Esports Observer covering the streaming industry before joining Dot where he now helps with Overwatch 2 coverage.