Shadowlands Race to World First makes World of Warcraft top game on Twitch

The best one yet.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The continued growth of World of Warcraft’s raid Race to World First made the massively multiplayer online game Twitch’s most-watched title this past week when both hardcore and casual fans gathered to watch Complexity Limit take its second-straight win

The premier Race to World First for WoW’s new Shadowlands expansion started with North American servers getting access to the raid, Castle Nathria, on Dec. 15. Since then, WoW has been a dominant force on Twitch. 

Over the course of the nine-day race, WoW racked up more than 37 million hours watched on Twitch, according to Twitch stat tracker Esports Charts. That’s 13 million more hours watched than the game had during its last Race to World First that took place from Jan. 28 to Feb. 8. That race helped the game rack up 24 million hours watched despite lasting several more days, according to Twitch analytics firm Stream Hatchet.

Peak viewership for the event came on the final day of progression when Complexity Limit and Echo both came within striking distance of a World First kill. Around the time that Limit finally secured the victory, the game had just under 380,000 viewers, according to Twitch tracker SullyGnome.

The second-most concurrent viewers that the event had was right when it started on Dec. 15. With fans watching Complexity Limit prepare to raid and kill the first few bosses, WoW had slightly more than 352,000 viewers. The game managed to pull that figure despite Limit’s toughest competition, European guild Echo, not having access to the raid until the next day.

Unlike previous races, there were more than just a couple of ways to watch. In the past, Method and Limit have each broadcast their efforts. But this time around, there were more top guilds streaming than ever. Limit, Echo, Pieces, and Bid Dumb Guild, all of which are top 10 in the world, streamed progression on their primary Twitch channels.

Cult of personality

Additionally, the presence of well-known WoW personalities not directly involved in the competition boosted viewership as well. Top WoW streamer Asmongold and his newly formed organization One True King (OTK) held watch party-like broadcasts throughout the race.

Sitting on a couch with buddies like Rich Campbell, Esfand, and Tipsout, Asmongold’s channel gave a relaxed feel to the race that was similar to older Method broadcasts for the RWF. The primary difference was that it was all on Asmongold’s personal channel and had more well-known talent.

Though Asmongold’s 3.4 million hours watched during the race made his channel the second most-watched in the category in the past week, it came with significantly fewer hours of airtime than other channels that stayed live for 16 or more hours a day.

What made Asmon and OTK’s broadcast particularly appealing was that they weren’t strictly limited to watching any team pull bosses endlessly. Along with being able to swap from watching one team to another, Asmongold’s group of streamers took lulls in progression as an opportunity to do what they do best: create meme-loaded content. 

While any hardcore fan of raiding might be interested in only hearing the granular details of every pull, more casual fans were likely attracted to Asmon and his friends’ outgoing personalities and goofy high jinks.