Summit1g made his name as a CS:GO player and PUBG streamer. But this year, his success and stream growth have come from his ability to adapt and shine a light on games that otherwise may have been overlooked.
Jaded by the prominence of Fortnite, Summit saw a decline across all of his viewership metrics in 2018. But this year, he pushed his hours watched mark to 65.1 million, averaging 21,717 viewers, making him the second most-watched streamer on Twitch. Both figures were up from last year when he recorded 44.8 million hours watched with an average of 17,881 viewers.
Out of Summit’s 65.1 million hours watched, nearly half of it came from his 960 hours of airtime on Grand Theft Auto V roleplay servers, and another 14.9 million hours watched came from him playing Sea of Thieves.
While other influencers relied on the prominence of Fortnite, Summit was cultivating his already impressive Twitch following by going outside of the norm to play games that previously weren’t among the top titles on the streaming platform.
Following his entry into GTA roleplay, the category quickly exploded on Twitch with numerous other influencers trying it, like Sodapoppin. The growth of the category also paid dividends to some of its more endemic streamers as well, like VaderRP.
Summit also started a short-term surge in viewership for Sea of Thieves. Despite the game being released in March 2018, he brought attention back to the pirate-based title in January and attracted other top streamers like TimTheTatman.
Though the impact Summit had on Sea of Thieves wasn’t as lasting as the effect he had on GTA, which is still one of the most-watched games on Twitch on a weekly basis, his ability to draw an audience and other streamers to new games has been perhaps the most impressive manifestation of his influence in the past year.
In 2017, Summit was the most-watched streamer on Twitch by primarily playing PUBG and CS:GO. At the time, those were a couple of the most-watched games on Twitch behind League of Legends, which gains a significant portion of its Twitch viewership from esports competition.
But now, Summit’s ability to cultivate an audience is less reliant on doing what’s considered popular. Instead, one could argue that he’s one of the few people who has the influence to make things popular on his own.
In the past year, Twitch has lost a few of its top influencers, namely shroud and Ninja, but Summit stands as perhaps the most established and iconic brand on the platform. The most impressive part is that with his experience as a top streamer, he’s been able to reshape the standards set for himself.
As other streamers like DrLupo, Lirik, and TimTheTatman announce contracts to only stream on Twitch, Summit remains one of the top influencers who hasn’t formally revealed any sort of exclusive deal.
With the marketplace for streamers quickly evolving, it’d be naive to think that in 2020, Summit couldn’t potentially brew something up that could shake up the streaming game the same way he toys with the viewership rankings for games by forging his own path.