The closed beta for Riot Games’ new tactical shooter VALORANT and the COVID-19 pandemic helped Twitch reach a record for hours watched in Q2 2020, according to a Streamlabs report released today in collaboration with Stream Hatchet.
The largest gaming-endemic streaming platform in the world posted personal bests for any quarter across all of the major metrics, from average viewership and hours watched to unique channels and hours streamed.
Posting 5.07 billion hours watched, Twitch held a nearly 68-percent share of the market relative to Mixer, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming. YouTube was the second most-watched platform from April 1 to June 30 with 1.5 billion hours watched, representing 20 percent of the market.
One of the most significant contributing factors to Twitch’s quarter was Riot’s launch of VALORANT. While other platforms had streamers who were able to broadcast gameplay for the title while it was in closed beta, Riot’s partnership to provide viewers with closed-beta access for watching on Twitch caused a surge in viewership that set some records of its own.
With 543 million hours watched on Twitch, VALORANT had the most successful quarter of any single game in Twitch history. Prior to Q2 2020, Fortnite held the record for hours watched in one quarter with 399 million hours watched in Q2 2018, when Ninja’s popularity blew up after he streamed with mainstream rapper Drake.
The success of VALORANT wasn’t sustainable following the Twitch drop event. But with viewership up across the board in the spring due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic that’s kept many people at home, online entertainment has continued to grow.
Along with Twitch having a record amount of success for the quarter, Facebook Gaming tripled its hours watched year-over-year in Q2, hitting 822 million. Meanwhile, YouTube Gaming doubled its hours watched figures despite its market share dropping two percent.
Though Mixer only represents 1.4 percent of the market share with 106 million hours watched, Q2 was the first time the platform saw an increase in hours watched since the same quarter last year.
With such a small share of the market, despite reeling in top talent like Ninja and Shroud, Microsoft announced the decision to cut the cord on the platform later this month.
The closure of Mixer will likely be a significant contributing factor in changes that come during Q3. With an all-time record number of users in Q2 that eclipsed five million, Mixer is encouraging content creators to go to Facebook Gaming. But it’s still unclear where top influencers like Ninja or Shroud will end up.