World of Warcraft tops all games on Twitch following Shadowlands release

It still wasn't better than the Classic release, though.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

World of Warcraft isn’t regularly among the top 10 most-watched games on Twitch in a given week. But following the release of the game’s new expansion Shadowlands last week, WoW had more hours watched than any other game.

With 29.5 million hours watched, according to Twitch stats tracker SullyGnome, WoW’s viewership for the past seven days was second only to Just Chatting (53.7 million), which has become a staple at the top of Twitch’s most-watched categories. 

This total put WoW ahead of the second most-watched game, League of Legends, by around five million hours watched. Outside of WoW and League, no other game posted more than 20 million hours watched in the past week. 

Among the top channels in WoW, Asmongold was the most-watched with more than three million hours watched. Sodapoppin sits at No. 2 with 1.37 million hours watched. 

Though many of the top streamers in the WoW category are endemic to the game and genre, there are a few gamers who are leveraging the new WoW content despite typically playing other games. 

TimTheTatman and Shroud are some of Twitch’s biggest names, but when you typically tune into their streams, they’re playing some sort of shooter. While both have heavy backgrounds in games like PUBG, CS:GO, and Call of Duty, each has a deep seeded interest in WoW that tends to come out when an expansion is released every couple of years. 

This past week, Tim spent 20 hours playing the game, posting 586,282 hours watched. Shroud had 313,414 hours watched across 23 hours. Much of that WoW airtime came in the first day or two following the game’s launch last Monday, Nov. 23.

This week’s overall WoW viewership was anchored by the strongest opening day numbers the game has had on Twitch for an expansion release. When Shadowlands was officially launched on Nov. 23, WoW peaked at nearly one million viewers on Twitch. 

At that same time, Asmongold, the game’s top streamer, had almost one fourth of those viewers all to himself with more than 220,000.

For comparison, in 2018 during the release of Battle for Azeroth, viewership peaked around 590,000 viewers. Sodapoppin was the most-viewed streamer at the time, peaking at 87,000. Asmongold was close behind with a 56,450 viewer peak.

Compared to WoW Classic’s release just one year ago, however, the game hasn’t quite managed to match the hype. During the first week of WoW Classic, the game had more than 47 million hours watched, according to data by The Esports Observer.

At the time, that 47 million hours watched mark was a record for viewership by one game in a single week. A large part of WoW Classic’s success, however, was tied to the race to become the first player in the world to reach level 60. 

Many top streamers spent the first week or two of WoW Classic power-leveling characters, leading to a disproportionate and unsustainable level of airtime. Once the race to 60 was over, Classic’s viewership waned.