League of Legends is Twitch's most watched game of 2019 - Upcomer
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The Esports Observer released some statistics on Twitter today, revealing Twitch’s most watched games for the first half of 2019. The top 10 list predictably features a mix of battle royales, MOBAs, team shooters, and of course the non-gaming channel Just Chatting. Surprisingly however, the title at the top of the list is not Fortnite — it’s League of Legends.

Fortnite comes second by a margin of about 10 percent. Despite not being able to sustain the monstrous momentum it had at launch, Apex Legends is also present with some strong numbers. Dota 2 is meanwhile among the top five.

It appears that MOBAs, the genre that singlehandedly buried RTS games almost a decade ago, can still hold gamers’ attention in 2019. How can we explain League of Legends beating out Fortnite for the top spot on today’s battle royale-dominated Twitch landscape?

Strong tournament numbers

For most of the year — and even right now, in July — Fortnite typically holds the top spot on Twitch. Yet in overall performance over the first half of 2019, it loses to League. This could possibly be explained by two factors.

It is likely that League of Legends and Dota 2‘s numbers were boosted by viewership during their competitive events. Both games have very active tournament circuits and routinely hold the top spot on Twitch for days. League of Legends is arguably most entertaining when played at the highest skill level.

Qiyana League of Legends Champion Riot Games, noticably not Fortnite

Both games were also helped by spill-over viewership from their autobattler mods. Dota Underlords and Teamfight Tactics have generated a lot of extra viewers for Twitch. It’s likely they have also drawn fresh blood to the communities of the games that spawned them.

Incidentally, autobattlers will likely continue to gain momentum over the rest of 2019. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Teamfight Tactics, or even a completely new title, at the top of Twitch around Christmas.

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