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The wave of hype generated by the Overwatch 2 beta is drying up as Twitch viewership has returned to pre-release numbers, according to TwitchTracker.
At the time of writing, the Overwatch category on Twitch had 14,100 concurrent viewers. That’s down more than 99% from the record-breaking 1.5 million viewer peak that the category hit following the release of the Overwatch 2 beta.
The Overwatch Twitch viewership is steadily edging closer to the pre-Overwatch 2 numbers. So far, in the early days of May 2022, the category is averaging 17,900 concurrent viewers, according to TwitchTracker. In January and February 2022, before the release of the Overwatch 2 beta, the category had viewer averages of 13,700 and 13,100 respectively. Those numbers are generally representative of the category’s viewership over the past year.
In the month of April, Overwatch averaged 35,000 viewers with a peak of 1.46 million, according to Twitch Tracker. That massive spike came from two important factors: Overwatch 2 beta access drops on Twitch and Overwatch 2 beta drawing back big streamer interest along with their audiences. The number of channels streaming Overwatch on April 27, the day beta keys were being dropped, more than doubled.
These two factors are not made equal. Although streamers like Félix “xQc” Lengyel briefly returning to stream Overwatch brought legions of fans to the game, it was the Twitch drops that were responsible for the unprecedented viewership. This phenomenon was mirrored during the release of VALORANT, Riot Games’ tactic FPS, in April 2020. During the short period when watching streams had a chance of dropping beta keys, the game reached a record-shattering 1.7 million viewers on Twitch.
For game developers, stream viewership in the category is an important metric, but not the be-all and end-all of success. It’s important to have streamers and content creators bringing their followings to the game and helping to promote active interest in Overwatch 2. That said, player base does not necessarily equate to viewership. It’s likely that the general release of Overwatch 2 and the restart of the Overwatch League will together herald another spike in Overwatch viewership on Twitch.
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.