For the first time since 2017, Twitch’s monthly viewership totals dropped from July to August according to StreamElements’ latest State of the Stream report. According to Rainmaker.gg data, viewers watched 56 million hours on average each day, for a monthly total of 1.736 billion hours. Compared to the previous month, the average daily viewership and the monthly total dipped about 2% month-on-month.
While there are highlights from relative newcomers, it was not enough to counteract to top streamers and titles underperforming.
Top Games on Twitch in August
Baldur’s Gate 3 was a massive hit on Twitch. The expansive RPG tied The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for the third biggest launch week of 2023. Diablo IV and Hogwarts Legacy kept their respective No. 1 and No. 2 spots by a wide margin, more than doubling BG3’s launch week viewership. Or Perry, cofounder of StreamElements, suggests that Starfield’s September launch will be closer to Baldur’s Gate 3 and Zelda than Daiblo IV or Hogwarts Legacy.
The other high note was Escape from Tarkov. Viewership for the realistic online looter shooter grew 233% month-on-month, for a total of 40 million hours watched. This massive surge was a result of the Tarkov’s pre-wipe event and update.
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To maintain a balance between newcomers and veteran players, Battlestate Games wipes Escape from Tarkov’s servers every six months, resetting all player’s progress. The developer also holds an event in the week leading into the wipe to encourage players to use their horded loot. The pre-event, August 10 wipe and the early days of the new update all contributed to the viewership surge.
Scheduling shifts lead to (relative) losses
However, these peaks could not counteract the viewership losses in Twitch’s most popular categories. Casual categories like Just Chatting (-9%) and Grand Theft Auto V (-26%) fell alongside esports heavyweights Dota 2 (-36%) and League of Legends (-14%).
Just Chatting and Grand Theft Auto V are cooling off after unusually high July viewership. Just Chatting’s 262 million hours watched is in line with past performance after a record high in July. Similarly, GTAV’s 103 million hours watched fell from another annual high in July. The three Japanese streamers — FPS_Shaka, Darumaisgod and Stylishnoob4 — who contributed to last month’s gains all streamed different titles.
Like Twitch itself, both Dota 2 and League of Legends typically earn more viewership in August than July. 2023 breaks this trend after six years according to StreamElements. However, these changes are largely a reflection of scheduling changes.
In July, Dota 2 held (arguably) the second most important tournament of the year. ESL’s Riyadh Masters 2023 was part of the Gamers 8 festival and awarded $15 million in prizes. While August did include qualifiers for October’s upcoming edition of The International, these events were shorter in runtime.
Similarly, League of Legends’ drop off is a result of schedule changes. Historically, Riot held most of its regional leagues through August. In comparison, the LEC concluded its summer split in July and held the beginning of LEC Finals part of the way through August and into September. This switch explains most of the drop off as the LEC is outperforming the LCS.
Top Streamers on Twitch
Like categories themselves, three of Twitch’s most watched personalities all decided to have a quieter August. According to StreamElements, xQc, Kai Cenat and ibai’s hours watched all decreased significantly compared to July for a variety of reasons.
xQc’s viewership fell nearly 45% to 2,8 million hours watched in August. Largely this is a result of reduced airtime on Twitch — down about 40% month-on-month. Instead, xQc is splitting his time between Twitch and Kick.
Kai Cenat also reduced his airtime on Twitch by about two-thirds. After a failed giveaway in New York that lead to incitement charges on August 5, 2023, the streamer took a break from the platform. Other than a brief stream on August 9, Kai Cenat did not go live on Twitch between August 3-26.
ibai also took a minor break from streaming between August 14-22, but his drop off is also a result of is record-setting La Velada Del Año III event in July. Additionally, ibai is reportedly dealing with business challenges behind the scene. According to Dexerto, the streamer’s KOI esports team’s strategic partnership with Infinite Reality Inc’s Rogue esports is on the rocks amid financial troubles.
However, with these streamers out, it left room for others to rise to the top. Rainbow Six Siege streamer Jynxzi made his top 10 debut. Meanwhile, Tarik rose to the top thanks to his co-streams of 2023’s Valorant Champions Tour Finals.