If there was any doubting the success of the Fortnite World Cup 2019, just look at the viewing figures. A recently published report from Newzoo revealed the esports tournament clocked a staggering 81.8 million hours of live viewership.
Fortnite World Cup on Twitch and YouTube
The vast majority of these statistics were derived from streamers and official channels on Twitch and YouTube. In terms of the grand final, YouTube managed to generate 5.6 million hours of live viewership. This eclipsed Twitch’s figures of 4.5 million hours.
These numbers marked a massive jump up from the qualifiers of the previous three months. Those averaged about 700,000 live viewership hours on Fortnite’s official YouTube and Twitch channels.
?: Seth Cuddeback pic.twitter.com/ePgek0hwRT
— Mike Relm (@mikerelm) August 9, 2019
What’s interesting is that Twitch had the upper hand during the qualifying rounds. It commanded 65 percent of the viewership at that time. But it seems the Grand Final attracted plenty more casual gamers, who preferred to follow the live action on YouTube.
What was so must-see about the Fortnite World Cup overall? The key thing to remember is that this esports tournament was open to all players. In turn, 40 million people entered.
Thus, amateur gamers were incentivized to stream the action and keep up. But it was the streaming efforts of celebrity gamers that invariably ballooned the numbers.
Ninja streaming star
Ninja once again proved = he is one of esports’ biggest streaming stars. The 28-year old managed to generate nearly three million hours of viewership in the first two qualifiers. This was almost double the viewing figures of Twitch and YouTube over the same time period.
Not to be outdone, Tfue proved himself a rating winner. He set the Fortnite World Cup record for live viewership on one qualifying event with 2.3 million hours produced during Week 7.
Finally, competition winner Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf managed the biggest bump in viewership statistics. As well as picking up $3 million in prize winnings, the 16-year-old will also enjoy the benefits of his Twitch channel jumping from under 8,000 live viewers to 220,000 within the space of a month.
Giersdorf has since become a gaming celebrity. He appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and also hit the headlines when it was reported that the Fortnite star was the victim of a SWAT team hoax in the middle of a live stream.
So from the goofy to the ground-breaking, the Fortnite World Cup was a transformative moment in esports.