The front page of Twitch doesn’t usually get shaken up too much, with the most popular games commanding top viewership. However, WoW stayed close to the top last week thanks to the RWF.
The World of Warcraft Race for World First was the most watched esports and gaming event on Twitch in the week of July 13th to July 19th. The unofficial race between guilds to defeat the hardest difficulty of WoW’s latest raid surpassed CS:GO’s IEM Cologne in hours watched. Over 300k viewers tuned into to see Sylvanas Windrunner defeated by WoW's best guilds.
What’s more, Complexity Limit’s raid leader Max “Maximum” Smith became the most watched channel on Twitch, with over 3.7 million hours watched over 88 hours of uptime. This figure surpassed IEM Cologne’s English language stream by over half a million hours in two thirds the time streamed. The figures come from tracking sites Twitch Tracker and Esports Charts.
According to Esports Charts, across all major streams (Race-winner Echo’s stream, Method, and Limit Maximum, and Complexity Limit’s main stream) the RWF amassed in excess of 8 million hours watched across the whole event.
Meanwhile Twitch Tracker puts the peak viewership for WoW during the World First Race at over 315k. This falls far short of IEM Cologne’s peak viewership of over 750k, but suggests that more viewers watched for longer during the RWF.
MMOs in general have surged in the past month thanks to a number of factors. The launch of WoW’s 9.1 patch and Burning Crusade Classic, and a spike and migration towards Final Fantasy XIV by both player base and streamers has fueled Twitch viewership. This is further compounded by Amazon’s open world MMO New World heading into it's beta, and overall excitement around the future of the genre.
Not Just a Win for the RWF Viewership
But viewership isn’t the only incredible number to emerge out of the RWF. Across the top guilds there was also a drive to support charity during the race. Guilds Echo and Complexity Limit teamed up to support Rise Above The Disorder, a charity which helps cover the cost of therapy for people struggling with mental health issues. Meanwhile, Method also supported mental health with their commitment to raising money for Mind, a UK-based support service that also campaigns for improved services and awareness around mental health.
Both efforts blew their original goals out of the water with their incredible fundraising efforts. Echo and Limit teamed up to raise over $57,000 for Rise Above the Disorder. They managed this with both direct donations and a line of exclusive merch with proceeds donated to the charity. Meanwhile Method’s efforts yielded an impressive £5,188 for Mind (at the time of writing), blowing their original goal of £1,000.
The achievements show that even while competing at the highest level in their game, these organizations and their fans could also contribute to something incredibly positive. The recent RWF has proven that you can help to save lives even as you kill some of the hardest bosses in WoW.