A new report from Stream Hatchet shows off the top moments from 2021 by CCV with some surprising results – LoL wasn’t on top!
We all spend a lot of time watching Twitch, YouTube, or even Facebook Gaming. But there are some times that are just moments. And even if it’s not a where were you when this happened kind of moment, people still watch all sorts of things quite a bit throughout the year.
A new report from Stream Hatchet sums up the biggest moments of the year last year. Some surprising results ensued, showing strength from mobile games as a whole, and especially mobile esports titles.
While we may already be in February, now’s as good a time as any to look back, so let’s go!
The Grefg reveals his own Fortnite skin – 2.47 million CCV
The most-watched moment of 2021 actually comes from Fortnite. But, it had nothing to do with the game’s competitive scene. Rather, this moment came when Spanish streamer David Cánovas “TheGrefG” Martínez revealed his very own skin. Grefg is one of Twitch’s most-followed streamers, so it should come as no surprise that a moment this momentous would clock in as the year’s biggest moment.
Epic has partnered with a number of streamers to bring them their own skins to use in game, as well as have their communities celebrate their fandom. Another notable example of this is Ninja, who has long had his own Fortnite skin, and is arguably the game’s most famous streamer.
The moment being this big also shows the strength of the Spanish-speaking streaming community, which sometimes goes overlooked by the English speaking side.
Free Fire World Series 2021 Finals – 2.03m CCV
The second biggest moment comes from a game that doesn’t get talked about much in the western world: Free Fire. The shooter actually ended up having the most viewed esports match of the year, and the second most viewed stream of the year. Most would expect League of Legends or some other large tier one esports title to hold this slot, but no.
The Free Fire World Series finals was the first event back for the game after the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, it shattered all sorts of viewership records, driven in large part by fans in India as this was the Hindi broadcast.
The Thai team Phoenix Force took home the gold at the event
Ibai’s costreaming of EimilloR vs ReventXz boxing match – 1.54m CCV
The next moment on the list is Ibai, with his costreaming of the ElmilloR vs ReventXz boxing match. Ibai has maintained a passionate viewerbase on Twitch and has done so much building with his community he even managed to win the Esports Award for Best Streamer of the Year in November.
Boxing has remained a huge trend on Twitch and YouTube, especially among content creators. So it’s no surprise that this moment managed to beat out some of the biggest moments in gaming in general.
Nintendo Direct – Pyra and Mythra announced for Smash Ultimate – 1.39m CCV
The fourth moment on this list is from Nintendo. You’d expect that they would show up a lot on this list with their NIntendo Direct series drawing a ton of eyeballs towards the next big game on the Switch. However, that wasn’t the case. Only one Direct made it in, and it was the February 17 edition of the broadcast.
This one, in particular, was big because people were expecting a new Smash character to be announced. Unlike some of the others, though, this one didn’t get leaked ahead of time. So Pyra and Mythra broke the internet when they were announced for Smash Ultimate. It was also the first Nintendo Direct of 2021, which further drove interest in this particular broadcast.
Free Fire takes its second slot in the top 10 – 1.31m CCV
Free Fire was a surprise breakout hit this year in terms of viewership. Ranking at #5 on the list, the Free Fire League Apertura 2021 final managed to bring in impressive numbers. Even at #5, it managed to get higher peak concurrent viewership than the League of Legends World Final, and several other tier one esports. And this was just a regional final for the game.
The fact that it managed to do this shows the strength of the LATAM region in terms of viewership. It wasn’t done on Twitch, so a lot of people may have let this slip under their radar. But it was a huge win for YouTube.
Brawl Stars – First Brawl Talk of 2021 – 954.9k CCV
The first Brawl Talk for 2021 revealed 2 brand new brawlers in Brawl Stars. That a simple developer update for the game managed to draw this many views is astounding and shows the continued strength of mobile gaming.
Brawl Stars continues to be one of the most successful mobile games in the world with more than $1 billion in revenue according to Sensor Tower. Supercell has a certified gold mine on their hands, and with that many players, it’s easy to see why they had one of the most viewed streams of the year.
Mobile Legends Bang Bang – MM – 925.87k CCV
The MLBB World Championship M2 Grand Finals, the sole Facebook Gaming representative on this list, is yet another appearance of a mobile title on this list. You’d be forgiven for calling Mobile Legends a League of Legends clone for mobile. After all, that’s how it got famous. However, the game has developed a passionate fanbase all its own.
The fact that it managed to get this much viewership at peak, even on Facebook Gaming, shows that the fanbase is willing to put up with a less than optimal viewing experience just to experience the hype.
Bren Esports, from the Philippines, took home the gold for this event. Bren made an epic lower bracket run that saw them take down the Burmese Ghouls in the Grand Finals 4-3. This was after the Ghouls sent them to the lower bracket in the first place in the semifinals.
It was only the second Worlds event for Mobile Legends Bang Bang, but it managed to make the top 10 list anyway. It actually managed to outperform the League of Legends World Championship in terms of peak viewers.
Dream vs Technoblade at #8 and #10, different POVs: 871.74k and 854.97k CCV
Dream and Technoblade are two of the biggest Minecraft streamers in the world. So when the pair decided to square off, it led to one of the most-watched streams of the year.
When they went head to head, the pair decided to stream their own POVs rather than just having one broadcast. This led to moments where you could see what was going on on each person’s screen, as well as see their reactions to the moment.
Many Minecraft fans probably double-dipped at this moment to see what was happening on each screen, which led to some hype moments. Dream’s stream actually managed to outperform Worlds 2021’s peak, which is surprising. Minecraft continues to be one of the most played games on the planet, despite it being nearly 12 years old now.
League of Legends Worlds Finals – 866.68k CCV
Finally at #9, the League of Legends Worlds finals rounds out the list. As one of the biggest esports events in the world, it’s somewhat surprising to see it this low. However, it’s worth pointing out that these statistics given by Stream Hatchet only account for peak viewership on one platform. This event was streamed on multiple platforms around the world and certainly added up to more than the 866.68k seen here, which was exclusively on Twitch.
The Finals this last year saw Damwon Kia take on Edward Gaming for all the marbles. Edward Gaming ended up taking home the gold after an epic series, the first ever to go to five games in League of Legends Worlds history.
Big Takeaways from Stream Hatchet’s report
- Mobile esports are here to stay: While many in the esports industry may look down their nose at mobile titles, it’s clear from the viewership that fan engagement is incredibly high around these titles. Four out of the 10 highest CCV moments are esports, but three of those moments are mobile titles.
- Streamers continue to drive the conversation: Streamers on Twitch and YouTube continue to drive incredibly high amounts of viewership around their games of choice. The Dream vs Technoblade match proves that even titles like Minecraft, old as they are, have high viewership thanks to the personalities in those titles. Costreaming, as Ibai did for the boxing match, is also proving to be a trend that will stick around.
- Gaming companies leverage streams for their big announcements: Gone are the days when game developers would just drop a YouTube trailer and leave it at that. Developers like Supercell and Nintendo are proving that hosting a curated experience and making gaming feel more like a community are powerful.
- The world’s much bigger than just North America and Europe: Many of the broadcasts shown off in this list were not in English, primarily. So while it may be easy to look at the industry from an English speaking perspective, potential partners should not ignore Spanish speaking markets.