Escape from Tarkov Dominates Top 10, Speedrunning Charity Marathon Shines Again – Top Twitch Channels Dec. 30 – Jan.

With virtually no esports activity to speak of, this week shooter Escape from Tarkov overwhelmed the Top 10, bringing a number of new influencers to the forefront.

While big for the newcomers, the new game’s rise also exposed the hole left by the departure of Michael “shroud” Grzesiek.

Speedrunning charity marathon Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) kicked off this week, once again rocketing to the top of the charts as the week-long round-the-clock broadcast rakes in the hours watched.

The following content is ranked according to the total number of hours watched on Twitch from Monday to the following Sunday, with data compiled using TEO Access.

Where We Droppin’?

Escape from Tarkov is not a new game by any stretch, having originally released in 2016. What is new, however, is the Twitch audience’s hunger to consume content which includes “drops,” or in-game rewards given out for watching a particular game on the platform. Other games such as Warframe and Legends of Runeterra have utilized drops to create huge short-term viewership boosts in the past. With no competitive scene on the horizon, it is likely that Tarkov’s sustained viewership success will largely depend on how long the drop program remains in effect.

 

What is perhaps somewhat unique about the recent Tarkov phenomenon, however, is the overwhelming dominance of one of the game’s dedicated streamers, Pestily (real name unknown). Although top tier Twitch influencers such as Ben “DrLupo” Lupo, Herschel “Dr DisRespect” Beahm IV, and Jaryd “Summit1g” Lazar have been regularly streaming the game, they all fell well behind Pestily, who lead all channels this week, generating 7.66M hours watched.

While Pestily’s strong performance is impressive, his victory is somewhat less than absolute due to the conspicuous absence of Grzesiek. Historically, the former Counter-Strike pro was a force to be reckoned with every new shooter trend, as was the case with Apex Legends. But with his move to a smaller platform in Mixer, Grzesiek is no longer able to compete for the top spot.

Charity in a Hurry

The annual AGDQ marathon is upon us once again, bringing speedrunning into its bi-annual spotlight. While speedrunning is a strong niche on Twitch, it is only during these major charity marathons that the genre is able to compete for a top spot. That being said, Games Done Quick’s reliable presence at the top of the heap during a run shows just how broad the appeal of speedrunning is to the general gaming audience, if only during select events run for a good cause.

With just roughly a day of broadcasting, the marathon generated 2.09M hours watched, and will likely claim the top spot next week as it has in the past.

Awesome Games Done Quick and speedrunning as a whole owes a significant amount of its success to nostalgia, and audiences are able to watch classic games remembered from childhood be played at the highest level possible, or be broken beyond belief through the use of little-known glitches and tricks.

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