Denmark’s Astralis defeated Russian/Polish team Virtus.pro in a thrilling final showdown in the latest major tournament of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro circuit, hosted by ELeague.
Apart from the action itself, or the $1 million in prize money up for grabs, the biggest story of the tournament was the viewing figure for yesterday’s grand finals: the event smashed Twitch’s record for concurrent viewers on a single channel, which then went on to break a million viewers.
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Twitch’s senior eSports manager Cristian Tamas confirmed that the previous single channel concurrent record of 890,000 was broken on the second map of the grand final. When viewers blasted past that number and broke a million for the first time, ESPN’s sports business reporter Darren Rovell described the figure as “mind blowing”:
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 29, 2017
If you count all Twitch channels broadcasting the event as well as the main stream, as Twitch’s director of content marketing Ben Goldhaber did, you get a total of 1.26 million concurrent viewers watching the Eleague major, which he says is a new record for viewership of any single event.
Consider also that the event was broadcast on Chinese streaming services, YouTube, and even on US cable and satellite channel TBS. Total viewership pulling in all these channels is hard to calculate, but could easily be north of two million.
Interest in eSports continues to soar. This is particularly encouraging if you’re a CS:GO fan, as it seemed interest in the game was waning last year with competition from Overwatch, cheating issues and the now-infamous skin gambling scandal. But it seems CS:GO is back on top, at least for now.
If you’d like to get in on the fun, you can watch the finals on ELeague’s Twitch channel.