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Published: October 17, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • The International 12’s playoffs have already seen record-breaking viewership
  • This is largely due to the convenient times for Europe and America
  • It’s likely TI12’s viewership will continue to grow as the event unfolds

Almost three-quarters of a million people tuned in to watch The International 12’s most popular match between Team Spirit and Shopify Rebellion.

TI12 Sees Viewership Record

For the past few days, the Dota 2 worldwide community has been gripped by The International 12, the last major event of the current competitive season. Despite some lingering doubts, it seems that the event is keeping the audience engaged and the viewership numbers have risen almost back to previous years.

Average viewership was still slightly down, according to a post by Esports Charts, however, it seems that the group stage, which saw four participating teams be eliminated from TI12, made up for the difference. The event has so far seen over 748 000 concurrent viewers at one point, a record that has been set on the first day of the tournament when there were multiple parallel streams. Viewers were drawn by the match between Team Spirit and Shopify Rebellion, which saw the former defeat the latter 2-0 to qualify for the playoffs upper bracket. For comparison, last year’s Group Stage had fewer than 700 000 peak viewers.

There are a few The International’s viewership had stagnated for a couple of years, and there were concerns that 2023 would be the same. Considering the prize money isn’t that big, compared to previous years, considering LoL’s Worlds prize pool might surpass that of TI12, many took this as a sign that the tournament just doesn’t have the impact that it’s had in previous years.

However, TI12 has a few things that work in its favor and subsequently raise the event’s viewership., For starters. The tournament’s location in Seattle, USA, has meant a much more favorable time zone for Russian, European, and American audiences. Last year’s event was hosted in Singapore, which was quite convenient for Dota 2 fans in China and South-East Asia. However, considering a lot of the views often come from Twitch and YouTube, western audiences often make up the majority, as these platforms are quite popular in the European and American regions.

TI12’s format should also be considered in making a big contribution to this year’s viewership. This year there are shorter, arguably cleaner group stage and playoff games as opposed to previous tournaments’ nine or 10-team round robins. Viewership is still split across four streams but is much more consumable. “Dead rubber” matches are also reduced by the changed format.

The International 2023 still has more records to break, but considering we’ve already seen such big viewership in the opening days of the event, the signs are strong.

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