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3 minutes read

Junichi Kato’s Hyper Game Tournament Cracks 3.8M Hours Watched

The Hyper Game Tournament (配信者ハイパーゲーム大会) brings together the top streaming personalities in Japan for two days of video games played live on stage. Now entering its second year, the Hyper Game Tournament has amassed a massive following both online and in-person. Mega-popular streamer and TV personality Junichi Kato hosts the event, guiding fans through the action as streamers compete across a variety of the most popular games in Japanese streaming.

The Hyper Game Tournament is Most-Watched Live Streaming Channel March 11-17

Across two streams on the 16th and 17th of March, the Hyper Game Tournament pulled in 3.8M hours watched, making the official channel the most viewed channel for the week beginning March 11th. The event was a big win for streaming platform OPENREC, outcompeting the top YouTube Gaming and Twitch channels MPL Indonesia and Gaules, who recently covered the PGL Tournament for Counter-Strike 2. As a result of generating such high viewership across just two days, the event also had the highest average concurrent viewership of any channel with 193K.

This is a monumental improvement over last year’s Hyper Game Tournament, which was already incredibly successful in its debut year. The 2023 Hyper Game Tournament saw over 200K viewers tuning in concurrently, not to mention the 20K people who turned up to watch the live event. However, this year’s tournament improved again, with 25% more hours watched across the two days compared to 2023’s event.

Top Streamers Unite for The Hyper Game Tournament, Including k4sen and SHAKA 

The success of the Hyper Game Tournament can be attributed to the high-profile streamers who were in attendance. Over 40 streamers in 4 teams competed across the two days, led by team captains k4sen, SHAKA, Mokou, and Jasper. K4sen is one of the most famous League of Legends esports players in the world, while SHAKA is best known for playing PUBG competitively.

As the face of the event, host Junichi Kato is also responsible for the Hyper Game Tournament’s overwhelming success. From humble beginnings posting Pokémon Let’s Plays on video-sharing service Nikoniko, Kato or “Unko-chan (うんこちゃん)” has grown to become one of Japan’s most popular streamers with 49M hours watched in 2023 alone. Live events are one of Kato’s specialities, having streamed his own wedding while pulling in chat donations totalling $1.84M USD.

On the topic of financing, the Hyper Game Tournament would not have been possible without the support of major brands including metaverse platform Cluster and mobile Taito crane game app Taikure (タイクレ). The biggest sponsor, of course, was the streaming platform OPENREC itself, with a massive influx of viewers to its exclusive stream for the event.

Street Fighter 6 Closes Out The Hyper Game Tournament With Peak Viewership 

For viewers, there were many highlights across the Hyper Game Tournament. The walk-ons were a particularly big moment, getting to see all of these big names sharing the same stage – some for the first time. The crowd cheered as streamer Oniya flaunted his EVO pass to the camera, hyping them for his appearance at EVO Tokyo in April of this year.

The teams competed in a number of games including PUBG, FIFA, Assetto Corsa, Suika Game, Super Mario Maker, Fall Guys, and Apex Legends. But the main event was Day 2’s finale: A Street Fighter 6 competition, the most popular fighting game among Japanese streamers in the past year. Viewership peaked at 290K over the course of the Hyper Game Tournament’s Street Fighter 6 competition, with some of the best players in the world facing off (Oniya included). This was a particularly big deal for Kato, as he frequently plays in the Topanga Cup for charity.

Although Vtubers remain Japan’s forefront streamers, there is a gradual shift in the industry towards IRL events. These events give fans a chance to see their favorite streamers and join in on the festival-like fun. Stream Hatchet will watch as live events like esports and variety showcases continue gaining traction in Japan.

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