Ever since the dawn of the esports era, Rocket League has secured its position as one of the most watched and loved games. The unique concept of blending the thrills of football with turbo-charged cars provides viewers an unmatched entertainment quotient. Its uncomplicated mechanics make it approachable for everyone – whether they’re an avid gamer or someone casually channel surfing.
The car-football game witnessed an astronomical rise in viewership, with a record-breaking 212 million hours watched (HW) in 2021. A lot of this unprecedented surge can be attributed to the global pandemic, which had people staying home and exploring new forms of entertainment.
However, as with most industries post-pandemic, there has been a stabilization. As per Stream Hatchet’s reports from 2022 and 2023, while the hours watched did witness a dip after the pandemic-era highs, they still remain impressive and are markedly higher than the pre-pandemic times.
For a deeper dive into this data trend, check out our reports here.
2023: A Bright Year for Rocket League’s Esports Scene
As we navigate through August 2023, the numbers for Rocket League’s viewership seem promising, potentially outdoing its 2022 records. With the 2022-2023 competitive season wrapping up, and a new one slated to begin this October, the horizon looks optimistic for further growth in viewership.
Popular streamers such as XQc and Kamet0 have given solid airtime to Rocket League during 2023, allowing the game to reach the hours watched for the golden 2023 its been having. xQc is the most-watched Rocket League streamer by hours watched this year so far with 4.2M hours watched, while Kamet0 has the highest peak viewers with 121K. Creators dedicating airtime to Rocket League are a solid base for the viewership of the game, especially when so many casual players are exploring new content related to Rocket League. Approximately 94 Million players were registered in July 2023 on all platforms.
One of the shining moments was undoubtedly the 2023 Rocket League World Championship, which set new viewership benchmarks. At its peak, the tournament reached close to 438K viewers, compared to almost 386K from the World Championship in 2022. It also generated a similar amount of hours watched this year compared to last, at just over 9 million, indicating a steady continued interest in the sport.
Understanding The Peak of the Rocket League World Championship
An interesting point to note about Rocket League’s viewership success, especially with its World Championship, is the strategic date selection. Major esports titles like CS:GO, LoL, and Dota2 don’t hold any significant tournaments around this time. This essentially clears the field for Rocket League to take center stage, drawing in masses of esports enthusiasts.
Also, the hype created by some of the matches increased the attractiveness of the tournament, especially during the playoffs. While the grand final between Team Vitality and Team BDS had the potential to hit the peak viewership of the tournament because of the long standing rivalry between the top 2 teams in France, the viewership crown was taken by the semi final match between Team Vitality and Karmine Corp. Team Vitality got a hold of both victories, becoming the 2023 World Champions.
It’s interesting to compare the viewership from users to the main channel when looking at the Rocket League World Championship. Over 82% of the total viewership came from the main Rocket League Twitch and YouTube channels, with 18% from co-streamers.
Comparing that to the recent Valorant Champions 2023, you see a different approach. The Valorant Champions saw over 55% of its viewership come from co-streamers, like tarik, who got even more viewership than the main Valorant Twitch channel. The event had 347 unique channels streaming the event, while the Rocket League Championship saw almost 600 unique channels (some with extremely small viewership). Valorant was a lot more efficient with their co-streaming performance, and was able to maximize their viewership with a more curated list of creators.
In the overall esports landscape in 2023, Rocket League is so far the 12th most-watched game with around 33.5M hours watched. It sits just above Apex Legends and just below Call of Duty MW2.
In conclusion, the trajectory for Rocket League, both as a game and as an esports giant, remains upward. Its innate charm coupled with strategic planning has and will continue to endear it to fans across the globe. As esports continues to burgeon, it’ll be interesting to see how Rocket League evolves and retains its top-tier position.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter: