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The AT&T Annihilator Cup’s Multi-Game Approach to Esports

The AT&T Annihilator Cup is one of the rare esports events that features multiple games across different genres, with glory going to the player who can best prove themselves as a jack of all trades. The games featured in the 2024 edition of the event included Fortnite, League of Legends, Street Fighter 6, and Counter-Strike 2. Over four weeks, Ovilee May hosted as competitors battled across the four titles to rack up individual points, with popular expert commentators providing their insights on the action.

The tournament featured mega-popular streamers like Emiru, LIRIK, and BoxBox, but it was American streamer and retired League of Legends pro-player Doublelift who took home the bulk of the $250,000 prize pool, donating to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The real winner was the event organizer AT&T, which capitalized on its diverse game strategy to pull in consistent numbers across the nearly month-long event.

The Annihilator Cup Benefits from All Games, but Street Fighter 6 Lags Behind

Despite the spread of streams over four weeks, the entire event as a whole was a success. The AT&T Annihilator Cup garnered 1.7M hours watched across the event, all from just 17 hours aired. Amongst the games played, Counter-Strike 2 proved the most popular with 537K hours watched – almost a third of all viewership. It’s worth noting, however, that League of Legends was technically more popular with an average viewership of 119K versus just 101K for Counter-Strike 2. Street Fighter 6 lagged behind the other offerings, bringing in just 270K hours watched – a surprising underperformance given the game’s popularity at events like EVO Japan.

On that note, AT&T has been taking active strides to get more invested in the esports space. Apart from the Annihilator Cup that bears its branding, AT&T also sponsors the EVO events and has previously partnered with major esports organizer ESL. With clear intentions of establishing itself in the esports space, the multi-genre strategy of the Annihilator Cup is a clever business decision. Instead of putting all their eggs in one basket, AT&T is able to connect with streamers and audiences from multiple fan bases at once. The typical drawback of complicated logistics in organizing such an event is mitigated by AT&T’s vast resources.

Publishers would do well to pay attention to the success of the Annihilator Cup: Featuring their tentpole IPs on this stage is a great way of capturing the attention of other games’ fan bases. Stream Hatchet will watch next year to see which games make the 2025 roster.

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