A new entrant to the world of live streaming now holds the record for the most concurrent viewers on a single Twitch broadcast. On February 6th, top League of Legends pro Faker hosted his first-ever stream on a newly-minted Twitch channel, and at its peak viewership, 245,000 viewers tuned in.
Faker, whose real name is Lee Sang-hyeok, is a three-time League of Legends world champion. He is regarded by many as the finest LoL player in the world, with ESPN ranking him at the top of a list it published in August 2016. In his first broadcast, he played the popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game for close two three hours, showing off his well-honed skills along the way.
Despite broadcasting in his native Korean, Faker attracted an audience from around the world. His peak concurrent viewership topped all other broadcasts in Twitch history; by comparison, the legendary Twitch Plays Pokemon stream only attracted about 80,000 viewers during its peak.
Faker’s Twitch performance also compares favorably to notable streams on other platforms. Its peak viewership reached similar heights as the YouTube live stream for Hillary Clinton’s Democratic National Convention speech, though other YouTube broadcasts have brought in biggest audiences.
More than anything else, Faker’s strong Twitch performance is a reminder of just how big a category e-sports currently is. It looks like League of Legends’ top pro has broadcasting skills to match his mid-lane play.