In a year where online interaction was put under a microscope more so than ever before, 2020 proved that livestreaming could hold its own as the entertainment medium of the future. Between the countless communities that were either spawned or grew exponentially in 2020, this year proved to be a landmark turning point in streaming history.
Here are five of the biggest moments in streaming from 2020.
After Mixer ceased operations this June, many of the streamers who inked groundbreaking deals to stream exclusively on Microsofts platform were left without a home. One of the most notable names to be left without a platform to stream on after the Great Mixer Exodus was former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro Shroud, who had streamed on Twitch prior to signing his exclusive deal with Mixer last October.
But on Aug. 11, Shroud announced he would be returning to Twitch by way of an exclusive deal. The next day, he went live to the tune of over 500,000 viewers. After just about 10 months away from the platform, Twitch welcomed Shroud back with open arms. Prior to his departure, he had accumulated well over seven million followers on Twitch, making him the second-most popular streamer on the platform only behind Ninja.
The nearly eight-hour long homecoming affair earlier this year garnered well over 220,000 average viewers across its entirety, while Shroud himself reeled in over 16,500 new subscribers, according to a tweet detailing the statistics of the stream, which he posted mere hours after his return to Twitch.
With games like VALORANT, Fall Guys, Among Us, and so many others practically coming out of nowhere to dominate the attention of viewers all over Twitch throughout the course of 2020, it was certainly intriguing back in the spring when chess became one of, if not, the most popular game being streamed on the platform.
And on June 9, the entire Twitch community came together as streamers from all backgrounds participated in PogChamps, a 16-person chess tournament featuring big names like Forsen, Yassuo, and Ludwig among others. But no more iconic game was played during the tournament than a group stage contest between Cr1tikal and xQc. In just six moves, Cr1tikal was able to take the victory, leaving xQc on the losing end of a lightning-speed contest.
Perhaps whats most ironic was the fact that the game was casted on stream by xQcs coach for the event, Hikaru Nakamura, who could only watch in stunned disbelief as his prodigy was defeated in emphatic fashion.
PogChamps resulted in a surge in viewership numbers for chess on Twitch, as the game became increasingly popular throughout the early stages of the summer. At its peak in June, chess was bringing in just about 25,000 average viewers per day, according to Twitch stats website SullyGnome. And with 1.9 million views to this day, Cr1tikals rapid-fire victory over xQc has quickly become one of the most-viewed Twitch clips of all time.
On Oct. 20, just several weeks before Election Day in the United States, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) made an attempt to bring potential voters together through the medium of the internet by streaming Among Us on Twitch. The event drew well over 430,000 concurrent viewers at one point, making it one of the most-watched streams in the history of the platform. Only Shrouds return stream earlier in the year and Ninjas 2018 Fortnite stream with Drake saw higher peak-viewership numbers than Ocasio-Cortezs Twitch debut.
Partly, this was due to the fact that Ocasio-Cortez played Among Us alongside some of the biggest names currently on Twitch. Alongside big-name streamers like Pokimane, DisguisedToast, Hasan Piker, and others, the congresswoman was able to bring together several communities and audiences with the groundbreaking stream of the year.
All the way back in early May, Game of Thrones star Hafthor Bjornsson broke the world deadlift record, lifting 501kg and breaking the previous world record of 462kg.
In an epic crossover of fitness, bodybuilding, and raw strength, one would have been led to believe that the event would have been better suited for a channel like ESPN or FOX Sports. Instead, the man also known as The Mountain elected to stream his record-breaking deadlift attempt live on his own Twitch channel.
Throughout the entire stream, Bjornsson averaged well over 50,000 viewers while peaking at nearly 90,000, according to SullyGnome. But perhaps whats most impressive is that even after shattering the deadlift world record, Bjornsson used much of the momentum he got from that one stream to propel his own streaming career. To this day, you can find him on Twitch streaming games like chess, Warzone, and League of Legends.
After enduring a barrage of losses, near-misses, and memes for the better part of a week, TimTheTatman recorded his first Fall Guys win on Aug. 19. The saga kicked off eight days prior, and for the next week-plus, Tim endlessly attempted to secure a crown in the battle royale of the summer.
Throughout the course of the eight-day grind to the top, Tim felt a wave of endless support from the games community, developers, and main social media account. Additionally, a countless number of his fellow streamers, such as Nadeshot, Ninja, CouRage, and others emerged from every corner of the internet to support him in his grind.
When the journey culminated, over 300,000 viewers, according to SullyGnome, tuned in to watch Tim capture his first crown in an intense round of Hex-a-Gone. After he secured the victory, even more viewers flooded into the stream, bringing his peak count to just about 340,000.
- No women at Tata Steel chess this year, but game is growing in popularity - DutchNews.nl - January 20th, 2021
- MCCL to host 2021 All-Girls State Championship on Feb. 20 - The Madison Record - themadisonrecord.com - January 20th, 2021
- Yamagata: Discover snow monsters and a hidden mountain temple - Japan Today - January 20th, 2021
- 5 key concepts in poker and chess | chess24.com - chess24 - chess24 - January 20th, 2021
- Bryce Hall confronts creepy stalker invading their TikTok house - Dexerto - January 20th, 2021
- Twitch Chess GM Behind the PogChamps Event Makes Up With the Botez Sisters - EssentiallySports - January 15th, 2021
- Grand Chess Tour: Carlsen, Nakamura Only As Wildcards - Chess.com - January 15th, 2021
- 11 of the best musical soundtracks to test your speakers - What Hi-Fi? - January 15th, 2021
- Fiji Chess hopes to stage a tournament in the North - FBC News - January 15th, 2021
- The Voice Celebrates: Bar-Mitzvahs of Jake Stoopler and Jonah Kutikov - Jewish Community Voice - January 15th, 2021
- Wojtaszek: I'd like to get into the Top 10 - chess24 - January 15th, 2021
- The benefits of approaching this year like a total newbie - KDRV - January 13th, 2021
- World famous Hastings chess tournament takes place this weekend - Hastings Observer - January 9th, 2021
- Sailor Moon: 10 Fights That Are Better In The Anime | CBR - CBR - Comic Book Resources - January 9th, 2021
- Draft Results for the LCS Lock In Tournament Group Stage - The Game Haus - January 9th, 2021
- FIDE confirm postponement of Women's Grand Prix in Gibraltar - Insidethegames.biz - January 9th, 2021
- Learn The Queen's Gambit and More Chess Plays In This Bundle - IGN Southeast Asia - January 9th, 2021
- Rook No Further! Coral Springs Holds Open Play Chess and Tournament - Coral Springs Talk - Coral Springs Talk - January 6th, 2021
- Radjabov Wins Airthings Masters - Chess.com - January 6th, 2021
- Azeri-Jewish Chess Grandmaster Radjabov in tears after winning tournament - The Jerusalem Post - January 6th, 2021
- Yu Yangyi and Tan Zhongyi are the 2020 Chinese champions - Chessbase News - January 4th, 2021
- For Premium only: Who do you want in the next Champions Chess Tour event? - chess24 - January 4th, 2021
- Snow, Rambo and everything in between: Leon Mendonca is India's 67th GM - ESPN - January 4th, 2021
- Chess: Goas 14-year-old boy becomes Indias 67th GM - Star of Mysore - January 4th, 2021
- Kriti Kharbanda arrives in Lucknow for her next rom-com, '14 Phere', directed by Devanshu Singh - Knocksense - January 4th, 2021
- Quintessential grandmillennial: A show with all the right moves - Irish Examiner - January 4th, 2021
- Final chess tournament for the year on today - Stabroek News - December 31st, 2020
- Monsters of 2020: The Queen's Gambit - Mother Jones - December 31st, 2020
- Chess: Goa's 14-Year-Old Leon Mendonca Becomes India's 67th Grandmaster - Outlook India - December 31st, 2020
- Why Chess is thriving in Kenya despite Covid-19 pandemic - The Standard - December 31st, 2020
- Wilton Bulletin Board: Meditation, cooking, stream cameras - The Wilton Bulletin - December 31st, 2020
- Not particularly fusced: reflections on a first term - Cherwell Online - December 31st, 2020
- Writer's Choice: Trent Murray's Top Five Stories of 2020 - The Esports Observer - December 31st, 2020
- Frontline workers owed 'debt of gratitude,' GG says in year-end message - Yahoo News Canada - December 31st, 2020
- Meet Norfolk's own queen of the chessboard - Eastern Daily Press - December 29th, 2020
- The Queen's Gambit Does a Lot Well. Portraying Being a Woman in Chess Isn't One of Them. - Ms. Magazine - December 27th, 2020
- What the Hell Is Quantum Chess? | IE - Interesting Engineering - December 27th, 2020
- Explore the History of Chess From Ancient India to the Cold War Rivalries - My Modern Met - December 27th, 2020
- 2020 year of power struggle in AICF, players keep the flag flying - DTNext - December 27th, 2020
- Online tournaments have strengthened local players - Stabroek News - December 27th, 2020
- Year in Review 2020, Biggest Sports Stories: After t..issues, India declared joint-winners of Chess Olympiad - Firstpost - December 27th, 2020
- Christmas puzzles: Add-a-king, and take that back! - Chessbase News - December 27th, 2020
- Chess and horse sport share one common element: The expensive part - Horsetalk - December 27th, 2020
- GM Zavokhir of Uzbekistan crowned champion at Liberation Cup - Oherald - December 27th, 2020
- I was 13 and suddenly winning everything - India Today - December 27th, 2020
- What Are You Paying For in a $300 Chess Set? Mostly the Knights - The New York Times - December 26th, 2020
- WCM Magpily eyes another title in Balinas-Pichay Cup - manilastandard.net - December 26th, 2020
- NASCAR Team up with the World Poker Tour while Artificial Intelligence Breaks New Barriers - HighstakesDB - December 26th, 2020
- Live chess tournament broadcasts | chess24.com - December 18th, 2020
- Welcome | US Chess.org - December 18th, 2020
- IM Martin Neubauer on Simon Williams' Budapest Gambit - Chessbase News - December 18th, 2020
- Chess: 'Game of the Year' decides title as Covid-19 hits Russian championship - The Guardian - December 18th, 2020
- The Creative's Gambit - Creative Review - December 18th, 2020
- 4 tips on how to stay focused, from a chess grandmaster - CNBC - December 16th, 2020
- Next Chess Olympiad In 2022; Budapest Wins Bid For 2024 - Chess.com - December 16th, 2020
- Superbet Foundation Becomes Principal Partner of Grand Chess Tour 2021 - European Gaming Industry News - December 16th, 2020
- Superfinals: Nepomniachtchi and Karjakin still tied on top - Chessbase News - December 16th, 2020
- Beccacece and a chess tournament with the Racing kids - Inspired Traveler - December 16th, 2020
- The reign of 1990s star vintage as over-the-board chess resumes in Moscow - Financial Times - December 16th, 2020
- M'sian Parents Are Sending Their Kids For Chess Classes Because Of 'The Queen's Gambit' - SAYS - December 16th, 2020
- Russian Superfinals 9-10: Title race goes down to the last round - chess24 - December 16th, 2020
- 2020 Speed Chess Championship: All The Information - Chess.com - December 13th, 2020
- The Grand Chess Tour Returns In 2021 - Chessbase News - December 11th, 2020
- Autumn Series on Playchess # 8 - Play and win prizes - Chessbase News - December 11th, 2020
- From Our Archives: Here's a look back at this week in 1976 - McDowell News - December 11th, 2020
- International squad beats Spain in training match - Chessbase News - December 11th, 2020
- Chess: Polina Shuvalova shines as over-the-board play resumes in Moscow - The Guardian - December 11th, 2020
- Grandmaster Sam Shankland '14 on The Queen's Gambit and Chess Today | Alumni Stories | Alumni, Friends and Families | Brandeis University - Brandeis... - December 11th, 2020
- Moscow will host the Chess Olympiad 2022, Budapest will host the Chess Olympiad 2024 - Chessbase News - December 11th, 2020
- How The Queens Gambit Is Inspiring Women to Take Up Chess - The New York Times - December 11th, 2020
- Young Chess Stars Meet in a Winner Take All Tournament Checkmate! - The Zebra - December 9th, 2020
- The real-life Beth Harmon trounced men before 'The Queen's Gambit' - Insider - INSIDER - December 9th, 2020
- Think you know the US map by heart? Take our quiz to know for sure - Film Daily - December 9th, 2020
- Pegasystems' Trefler on leadership and strategy - learned from chess - Yahoo Finance - December 8th, 2020
- Superfinals: Karjakin and Shuvalova take the lead - Chessbase News - December 8th, 2020
- Netflix show credited with renewing interest in chess - HalifaxToday.ca - December 8th, 2020
- The little known story of chesss real Beth Harmon - The Independent - December 8th, 2020
- Russian Superfinals 1-2: Karjakin & Nepo among the leaders - chess24 - December 8th, 2020
- The stillness of the hunter - Chessbase News - December 8th, 2020
- Trump tries to one-up wrestling champ with election win fantasy - Manila Bulletin - December 8th, 2020