Organization and scheduling happened on Discord, promotion and post-match conversation over on Twitter, but the bulk of Pac-U’s action took place on Twitch. We looked to Twitchtracker for stats on how Pac-U did by their streaming numbers, and found numbers that went against expected esports patterns.
For one, Rocket League (RL) performed the best of the three esports Pac-U hosted (Overwatch, Rocket League and LoL), going against the general understanding of League of Legends (LoL) being the most popular esport. RL viewership hit its peak around weeks four and five, where the streams hit peaks of 417 and 215 concurrent viewers respectively. And though they didn’t end up doing too great in their season, Stanford seemed to be the catalyst for Pac-U’s success on those mid-November Friday nights. Week 4′s peak hit during their match against CU Boulder at the end of the stream, and Week 5′s against Berkeley, again, in the final minutes.
According to August Domel, Stanford’s RL coach, the viewership may have come from sending match links to Stanford’s RL Discord server. However, “Some other team members say that not a lot of people joined the stream from that server, so it might be something unrelated,” he said.
RL also saw greater numbers of overall views, with those two weeks each bringing in over 2000 total eyes to the stream. Before that, Week 3 had a peak of 71 concurrent viewers, but brought in 1387 total views.
Most of the matches were streamed by Pac-U, but on several occasions they migrated to schools’ individual Twitch channels. They mostly streamed matches they were a part of, and those saw greater viewership than the occasional instances where a school streamed a Pac-U match featuring two other teams.
There were a couple of matches that stood out on other channels, like WSU’s OW match against Utah in Week 3, which saw a peak of 226 concurrent viewers on WSU’s stream.
League of Legends didn’t do so well on Pac-U’s channel, but saw some success over at Utah with a peak of 88 viewers watching their match against USC. University of Washington’s stream also saw a peak of 105 viewers during their Week 2 match against Oregon, and a total view count of 720.
ASU’s Pac-U streams didn’t see any crazy numbers, but stood out in comparison to other streams on their channel.
Their LoL match against Boulder in Week 2 saw 81 concurrent viewers, and their OW match against Utah in Week 3 saw 72. They hosted two more Pac-U matches which saw less viewership, but the matches didn’t feature ASU.
It was also interesting to look at Utah’s channel. Their OW team was by far the best in Pac-U, not losing a single map throughout the whole series, and it saw a peak of 15 viewers in a Week 2 match against WSU, compared to their good, but not the best in Pac-U, LoL team which got 88 viewers in a match against USC.
According to Utah’s Overwatch team manager Evelynn Le, “The day of the week can make a difference since OW was played on Thursdays. Additionally, LoL games tended to last longer than OW games so they could probably retain viewers better.”
Utah’s LoL manager Michael Swisher thought it might have to do with the game itself, saying “I would like to think it’s because more people like League in general.”
Pac-U concluded two weeks ago with its series of Spotlight Matches, featuring matchups based on the semester’s results. It comes before the main Spring season of most collegiate esports, with Riot’s CLoL championship beginning Jan 18, and Tespa’s OW season which begins in February.