But who is the most popular of them all? Who is getting the most viewers? That's what I started to ask myself after I peeked at various player's viewer numbers, where I realized quickly that being a strong, successful player does not at all correlate with getting a lot of viewers. My curiosity piqued, and I started gathering some data.
I'm not a programmer, but with some Google-fu I managed to hack together a python script that would periodically (every 15 minutes) check teamliquid.net, gather data for every single streamer currently streaming and save it all in a simple sqlite database. Another script takes the data and creates a table with the most popular streamers, ordered by their average stream views. I let my sqlite database grow for a bit more than a month now, and today I want to present my results to y'all.
It should be noted first, though, that these numbers are not the ultimate answer to my question. There are many factors playing into these numbers. For instance, a popular player who streams less often is generally getting higher viewer numbers than an equally popular player streaming regularly. And a player who streams during events such as MLG or IPL will get much less viewers than normal, lowering his average. It should also be noted that, currently, the results include all streams of a given player, even if said player did not always play SC2 on his stream (Destiny regularly plays LoL, for instance, and a SlayerS tournament was stremed through Boxer's account at one point). My results do not take all of this into account. Still, I think the numbers give us a very good overview over the streamer's popularity.
I also have average viewer numbers for other streams on TL.net, which include events (dreamhack, NASL, Iron Squid), casters (khaldor, totalbiscuit) and of course non SC2 related streams (DOTA2, LoL, BW). But it turned out that creating a ranking of these streams is not as useful as it first seemed. Iron Squid, for instance, restreamed their event multiple times, significantly lowering their average viewers. Khaldor streams vastly different events, and getting an average out of these different events does not seem all that useful. And the big events (MLG, GSL, IPL) do not let us in on their viewer numbers at all, creating large holes in the gathered data. I can still provide a full table with all streams, though, if anyone's interested.
For this table, I inluded every stream that is operated by a single individual, playing Starcraft 2. It includes both featured and non-featured streams. I did not include streams that, in total, have streamed for less than one hour during the last month, as well as those operated by teams (the Korean pro teams do this), but they would not have made it into the list anyhow.
So, without further ado, here's the top 50 streamers, with data gathered from 22.03.12 until today:
A few notes about the lesser known streamers (which I define as "I did not know who they were beforehand" ):
- "Hui ." is a Taiwanese player playing for the team Xpec Ironmen. And yes, he really does stream this much.
Edit:On May 01 2012 18:55 PeterDLai wrote:Thanks for this, PeterDLai!
I'm a moderator for Hui's stream and I can confirm that multiple Xpec IronMen players share his stream. The main ones that I've seen play on his stream include:
Hui, team captain of XpecIM, Protoss player
JoJo, a Zerg player on XpecIM active roster
Ian, a Zerg trainee for XpecIM
Manner, coach of XpecIM, Protoss player
Occasionally he will also show/commentate clanwars or TeSL (Taiwan eSports League) live on the stream as well. Most of his viewers are from Taiwan, but Hui does interact with English speaking viewers as well. The other people who share his stream focus mainly on the Taiwanese audience though...
- MaximusBlack is a Canadian player for CheckSix Gaming.
- Honor. is a German player playing for Alien Invasion.
I dare say that the number one spot is not terribly surprising. Idra has been streaming forever, longer than most people on the list, and he has quite the fanbase. Stephano did at times manage to take over the number one spot, though, showing that he is still immensely popular. My initial assumption was that being a Code S player does not automatically earn you a lot of viewers, and the numbers support this. There are a lot of Koreans out there that did not even make it into the list, and big names like NaDa or Jjiakji are only found in the lower ranks. Also, lack of success in tournaments does not have to equal low viewer numbers, either. TLO is found in the top 10, despite his beard growing longer every day, while Destiny, Incontrol and Nony are also doing quite well, outranking the just mentioned Koreans by far.
So what does it take to get the viewers? Dragon and CatZ are known for their entertaining streams, for instance, and they're doing reasonably well. Polt is a beast in the game, and he, too, is doing reasonably well. But, in the end it seems to be the combination of personality and skill that draws in the crowds. Everyone knows Idra's rage, White-Ra's Special Tactics or MC's antics, but they are also among the world's top players, and it's that combination that makes them one of the most popular streamers around.
So there you go. I hope this data provided some insight and entertainment to you guys! I am still gathering data, and I'm thinking about turning this into a regular feature, with new average viewer numbers presented maybe once a month. If you'd like that, please say so in your comments!