World of Warcraft Classic has been perceived as an esports by many of the hardcore guilds out there. As a result, the community is disgruntled and appalled. Yet, viewership for the game has soared to 32.7 million hours.
Steady Viewership and Good News for WoW Classic Influencers
Just as with any big release, the return of World of Warcraft Classic has prompted a huge viewership on Twitch. Released on August 26, the game has stirred the charts, clocking in 32.7 million total watched hours between Monday and Friday, second only to Dota 2 which was running The International during that time, with 34 million in total watched hours. Even though the game doesn’t claim an esports status, many players have already made sure that the world’s first Ragnaros kill has been managed.
August channelled quite a bit of interest into video gaming, with the months before that being rather tepid, bar for Apex Legends which managed to excite interest translating into 30 million watched hours. Generations of gamers have decided to switch back to playing WoW, however, seeing a fair bit of spike in their own activities. Asmongold and Sodapoppin were among the popular Twitch streamers to bolster their numbers over the first week of WoW Classic launch.
Asmongold hit some staggering figures on his own stream, generating 5.6 million hours watched time for the game, and putting him well ahead of many fellow streamers. Then again, Asmongold showed a real appreciation for WoW Classic, coming from a position of a passionate gamer.
Racing to the World’s First: Should WoW Be an Esports?
Returning to the game after over a decade has prompted many people to seek ways into establishing themselves as the first person to reach level 60. This was also a much sought out contest back in the day, but nobody actually had a clue how to achieve it.
At the same time, Method, an esports organization known for its competitive efforts in World of Warcraft, has also been streaming its levelling process, in a bid to tackle the challenge presented by the end-game bosses before any other guild in the world.
A lot of esports enthusiasts have actually been switching back to classic, although only a week after the release, numbers are already crumbling, as forum discussions have suggested. Furthermore, there have been two specific lines of concerns expressed by fans.
On the one hand, people have been upset over “world first” that happened well within the first week. In other words, the end-game objectives of the current content have been completed within a week of the game’s release, hence the world first title. Here is what 26 Orc Hunter Quadmist shared in a discussion on the European forums:
Allowing private server guilds to clean up first 2 raids of 5 40-player raids within the first week of release is just UNACCEPTABLE. You may just consider releasing NAXX right now because they WILL clear it.
The Problem with Overpopulation and Shortages of Players
The discussion has focused on whether World of Warcraft should be perceived as an esports. PC Gamer have run an article on whether the game was a quick nostalgia fix or whether the game was going to leave a lasting legacy.
From the beginning, there have been issues with the European servers specifically. Then, the population focused on specific realms. While the PvE (Player vs Environment) realms were full at first, a slight withdrawal of players has been perceived across these realms.
Once again, these numbers are just purely speculative and there is no hard data to attest to that. However, the disproportionate separation of the population has made it difficult for people to choose their own server.
Whether WoW is an esports is debatable, but most people will treat it as a game designed to entertain them, rather than settle scores