Professional League of Legends player Mike "Wickd" Petersen, who plays for Evil Geniuses, has broken the record for the largest personal stream of all time on TwitchTV with 137,769 concurrent peak viewers.
Petersen and Fnatic's Paul "sOAZ" Boyer were both vying for a spot to represent Europe in the League Championship Series All-Star Game, scheduled to take place May 24-26 in Shanghai, China. With hours to go in the public voting process, both players were neck-and-neck in the polls with 33 percent of the vote and a ways ahead of the other contenders.
With such a small margin of difference between the two, both players decided to take matters into their own hands and have a spontaneous 1-on-1 duel to determine the starting Top Lane spot--with Petersen streaming the whole thing.
The duel spread throughout social media via Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook. Within just minutes, tens of thousands of people were tuned in. By the time it was about to start, over 100,000 people were tuned in. Petersen couldn't believe it.
"I did expect that we'd get quite a lot of people watching, probably somewhere around 50-70,000," Petersen told GameSpot. "But almost 140,000 concurrent viewers just blew my mind. I definitely did not expect that many to tune in, but I'm happy they all loved it and that just shows how awesome our community truly is. The thing is that there's a lot on the line and it's something that no one have ever done before. It was a incredibye important match for both me and Soaz because of pride."
"On our end, we see new records fall all the time," TwitchTV VP of Marketing Matt DiPietro told GameSpot. "The biggest eSports event of all time, the biggest personal stream of all time, the biggest charity event of all time, the biggest game publisher stream of all time, etc. It's clearly a sign that streaming is touching all parts of the video game ecosystem and is becoming a ubiquitous piece of the gaming experience."
Riot Games' League of Legends has had impressive viewership for its tournaments, seeing six figure stream numbers for their weekly League Championship Series games, and over 1 million concurrent viewers for their Season 2 Championship Finals. That same fandom and viewership has been seen on players' personal streams.
"I'm not at all surprised at the size and commitment of the League of Legends community, but still, it's an incredible accomplishment for an individual player to reach so many viewers," Evil Geniuses owner Alex Garfield told GameSpot. "I especially appreciated the fact that, even though the content was showcased on Wickd's stream, it was truly a team effort. All of the players on our team were on camera offering advice and cheering him on. I think it's a great example of the bonds our players have with one another."
Boyer ended up squeaking out a narrow 3-2 victory over Petersen to claim the All-Star spot. Although disappointed on not making the team, Petersen sees no reason to believe the momentum will stop anytime soon.
"I believe everyone in the community keeps getting surprised about how much the force is growing," Petersen said. "A few months ago this wouldn't have been possible. I think most people expected that League of Legends would stop growing as most games after so many years, but it just keeps getting bigger and bigger."