New Scheduling for Dota 2 Majors Helps MDL See Increased Viewership on Twitch

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  Following The International in 2018, Dota 2? developer Valve??announced plans for a reworked professional circuit schedule for the game that would include five Majors and Minors for the 2018-2019 season.

  The plan came after a 2017-2018 season that included a hectic schedule of nine Majors that was back-loaded with three of them happening in May alone, and as a result of this season’s more evenly spread out Major schedule, the Mars Dota 2 League’s (MDL) Disneyland Paris Major this month produced year-over-year growth on Twitch from last year’s MDL Changsha Major from May 14-20.

  While the MDL Changsha Major was bookended by the EPICENTER XL (April 27-May 6) and ESL? One Birmingham 2018 (May 23-27), the Disneyland Paris Major this year has more of its own established space on the calendar. The closest Majors to it on the schedule are DreamLeague? Season 11, which happened in March, and the EPICENTER Major coming at the end of June.

  Additionally, a jump in viewership this year has come as MDL took a more direct approach to broadcasting the event for an English-language audience. In 2018, the six-day Changsha tournament was covered remotely on Twitch by Beyond the Summit. Instead, this year the event had its own channel with coverage organized more directly by MDL.

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  The result was MDL coverage that generated the top two most-watched channels for the week, and a weekend that produced Dota 2’s most-watched day of the year on Twitch. The main English broadcast for the event recorded an average of 57K concurrent viewers from May 4-12, racking up 6M hours watched. A Russian-language channel added 6.1M hours watched with an average of 34K CCV that included Dota 2 Major coverage.

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  The top broadcast sessions for each channel came on Saturday when the main MDL channel had 1.4M hours watched for a 16.43 hour broadcast, and the Russian-language channel recorded 1.1M hours watched.

  Coverage of the finals on Sunday averaged 94K CCV on the main English-language channel, posting 1.1M hours watched total. Russian-language coverage for the day averaged 109K CCV with 1M hours watched.

  Meanwhile, remote coverage of last year’s MDL Major on the Beyond the Summit Twitch channel only produced 2.6M hours watched. Hours watched for the event peaked at 861K for the grand finals on Sunday.

  Along with having increased importance due to fewer Majors this season and a more solitary position on the schedule, the MDL Disneyland Paris Major also served as Mars Media’s first Dota 2 Major to take place outside of China, and the first Dota 2 Major at all to take place in France. Meanwhile, the event included a number of internationally known sponsors and partners ranging from HyperX?, AMD, Corsair?, Secretlab?, and SAP?.

  As Valve and tournament hosts continue to sculpt the competitive circuit for Dota 2, scheduling events strategically serves as a critical way to optimize and enhance Dota 2 esports for all parties involved. For MDL, a more exclusive position on the Major calendar compared to last year served as a boon for the tournament’s reach on Twitch to both English and Russian-language audiences.