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WePlay’s first of three Artifact tournaments record a 36,832 concurrent viewer peak during its run this last week, EsportsCharts report. The $10,000 event was at its highest popularity during the opening day, hitting the peak during the match between Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy and Raphael “GameKing” Iciren.

WePlay’s event was only the second televised Artifact event, but already a trend is forming. Ahead of the beta’s launch, Beyond the Summit debuted their Artifact Preview tournament, Nov. 10-11. After a massive surge of viewers during the pre-show, technically peaking at 89,000, the interest in the event dropped as it went along. For the rest of the tournament, viewership hovered between 20,000 and 30,000. A new peak of 39,000 was recorded during Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi’s game in the quarterfinals.

We saw similar story for WePlay’s tournament. After the broadcast hit its peak on day one, viewership subsided. Day 2’s peak was just north of 17,000 and the final day of the group stage capped at 21,000. In a weird turn of events, not even the thrill of the playoffs did improve the viewership, and the two days of the elimination phase recorded peaks of 14,800 and mere 13,600, respectively.

Although still early in its development, these are worrying numbers for Artifact esports. When one disregards the otherwise respectable overall peaks, what the two tournaments have shown so far is that such broadcasts struggle to retain interest. In WePlay’s case, the even lost two thirds of its peak viewership by the time of the grand final.

As Artifact gets more events, a fuller analysis of the situation would be possible. The next test for the game will be TakeTV’s SeatStory Cup X, which announced its Artifact debut Tuesday. The series in question carries a large fanbase acquired through five years of hosting hallmark Hearthstone events should enjoy — at least on theory — improved viewership, based on its trademark set-up alone.

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