Enjoyable truth: a model new crew that has but to play an official in-season match is already the second hottest crew within the Name of Responsibility League. Enjoyable opinion: this crew would be the motive the CDL sees viewership development this season that it might not have had with out it.
Based mostly on Twitter follower depend, the 100 Thieves CDL model LA Thieves (107.3K) has already exceeded the 2020 champion Dallas Empire (93.8K). The one crew above the Thieves in follower depend is OpTic Chicago, leveraging one of the vital standard manufacturers in all of esports and harnessing the narrative of a return to kind this 12 months, with 217.6K.
What makes the Thieves’ follower depend notably noteworthy is that not like OpTic, which basically doesn’t exist outdoors of the CDL, the LA Thieves is a direct extension of the 100 Thieves model. Whereas followers of OpTic haven’t any different channel to observe, 100 Thieves followers have loads of partaking content material to eat on the primary account. Nonetheless, the identical holds true for the Atlanta FaZe, which is an extension of one other extraordinarily standard esports model in FaZe Clan. Regardless of that, and a second-place end within the first CDL season, the Atlanta FaZe account has simply 78.6K followers.
Whereas Twitter followers shouldn’t be the one metric used to evaluate reputation, this determine mixed with the height viewership for the preseason match highlights a key mistake made by Activision Blizzard’s franchised leagues, and the way the LA Thieves might assist resolve the problem.
Credit score: Stream Hatchet
Based on information from Stream Hatchet, the most-watched match of final weekend’s Kickoff Basic, a preseason match, peaked at 107Okay viewers, whereas the most-watched match of the 2020 launch weekend between OpTic Gaming LA and Chicago Huntsmen peaked at 105Okay.
Why would a preseason match outperform the debut of your complete league, a lot much less one with such a compelling narrative of the OpTic model versus its face and hottest gamers? Due to the manufacturers and historical past concerned in every match.
When the Overwatch League started, Activision Blizzard required groups to create completely distinct manufacturers for his or her OWL franchises. Overwatch was nonetheless in its infancy as an esport, so whereas doubtless misguided, there was little harm achieved to established manufacturers.
Nonetheless, Activision Blizzard would once more require groups to observe this identical path for the CDL, however Name of Responsibility already had years of historical past and established groups with their very own rivalries and narratives. This new league and its excessive franchise price mixed with the lack to leverage your established model with sponsors induced nearly all of standard names to step away from Name of Responsibility completely – names like Evil Geniuses, eUnited, and 100 Thieves. Whereas the Huntsmen vs OpTic “rivalry” did have a story behind it, it was one in all disappointment for the followers, who had now turn out to be torn between the model they cherished and the gamers and names that made that model enjoyable to assist. There was no precise historical past of aggressive rivalry as a result of these two groups hadn’t existed earlier than that weekend in January 2020.
Nonetheless, with 100 Thieves returning to Name of Responsibility and capable of leverage its model, probably the greatest rivalries in esports was abruptly again on the menu. The speedy development of the LA Thieves Twitter mixed with this improved viewership for an actual rivalry with historic weight reveals a starvation in CDL followers to honor their historical past and to assist manufacturers they already love.
100 Thieves’ return is the perfect factor that might have occurred to the Name of Responsibility League. If the league can harness no matter good will it earned by bringing again the Thieves (and different groups can be taught from 100 Thieves’ method to branding and content material) the CDL is ready for a a lot stronger 12 months two.