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Founded in 2016, The Meta publishes the best of long and short-form writing about esports and its cultures. We don’t just report the news – we profile emerging personalities, uncover new competitive scenes, and examine major narratives in order to bring esports into its critical and cultural context. We believe that the future of esports lies in spectatorship and fandom, and that a sharp culture of esports writing will be an essential ingredient for creating these communities.

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Twitch’s interactive Retrospective flexes on the competition

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Twitch’s interactive Retrospective flexes on the competition

Those of us without the attention span for an ordinary stats-filled blog post, rejoice! This year, Twitch released their 2016 Retrospective in the form of, uh, a road trip simulator. Now, you can hunt for the “pages” of the retrospective while steering your automobile down a straight, horizontal road lined with videogame references. A triumph of interactivity!

This year, in a turn that should surprise few people, Overwatch was the most popular new game to enter into the Twitch ecosystem. Even now, more than half a year after its release, it’s rarely outside of the top seven most streamed games on the website. CS:GO remained the most popular shooter on Twitch, though, and is a long way from being dethroned by Blizzard’s latest title.

Speaking of Blizzard, in Hearthstone, expansions were sensibly followed by spikes in viewership. Finally, Pokemon Go made history as the first mobile game to ever break into the upper echelons of Twitch viewership, the most memorable one including one streamer being mugged mid-broadcast.

Last year seemed to be another season of plenty for the popular streaming platform. In 2016, Twitch users streamed 292 billion minutes of video, up from 241 billion last year. For reference, that’s about one hundred thousand years more, so the public’s hunger for live gaming (and the occasional Bob Ross video) will soon stretch for literally longer than the history of the universe.

In 2017, though, Twitch will probably face steeper competition from streaming services than any previous year. Blizzard is partnering with Facebook to let Battle Net players easily stream to their friends and family, and Riot’s streaming partnership with MLB will undoubtedly change the way professional League of Legends is broadcast. Until either of those materialize in earnest, though, the numbers are clear: Twitch is still the king of the hill.

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