The arrival of Valorant’s closed beta not only sent shockwaves throughout the gaming world, but the Twitch world as well. At its peak, Valorant pulled in a whopping 1.7 million concurrent viewers on Twitch, which was second only to Riot’s other esports behemoth, League of Legends. The game’s success on Twitch was undoubtedly fueled by the “Twitch Drops” system, which gives viewers a chance to gain access to the closed beta by watching streams. Although Drops were initially only present on select channels, they were eventually expanded to encompass all channels that were streaming the game.
All of this helped give rise to the controversy involving 24/7 streams, in which certain streamers were taking advantage of a Drops loophole that allowed them to run VODs while falsely advertising that they were still live. Many prominent streamers took issue with this, claiming that the practice sacrificed the integrity of the Twitch platform. Twitch eventually succumbed to the pressure and banned 24/7 streams.
Prior to the ban though, Ludwig “Anomaly” Lagerstedt, was in fact one the streamers that took advantage of the loophole and rode it all the way to the top. The Swedish streamer finished April as Twitch’s most popular streamer in terms of hours watched, with over 36 million hours, narrowly beating out Jaryd “summit1G” Lazar, who finished the month with over 35 million hours watched. Summit, however, did beat Anomaly when it came to peak viewership, topping out at over 317,000 concurrent viewers, while Anomaly peaked at just over 125,000.
That’s not all. According to TwitchTracker, Anomaly experienced exponential growth in followers, average viewers, and other metrics as well. For starters, Anomaly gained over a million followers in April, going from 1.22 million followers to 2.26 million. His increase in average viewership was even more staggering, going from 1,668 average viewers in March to 76,459 in April. To top things off, Anomaly gained over 50,000 Twitch subscriptions in April, taking his total to approximately 60,000 subs.
Due to the nature of his success however, it doesn’t seem like his numbers are sustainable. His average viewership has already dropped by over 20,000 in May, which is more than likely due to hype of Valorant Drops dying down and Twitch’s ban of 24/7 streams. In the end, it probably won’t take long to find out whether or not Anomaly’s success on Twitch is the real deal or merely a blip on the radar.
Max is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, Washington. Armed with a BS in Game Design, he is mainly focused on covering Call of Duty, Legends of Runeterra, and streamer culture for Level Push.