The battle of the free FPS games is heating up, with a surprising turn of events on Twitch. Valve’s classic multiplayer title, Team Fortress 2, briefly surpassed Blizzard’s highly anticipated Overwatch 2 in terms of peak concurrent viewers. This unexpected spike in viewership has raised eyebrows and sparked speculation about potential friendly competition between the two games.
Team Fortress 2, a long-standing favorite on Steam, has never quite managed to match the Twitch viewership of Overwatch 2. However, things took an exciting twist recently when, on July 24th, at 1 am, Team Fortress 2 attracted a remarkable 33,712 concurrent Twitch viewers, while Overwatch 2 had 16,072 viewers at the same time.
Of course, Overwatch 2 still maintains higher average viewership, and Team Fortress 2’s victory may be short-lived. Nevertheless, the surge in viewers for the Valve shooter has left an impressive mark.
The significant increase in Team Fortress 2’s Twitch viewership seems to be attributed to two factors. Firstly, Valve released a massive “holiday-sized update,” introducing new maps, taunts, items, and other exciting content to the free-to-play game. This update resulted in an all-time high player count, surpassing its previous peak of 167,591 and reaching an impressive 253,997 concurrent players. As a result, Team Fortress 2 currently enjoys a healthy player base of around 100,000 concurrent players on Steam.
With Overwatch 2 also planning its Steam release in the near future, it appears that both games are gearing up for a thrilling rivalry, which may further intensify the competition between the two popular FPS titles.
Indeed, the massive spike in Team Fortress 2’s Twitch viewership can be attributed to Twitch streamer Jerma985’s decision to play the game on stream, accompanied by fellow streamer ster. Their combined efforts significantly boosted the TF2 numbers, with Jerma’s stream alone attracting a maximum of 29.5k viewers at one point, while ster brought in 4.8k viewers.
While Team Fortress 2 enjoyed this surge in popularity, it’s important to note that Overwatch 2, the game it briefly surpassed, has been consistently dominating in terms of Twitch viewership. Despite TF2’s recent success, Overwatch 2 previously achieved over 45,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch, while TF2 had around 10,000 viewers during the same period. Twitch Tracker provides detailed statistics on these numbers for those interested.
With Blizzard’s plans to bring the free-to-play Overwatch 2 to Steam, the player base for the game will be split between two PC launchers. Blizzard president Mike Ybarra clarified that if players choose to play Overwatch 2 through Steam, it will run directly on that platform. However, it remains uncertain how Steam will track the game’s numbers across PC as a whole.
As the competition between the two FPS games intensifies, it will be intriguing to observe the numbers on Valve’s platform, especially considering the recent success of Team Fortress 2.
If playing or watching Team Fortress 2 has ignited a desire for more classic Valve experiences, there are plenty of PC classics and old games worth revisiting. Additionally, for players seeking alternatives to TF2 or Overwatch 2, there’s a curated selection of the very best multiplayer games available to explore.