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There’s little space on Twitch for personality streamers playing World of Warcraft. Many individuals who have successful streams are typically highly competitive players competing in the raid race to world first, Mythic Dungeon Invitational, or Arena World Championship.
People will tune into a professional competitor’s channel to watch the way they prepare and participate in online trials and competitions that are otherwise not broadcasted. However, there is one WoW personality that stands out above everyone else despite taking a more casual approach to the game.
Zach “Asmongold” [last name unknown] was the most-watched WoW streamer in 2018 with 19.6M hours watched on the title, and this year, he has already passed that total with 19.8M hours watched in less than eight months, despite taking an extended hiatus from March into the middle of April.
The growth for Asmongold came in large part from beta testing for WoW Classic, which is set to release near the end of the month. After testing began in May, the highly-opinionated, everyman’s personality drew impressive viewership by providing a colorful personality to old content that is being re-released.
Outside of WoW Classic streaming though, the qualities to Asmongold’s brand that allow it to grow are simultaneously something he needed a strong viewership base in order to do in the first place.
Asmongold’s brand and viewership generally thrives off of viewer-driven activities that require the weight of an influencer like Asmongold to even pull off. Because WoW is a massively multiplayer online video game, Asmongold regularly holds in-game events that allow for high amounts of viewer participation.
Some days he will have a competition to see who can present to him the character with the most interesting or impressive looking outfit on. Other days, he might have a competition between viewers to see who can deal the most damage to a practice dummy over a short period of time. No matter what Asmongold is doing, he’s always finding ways to stream content “with” his audience instead of “at” his audience.
From start to finish, his stream is about interaction and reaction. Even when Asmongold is doing mundane tasks or simply opening a box of loot, he builds suspense for his audience and reacts strongly in a way that generates a sense of drama and entertainment.
Asmongold regularly does the same with videos and forum posts about WoW. When he’s doing tasks in WoW that might come across as boring, he frequently pulls up videos on his stream to react to or has discussions with his viewers about posts on various WoW forums.
The way that Asmongold has managed to build his brand even makes it difficult for other personalities to be in the space. While some streamers have moderate success as pure personalities, the reach and scope of Asmongold’s viewership has become so strong that other channels don’t have the means to compete with the level at which he can do community-driven activities.
Though Chance “Sodapoppin” Morris has shown the potential to exercise that type of influence on WoW players, he has taken numerous breaks from WoW to play a variety of games instead, and when he has played WoW, Morris hasn’t shown the same type of interest in consistently doing community or viewer events in the same volume as Asmongold.
It almost seems paradoxical to say that in order to grow, you need to already be big. However, a significant amount of Asmongold’s appeal comes from the fact that he has an existing community of viewers who want to interact with him and be seen on his stream that has a strong base of viewers.
There’s no sign of that slowing down either. With WoW Classic’s official arrival coming in just a couple of weeks, Asmongold’s stream will likely see another huge boost as people who couldn’t play the Classic beta are able to join him online, and on-stream, for all of his antics throughout WoW’s open world of content.