People Won’t Stop Watching People Open Pokémon Cards – Weekly Twitch Top 10s, Jan. 25-31 – The Esports Observer

This week saw several cyclical spikes take place from various communities such as politics and FIFA, along with the continued rise in popularity of unboxing streams for trading cards.

Twitch’s Top Channel – xQc

After several weeks of being ousted from his throne by big event streams, Félix “xQc” Lengyel returns to the top spot, establishing his position as the frontrunner for 2021’s most popular streamer.

In second place this week was an interesting opportunity to highlight a growing phenomenon on YouTube that has made its way to Twitch – trading card unboxing. Unboxing videos, particularly for toys, have drawn strong viewership on YouTube for some time from a younger audience, and that has been true for trading cards as well. We’ve also seen this phenomenon translate to video game loot boxes to some success across a variety of games.

However, Pokémon card unboxing has become a unique phenomenon within the category that is now spilling over onto Twitch. Even Lengyel himself has done card opening streams recently. The growing fervor to watch someone pull a Charizard allowed German streamer Maximilian “Trymacs” Alexander Curt Stemmler to amass 3.31M hours watched this week.

Twitch’s Top Content – Just Chatting

Twitch does not have a specific category for card opening, so naturally the content falls into the platform’s catch-all category, Just Chatting. Stemmler and other unboxers helped boost the category to over 60M hours watched this week.

Also of note, both Among Us and Rust have faded from the Top 10, with Rust having a far shorter, if more explosive, time at the top. It is difficult to know whether Rust itself could not sustain interest from a wide swath of streamers for long, or if the moment of platform-wide collaborator concentration may be passing. The latter seems less likely, as networks of streamers remain in effect and others will no doubt look to capitalize on the next trend created by large-scale content teams such as Offline TV, which created the Rust craze.

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