In an interview Marco 'Snappi' Pfeiffer revealed that he believes YouTube purchasing the streaming rights to the ESL Pro-League is the main cause for the declining viewership numbers for CS:GO.
Snappi is the in-game leader for the Danish team Heroic who, at the time of writing, are ranked 16th in the world.
On the 30th of September, the Danes managed to defeat the world's highest ranked team, SK Gaming, and reach the playoffs of the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier, a $1,000,000 tournament held in Atlanta, Georgia.
Their victory came as a surprise to many fans and analysts alike, as the skill difference was perceived to be too great for the lower ranked team.
After their successful group stage, esports website, theScore esports interviewed
Snappi and questioned him on his team's performance and how CS:GO is developing.
The first question asked focused on their incredible win against SK at ELEAGUE and how they managed to pull it off.
Snappi stated that they knew they were underdogs in the group, but that his team's form had been excellent of late and they felt confident. He said their hard work had begun to pay off.
Snappi was also questioned about the viewership of CS:GO, and how betting and skins had changed the way people get involved with the game. His response was twofold, first stating that skins had helped the game gain viewers, and second that he believed YouTube streaming the ESL Pro-League had had a major negative impact on viewership.
“I think (skins) really contributed to getting the viewers and helping the game evolve, but the real thing, one of the reasons why the Twitch viewership dropped a lot was when YouTube bought the rights to ECS/ESL Pro League. That’s definitely been a major hit, I think. But I think every time there’s a Major there’s still very good numbers.''
''I don’t really know how to fix it. It’s also in the hands of Valve. If they wanted to put (different features) up in-game like LoL and Dota is doing, it could contribute a positive way in viewership. Getting closer to the Dota 2 structure would help, but they probably don’t do it.”
The CS:GO Major's have enjoyed an increase in viewers in 2017, but smaller events and Leagues have seen a decline, many fans of the game blame Pro-League's move to YouTube, as the community has grown with Twitch as their main platform.
When an event is shown somewhere else, many viewers are not aware it is on. Others simply do not like YouTubes interface, or just prefer Twitch's more relaxed chat rules and so avoid the YouTube streams.
Snappi and his team will now begin to prepare for the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier playoffs that begin on the 10th of October and will finish on the 13th.
Heroic's first opponent will be the fellow Danish line-up of North in their semifinal match on the 11th. The series is set to begin at 22:30 BST (14:30 PST, 17:30 EST, 7:30 AEST).
Image credit: HLTV