Being an esports pro is hardly all fun and games. Between scrims and VOD reviews, players often have few hours left in the day to themselves, but many still find a way to juggle a grueling streaming schedule and their professional obligations.
However, the label “content creator” has sometimes been used as a backhanded jibe at players or teams who have large followings online but fail to find similar success on the tournament stage.
Former North American juggernaut Sentinels have been a popular target for these criticisms. With players spending hundreds of hours streaming and their lackluster results — they did not pick up even a single win in the VCT NA Stage 2 Challengers group stage — fans are quick to call out the sheer number of hours on stream as the root of their issues.
There is a negative correlation between time spent streaming and maps won
One Valorant stats guru, who goes by the handle willminder on Twitter, has attempted to determine if there is any negative correlation between the number of hours a team spends streaming as a whole, and how often they actually win in the VCT.
Willminder plotted the number of hours streamed over the past 30 days by each of the 12 teams in the VCT NA Stage 2 Challengers group stage against their map win percentage. The goal was to take the heat off individual players and instead put the focus on how the team as a whole is utilizing their time.
As it turns out, there is in fact a negative correlation between hours streamed and a team’s map win percentage, with fewer hours streamed going hand-in-hand with a higher win rate.
Redditor u/LovelyResearcher dug deeper into the numbers, looking at hours streamed over the past 90 days and the map win rates of each of the 12 teams. The map win rates also took into account both the group stage and the playoffs.
|TEAM||HOURS STREAMED||MAP WIN PERCENTAGE|
The correlation coefficient, or r-value, of negative 0.3410 also suggests a slight negative correlation, although correlation does not necessarily imply causation.
Sentinels had the most hours streamed, with nearly 914 hours over the last three months. Unfortunately, they also had the lowest map win percentage at just 9 percent. On the other hand, OpTic Gaming had the highest win rate at 79 percent, but one of the fewest hours streamed at 120.
Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan was the most prolific streamer with 458 hours on the record, while FaZe Clan’s Xavier “flyuh” Carlson and NRG’s Ian “tex” Botsch brought up the other end with just 1.5 hours.
Of course, there are additional confounding factors as well, such as the fact that Sentinels had to play one match without Tyson “TenZ” Ngo and Hunter “SicK” Mims, and their last two matches without SicK.
Not every team fits neatly into the pattern either. For instance, XSET has been one of the most successful teams this season, alongside OpTic, but they have more than three times the hours streamed.
Having said that, the general correlation is still difficult to deny. “More stream hours means less practice time, protocols, and overall strategy,” said XSET’s Rory “dephh” Jackson on Twitter.
NRG’s James “hazed” Cobb agreed as well. “Kind of confirms what most people believe, including myself,” he said about the graph.