Insights

Inside the Canadian esports community on Twitter

By Conor Clarance
Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Video game fans have been one of Twitter’s most vibrant communities since our service went live in 2006. 

With more than 2 billion Tweets about gaming sent in 2020 (an all-time record and an increase of 75% over 2019 levels), conversations about all facets of the gaming experience become more massive each year. This includes right here in Canada where thousands of gamers from across the country use Twitter on a daily basis.

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59% of Canadian gamers on Twitter say they use our service on a daily basis. This means that Twitter is often the best place to find the latest real-time news, content and conversation from the gaming world. 

The emergence of esports in recent years has taken gaming on Twitter in some fascinating new directions as top titles drive conversations not just from everyday gamers but from spectators, cheering on their favourite esports team and personalities. Here in Canada, organizations like OverActive Media (@OverActiveMedia), Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (@RaptorsGC), and Luminosity Gaming (@Luminosity) are helping to bring esports to the mainstream with local teams in Toronto and Vancouver plus partnerships with some of the biggest brands in the country. 

These were the most popular esports leagues amongst Canadians in 2020, based on Tweet volumes

  1. Call of Duty League (@CODLeague)
  2. Overwatch League (@OverwatchLeague)
  3. League of Legends Championship Series (@LCSOfficial)
  4. League of Legends European Championship (@LEC)
  5. NBA 2K League (@NBA2KLeague)

To add another local layer to esports on Twitter, many top athletes are Canadian, playing in various leagues in various cities in North America and beyond. 

With new seasons for two top leagues on the horizon, consider this blog a tip sheet for how to enjoy esports action on Twitter in Canada and how to follow top Canadian teams and athletes on the service. 

Call of Duty League & Overwatch League in 2021

No esports league drove more Canadian conversation on Twitter in 2020 than the @CODLeague. Not only did the league drive tens of thousands of Canadian Tweets each day in 2020, the Canadian conversation also saw a 32% increase over 2019 levels. 

Call of Duty was also the second most-mentioned game of 2020 by Canadians on Twitter, trailing only Animal Crossing: New Horizons. For players and spectators alike, Call of Duty is a cornerstone of the gaming community on Twitter.

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The new @CODLeague season starts the weekend of February 11-14, 2021 with the Toronto Ultra (@TorontoUltra) repping Canada in the 12-team league.

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The @TorontoUltra conversation spiked in July 2020 when the squad captured Toronto Ultra Home Series, the first @CODLeague tournament win in history for the team. Anthony "Methodz" Zinni (@Methodz) was the Ultra player with the most account mentions in 2020 and overall, the @TorontoUltra were one of the esports team or organization accounts with the most Twitter mentions by Canadians in 2020

Here is that Top Five list

  1. FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan)
  2. Team SoloMid (@TSM)
  3. 100 Thieves (@100Thieves)
  4. Toronto Ultra (@TorontoUltra)
  5. G2 Esports (@G2esports)
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Two other Canadian esports teams that’ll be keeping Canadians glued to Twitter this spring are the Toronto Defiant (@TorontoDefiant) and the Vancouver Titans (@VancouverTitans). Both play in the @OverwatchLeague, which is scheduled to kick-off its new season in April 2020. 

The @VancouverTitans took a step back in 2020 after a spectacular first season in 2019, making the Overwatch League Grand Finale where they ultimately fell to the San Francisco Shock (@SFShock). Both the @VancouverTitans and @TorontoDefiant will be looking to rebound this season. 

Here are two more ways Twitter will uplevel the experience in 2021 for Canadian esports fans. 

Emojis - Both the @CODLeague and @OverwatchLeague have custom Twitter emojis that will unlock each time key hashtags are Tweeted this season. Fans can follow and use #CDL2021 and #OWL2021 all season long to keep tabs on the latest content and conversation. There are also official team emojis for the Ultra: #SooUltra and #StrengthInTheNorth

Twitter Topics - When you choose to follow a Topic – whether it’s your favorite game, team or personality – you’ll see Tweets from a whole host of accounts that are experts, fans or just tend to talk about that thing a lot on Twitter. There are hundreds of Twitter Topics, including top esports league that can be followed with one click:

    10 Top Canadian esports stars to follow on Twitter

    Aside from our teams in Toronto and Vancouver, there are dozens of made-in-Canada esports stars playing in various leagues worldwide. Many stay locked to Twitter 24/7 and are top follows for real-time commentary, game play highlights and other unique content.

    Here are 10 Canadian esports athletes to follow to get you started:

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  • Brady Giraldi (@agilities) - Los Angeles Valiant, Overwatch League
  • Artour Babaev (@Arteezy) - Evil Geniuses, DOTA 2
  • Evan  Barron (@Cented7) - Team Liquid, Fortnite
  • Sten Valge-Saar (@StenAleksander) - Lakers Gaming, NBA 2K League
  • Troy Jaroslawski (@BroCanadian) - Spacestation Gaming, Rainbow Six: Siege
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Keep tabs on key hashtags, Topics and other only-on-Twitter tools to stay on top of the latest action-packed Canadian esports moment in 2021.

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@FirstNameConor

Conor Clarance

‎@FirstNameConor‎

Head of Sports, Twitter Canada

Only on Twitter