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Evo 2013 livestream draws record numbers on Twitch with 1.7 million viewers

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

This year's Evo fighting game championship drew record viewership on Twitch, with 1.7 million unique viewers watching the tournament's official livestream channels.

According to Matthew DiPietro, vice president of marketing at Twitch, concurrent viewership during Evo peaked at 144,848 for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. That viewership figure bests Twitch's estimates for Super Smash Bros. Melee, which drew 134,000 viewers, and Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition, which drew 125,000 viewers.

Twitch says those record-breaking numbers smashed all records for fighting game tournaments, coming in nearly 50 percent higher than last year's Evo — the previous record holder.

One of those record-breaking streams, for fan-voted GameCube game Super Smash Bros. Melee, almost didn't happen at all, as Nintendo initially denied Evo organizers permission to stream the game online. Nintendo reversed its decision just days before Evo 2013 kicked off on Friday morning.

To see who won big at this weekend's Evo fighting game championship, check out this story highlighting the nine grand final winners.

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