Fortnite, League of Legends, Dota 2, those are just some of the games getting stomped on by little known hardcore shooter Escape From Tarkov. In fact, the game is currently getting close to 270,000 viewers on Twitch, with the runner up, the category ‘Just Chatting’, having an audience of ‘just’ 140,000 people. What’s going on right now?

Usually the list of most viewed games on Twitch is pretty stale, with the regular big boys fighting for views. For the past couple of days though, Escape From Tarkov (EFT) has been dominating the biggest streaming platform (that saw Shroud recently leave). That is quite surprising given the fact that this game is insanely hardcore and therefor not everyone’s cup of tea. Also, the game is still in early access, so it’s not like were talking about a finished product. So why is it so popular right now?

At least some part of it’s popularity is due to a current event hosted by the developer and Twitch. Players get in-game items for watching EFT streams on selected channels. And if you know anything about EFT, you’ll know that stuff is important!

Basically the entire game revolves around gathering guns, meds, attachments, and gear that you take into a raid. If you die, you lose all the stuff on you. If you escape a raid, you get to keep everything you’ve found along the way. But instead of actually risking your butt getting items, you can just watch a guy like DeadlySlob, one of the biggest EFT streamers, and get rewarded in the process.

Regardless of the current New Year’s event, EFT has slowly been raiding it’s way into the mainstream. Both on YouTube and Twitch the game by Russian dev Battlestate Games has been getting more and more popular ever since the launch of the alpha in 2016. And with this huge influx of fresh blood, the hardcore shooter is seemingly just starting to take off. That’s good news, both for the beefy dudes (like myself) that are eager to take all your juicy gear from you, as well as for the devs that see their hard and dedicated work finally pay off.

Escape From Tarkov is one of my all time favorite games and it isn’t even done yet. Check out this editorial from all of us at Game Enthusiast for all our favorite games of the past decade and make sure you join in on the discussion on Facebook.

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