Nations of Gwent #3:
All-Time Popularity Analysis
Welcome back Wanderer! After half-year break, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game statistics comes back on Team Legacy website. This time we will return to the topic of Nations of Gwent (NoG1, NoG2). Instead of focusing on the current data though, we look in a wider perspective. We compare number of players from different countries/continents since the very first season of Masters 1 in Open Beta!
All data was scrapped from Gwent Masters Ratings website. The information is limited here only to Top2860 best Pro Ladder players during each season.
- Masters 1
Masters 1 cycle started in open beta Gwent. Seasons 1-6 lasted 2 months. The launch of Homecoming disturbed Masters 1 cycle, so that in autumn 2018 competitive Pro Ladder was frozen for 3 months. Since 7th season, ranked and pro ladder got united. It was also the first season of Homecoming Gwent for pro players. Up to 12th season Pro Ladder could be viewed as competitive at least for a handful of players fighting for crown points.
From 13th to 19th season of Masters 1 Pro Ladder was completely non-competitive – everyone played for fun and pleasure only. This period would be refered to as Offseason (starting with capital letter).
- Masters 2
After long offseason period, Masters 2 finally started in Jan 2020 and lasted up to Jan 2021. In the new Pro Ladder system there was 12 seasons, out of which first 8 were fully competitive (Wolf-Draconid) and the 9th (Dryad) mattered only for Crown Points. The remaining Cat, Mahakam and Wild Hunt seasons are non-competitive.
- Masters 3
Masters 3 started in Jan 2021 and runs up to this day according to the same rules as Masters 2.
The dashed lines in graphs presented in this article are marking periods listed above.
Finally, all source data and graphs could be found here. The numbers are extracted for every country and there are more graphs ready than presented in this article. Let me know if you would like to see a chart for your nation too!
Nations of Gwent
Chinese language was supported in Gwent at Sep 2017. Since then the number of Chinese players was growing during Open Beta and reached the peak (14.2%) in Season 4, which is March-May 2018. Homecoming wasn’t well received, as the % decreased a bit during first HC seasons (7,8). Season to season though, the playerbase was recovering, up to Season 11. Note that this trend converges with Open Beta % with respect to yeartime. The first half of the Offseason (13-17) was the worst for Gwent in China. Average share at the level of 7.5% gave little hope. And then…
BOOM! 29th October 2019 Gwent was released on iOS! This leads to the most spectacular shuffle in playerbase in Pro Ladder history. The number of Chinese players rockets from 8.9% (17) to 28.9% (19) in just two seasons. Amongst new Chinese iOS players there is one filthy Geralt:Igni abuser, who reaches Top2 spot in his first season (18). Soon his nick Demarcation would gain recognition when he would win Season of the Love (February 2020) and dominate most of Gwent Masters 2.
In spite of Demarcation success, the peak decease in April 2020 (24.4% => 16.2%). There is no Chinese server for iOS anymore. Also 24th March 2020 Gwent gets released on Android without CN server. Since then the fraction of Chinese players gradually drops.
Extreme (6.2%) is reached in the Season of the Wolf (Jan-Feb 2021). This plunge has nothing to do with Gwent popularity though. For almost half of the 3 weeks long season Chinese players could not log into the game via CN accounts. Obviously, many players could not climb to Top 2860 in such circumstances or just gave up. Wangid had to move to another account (Wangid5) in order to be able to play. It was his worst season (20th spot). Moreover, Crown Points he claimed couldn’t have been transfered to his main account. Consequently, Wangid had to kick assess even more than usual in the following seasons, which he did.
Despite various difficulties, Gwent has great potential in China, as iOS release have shown. How many Demarcation level talents are still hidden in China? Nobody knows. In last seasons trend seems to be positive. Main Chinese streamer ‘garigari‘ returned with impressive scores on Pro Ladder. Lord-Triss qualified for two Gwent Opens. Also recently Beta veteran Hanachan headed back to Gwent, almost immediately securing his spot in Gwent Open #4 (playing under Vivy2056 nickname and US flag).
Russia dominated the current Pro Ladder thanks to steady development of the playerbase since the very start of the Beta. There are only two drops observed in the graph; first one (‘7’ to ‘8’) is linked to HC transition and the second one (’19’) is solely explained by Chinese iOS boom. During Season 7 Pro Ladder was reached 2572 players, while in Season 8 only 588(!). The drop may stem from higher skill cap in qualifying to pro and relatively low experience of rapidly growing Russian playerbase.
Masters 2 Mahakam season (November 2020) is the peak of % of Russian players: 27.2%. It is the second highest score, right behind the peak of Chinese boom. Even now, every 4th player on Pro Ladder is
Akela Russian. Iluxa228 (BigKuKuRUzina35) won Open#2 and qualified for Masters 3 Grand Final, while Akela114 is close to qualify to Grand Final via Crown Points.
Up to the Season 4 of Open Beta, Poland used to be the most represented country, later leaving the field for Russia. During Beta the % of Polish players generally increased (but % of Russian increased even faster). Homecoming was received rather badly in Poland, and the representation shrinked from ~18% to ~14% level in HC.
Chinese iOS boom prolly lead to plunge in ’18’ – ‘Love’ around the start of 2020. Unlike Russia though, Poland never recovered from this drop. It might be attributed to greater saturation of Polish market (have a look at NoG1 for comparison per capita). Poles who want to play Gwent competitively are already there and new platform rather enhances pro playerbase for other countries.
In spite of lower % of players on Pro Ladder, Poland still defends with quality in Masters 3. Gwent veteran TailBot won Open#1, current World Champion Pajabol won Open#3 and Kams134 is very close to secure Grand Final spot via Crown Points.
4. United States
Surprisingly enough, in the Apple country iOS Gwent release did not lead to % players plunge.
Being a Homecoming player I’ve only heard legends about the great evil which had happened during Open Beta, and which maybe decimated cultured German and US players…
Many Pro players at the start of Beta were attracted to Gwent by German pro card gamer and streamer Lifecoach. Being a legendary Hearthstone player, he turned into Gwent as a more skillful, less RNG based game. Midwinter Update (19 Dec 2017) is where his Gwent hiatus begins. He came back only to prepare for Gwent Masters 1 Final in June 2021, where he reached semi-final thanks to a risky targeting strategy.
While the % of Polish and Geman players remains almost constant during Masters 2 and 3 and Western Europe is way less present than during Beta, there are some European communities growing in strength. One of those is Italy. Since the start of Masters 2, the number of Italian players grows constantly in a linear way, from 1.6% in Wolf 2020 to 3.1% in the last season.
Brazil is the main representative of South America on Gwent Pro Ladder. The majority of Brazilian players do not compete on the highest level. Cabelo.Beta was highest rated Brazilian player in the Season of the Draconid at 77th place.
Regions and Continents
While comparing particular countries gives a lot of insight, it is also interesting to look on Gwent in a more global way: by cultural and geographical regions. For the sake of my analysis i’ve chosen 9 of them, which for better visualization were grouped into ‘major’ and ‘minor’ ones.
- CIS (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova,…)
- Europe (neglecting CIS countries)
- EastAsia (China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam…)
- SouthAsia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh…)
- WestAsia (Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel…)
As could be seen, European players made up for almost 50% of the pro playerbase in the Season 1 of Gwent Masters 1. None of the other regions came any close to this degree of dominance. Europe was in clear lead up to iOS Gwent release. Then Asia jumped on the 1st place on the wave of Chinese boom. However, it lasted only for 4 seasons. When the boom deceased, CIS and Europe were already on equal footing. For three non-competitive seasons in Masters 2 CIS is capable of getting clear advantage. Rivalry between CIS and Europe is to be continued, with CIS slightly ahead in the Season of the Draconid.
The fraction of players from Oceania constantly decreases since times when I_aPOROgise from Australia played in Gwent Challenger #3 (April 2018).
On the other hand, WestAsia (or Middle East if you like this name better) started from lower level, but develops at a good pace since Offseason break. In the fact there is already more players from WestAsia than from South America on Pro Ladder. Obviously Turkey is the strongest country in this region and Kerpeten96 already achieved some very impressive ladder finishes in Top16 of Pro Ladder. There were more than 3% of WestAsia players on Pro Ladder in the recent Season of the Draconid.
SouthAsia used to be very weakly represented, but since April 2020 something clicked. Probably it was the release of Gwent on Android. The fraction of players from SouthAsia fluctuates around 1% now, with Sheath29 from India being probably one of best recognised players.
Africa finished lowest in the chart. Nevertheless, a slight, steady development could be observed in 2020-present period. About 0.5% of Pro Ladder players is from Africa now, which translates to less than 15 players in Top2860. At the same time, South Africa is very strongly represented by pro level streamers like SpyroZA, MissLadyJay and TheaBeasty.
Thanks for reading!
In the nearest future I plan to study the math of Gwent conquest format in more details, which may, or may not be published. Meanwhile I often post various stats and other stuff on my Twitter. And if you have any question, would like to give some feedback etc. – my Discord is the best place to do it.
Written by: lerio2