I think the premise of the debate was faulty too. Happiness: capitalism vs. communism doesn't really see right considering Peterson really isn't someone that comes to mind when I think of capitalist or free market capitalist philosophy or economics. Zizek isn't really a traditional marxist meaning his argument was less of a defense of communism but just a critique of capitalism. So the debate just felt like PragerU debunks communism against someone that actually understood philosophy beyond sparknotes.So I watched the entire 2.5hr debate and I'll summarize it to save everyone some time. Just to disclose how I lean, I went in potentially sympathetic to both Zizek and Peterson because both of them are maligned by mainstream academia and both of them seem to 'get' that the West is in a period of crisis. Other than that, I didn't know much about either other than Zizek's sniffles and Peterson's lobsterboys.
Zizek blew Peterson out of the water. Peterson came out swinging with what I'm sure he considered devastating takedowns of Marxism, and Zizek gently reframed the entire debate to be about the failures of hyper individualistic, unrestrained capitalism. He did it so well, Peterson actually admitted that he was kinda undone, and from that moment on, Zizek led the debate (though in a very friendly and cordial way that ended up with both individuals obviously enjoying the other's conversation.)
Zizek came off as much more worldly and mature, and he gently poked at Peterson with little bon mots about lobsters and requesting Peterson name actual Marxist philosophers who subscribe to American idenpol madness. Peterson couldn't, but he made a really interesting remark about Foucault switching out the concept of classes with identity to create the iden-pol movement. It was the single 'point' he scored all night. But it was partially undone when Zizek pointed out that Foucault wasn't a Marxist thinker and, in fact, considered Marxism unrealistic. Womp wah.
Peterson is obviously used to debating angry children and zealots, because a calm and measured criticism of the status quo left him totally unseated. He had no idea how to handle Zizek, no frame of reference for Zizek's point of view and seemed totally fucking bewildered by Zizek's positing that communistic societies aren't poor oppressed peasants under a jackboot heel, but are rather collections of people who allow these regimes to happen because it serves their purposes.
Zizek won, but it wasn't really a 'fight'. It was very friendly.