Every month ESI, in collaboration with Esports Charts, delves into the world of esports viewership to highlight what audiences are currently watching, along with other emerging trends in the industry.
October saw the conclusion of Dota 2’s The International, as well as the commencement of the League of Legends World Championship and CS:GO’s PGL Major. With three major events occurring last month, how have the tournaments performed?
League of Legends takes the top spot
Despite only recently concluding in November, League of Legends’ World Championship was the most popular esports event in October. The tournament secured a peak viewership of over 3.5m (excluding Chinese figures) during the BO5 semi-finals between T1 and Damwon Kia.
According to Esports Charts, the semi-final matchup recorded greater viewership than the 2017 and 2018 World Finals, which secured around peak viewers. Moreover, 2020’s highest viewed semi-final match-up, between G2 Esports and Damwon Korea, only recorded a viewership of 2.7m viewers.
The Worlds Championship has already concluded, with the overall tournament recording a peak viewership of just over 4m. Whilst there are still events to be settled, it is highly likely that League of Legends’ most viewed event will remain at the top spot for two months in a row.
Dota2 makes an impact
Dota2’s The International 10 was recorded as the second most popular esports event, according to peak viewership, with 2.7m individuals tuning in to see the grand final between PSG.LGD and Team Spirit.
Similarly to League of Legends’ statistics, these figures should not go unnoticed. According to Esports Charts this is the most viewed Dota2 event in the title’s history. TI10 beat the previous viewership record, which was at The International 2019, by over 700,000 viewers.
Not only does this highlight how viewers missed The International, with the title having to be postponed last year due to the pandemic, but it further showcases the game’s growth within esports. As of writing, four of the top 10 most viewed Dota2 events occurred in 2021. This includes the WePlay AniMajor (645,141), ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021 (597,732), The International 10 Western Europe Qualifier (546,300) as well as TI10.
What’s also interesting to note is that TI10 recorded the most Russian (1.2m) and English (1.03m) speaking viewers for the month. One notable entry on the English speaking table was the FIFA 22 Challenge, which was the fifth most viewed for English viewers last month.
Mobile esports still remains relevant
Despite not having a major international event this month, mobile esports managed to still feature two titles in Esports Charts’ most popular tournaments for October.
Mobile Legends Bang Bang’s premier regional competition, MPL ID Season 8, recorded a viewership of 2.39m. This is a drastic increase from last season’s peak viewership of 1.83m. ONIC vs EVOS.LGN, which took place on the final day, was the most-viewed match up of the entire competition.
Meanwhile, PUBG Mobile Pro League Season 4 2021 SEA rounded out the top five with a figure of 644,305. What’s interesting to note is that both of these titles saw a large majority of its viewership from Youtube, and in Indonesia. In addition, the placement of these events last month could foreshadow PUBG Mobile’s and MLBB’s upcoming global events, which are set to take place in November and December respectively.
PGL highlights CS:GO’s dominance
Despite not concluding until this month, PGL Major Stockholm 2021 secured the fourth spot in terms of October peak viewership with a figure of 975,208. While it has already been published that the tournament has gone on to smash a variety of viewership records within CS:GO, this figure in isolation is still quite significant.
The peak viewership figure alone, which was recorded during NAVI vs Ninjas in Pyjamas, secured a higher viewership figure than PGL Major Kraków 2017 (961,413), IEM Cologne 2021 (842,972), and the BLAST Premier Global Final 2020 (687,691). Not only does this showcase the event as a whole, but it highlights the audience’s demand for a Major since the pandemic.
As stated, in November the tournament went on to become the most viewed CS:GO event with a peak viewership of 2.7m. As such it’ll be interesting to see whether other tournament organisers, or future PGL events, will continue to grow and develop this viewership.
What to look out for in November?
Both the League of Legends World Championship and PGL Major Stockholm have concluded. So in terms of challengers for the top spot, all eyes are on the PUBG Mobile World Championship.
Other prominent tournaments that are currently ongoing include Rainbow Six’s Sweden Major 2021 and the ALGS: 2021 Split 1 Pro League North America. However, given that three events have already passed a peak viewership of over 1.7m already, it’s highly likely that League of legends could take the top spot.
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