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.
July’s viewership continues to highlight mobile esports. However, PC titles take the majority of Esports Charts’s peak viewership table with League of Legends, Dota 2 and CS:GO all featuring.
PUBG Mobile comes out on top
With a peak viewership figure of 1.05m, PUBG Mobile’s World Invitational 2021 has topped Esports Charts’s viewership table. The highest figure for the online charity tournament was recorded during round two of the event for its east section.
What’s impressive about this viewership figure is the fact that the event was only announced in the middle of July. This meant that the tournament took place with less than two weeks notice. Some of the organisations competing in the event included NAVI, Ghost Gaming, Team Queso, and NASR Esports. The event was won by Valdus The Murder (East) and A7 eSports (West).
The four-day event recorded an average viewership of 399,497 across its 34 hour air time. This figure could have been heavily impacted by the competition’s west division gaining less viewership than the east section. In terms of peak viewership, the top five rounds were all from the eastern section, further highlighting the title’s popularity within those regions.
Moreover, the tournament’s Indonesian peak viewership spiked at 564,781, with Nimo TV being the event’s most viewed platform (649,213 peak viewership).
IEM Cologne highlights CS:GO momentum
Second in the esports viewership chart was IEM Cologne 2021, which recorded an impressive peak audience of 843,369 during G2 Esports vs NAVI. IEM Cologne’s figure becomes CS:GO’s seventh most viewed event, in terms of peak audience.
In addition, this is IEM’s third-highest peak viewership with only IEM Katowice 2019 (1.2m) and IEM Katowice 2020 (1m) recording higher figures, according to Esports Charts. This, coupled with the continued growth of BLAST Premier, showcases the strength of CS:GO esports, despite other titles such as VALORANT entering into the shooter genre.
Unsurprisingly, the event topped the Russian viewership peak viewership table with a figure of 262,984. This was followed by CS:GO event StarLadder CIS RMR 2021 (241,906) and Dota 2’s The International 10 Western Europe Qualifer.
Free Fire returns to the viewership chart
Mobile battle royale game Free Fire has rejoined the peak viewership table after a quiet June period for the title.
The title’s regional league – Liga Brasileira de Free Fire (LBFF) 2021: Series A Stage 2 – garnered a peak viewership of 598,885. As such, the tournament has placed third in the viewership table. According to Esports Charts, the competition also recorded 11.23m hours watched.
In comparison to previous LBFF events, the competition ranks second in peak viewership. LBFF 2021 Series A Stage 1, which aired from January to March, has the highest peak viewership with a figure of 827,769.
The drop in viewership from Stage B is certainly worth keeping an eye on. This decrease is also more interesting when taking into account that Free Fire broke the record for the highest viewed esports tournament ever in May this year.
League of Legends and Dota 2 momentum ramps up
As League of Legends’s Summer Split reaches a climax and Dota 2’s The International edges ever so closer, both titles have placed in Esports Charts’s peak viewership table, placing fourth and fifth respectively.
The LCK takes the top spot in July as Riot Games’s highest viewed regional competition, with its Summer Split clash between T1 and DWG KIA garnering a peak viewership of 559,666. As the LCK concludes its playoffs this month, expect the competition to remain on the viewership charts, potentially alongside the LEC and the LCS.
Despite not making it into the overall viewership table, Riot Games’s European competition did secure the fourth-highest English viewership. Last month, the LEC Summer Split recorded a peak English audience of 242,914 during G2 vs Fnatic on July 17th. Slightly behind that figure was VALORANT’s North American Stage 3, which garnered 234,824.
The International 10 Western Europe Qualifier also performed well among English viewers, recording a peak viewership of 257,151 when Nigma faced OG. In fact the qualifier drew an overall average viewership of 216,338. With a peak figure of 546,300, the qualifier becomes the seventh-highest viewed Dota 2 event.
Given the fact that this figure is only for TI10’s qualifier, the upcoming LAN event looks likely to compete against The International 2019’s peak viewership of 1.9m.
What to expect in August?
Perhaps the biggest events to look out for are the Playoff finals for the LCK and LEC, with both summer splits concluding in August. In terms of mobile esports, all eyes will be on Mobile Legends’s MPL ID Season 8 to see if the title can claim the top spot.