Each month Esports Insider, in collaboration with Esports Charts, delves into esports viewership statistics to decipher what audiences are currently watching.
Last month saw the start or continuation of some of esports’ biggest competitions, both from a regional and global standpoint. August has seen the likes of Mobile Legends commence its 10th season in Indonesia, while VALORANT kicked off its global tournament. Which events were seen by the most eyes in August 2022?
4. VALORANT makes a splash
With two entries on Esports Charts’ top five most viewed esports events in August, VALORANT continues its momentum and development as a Tier 1 esport.
Starting off with the VCT 2022’s North American Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), the tournament finished with an impressive peak viewership of over 630,000. It’s worth noting that there was a considerable rise in interest during the LCQ due to the esports return of highly popular streamer and ex-CS:GO player Shroud. Following a four-year break from competitive play, the former Cloud9 player signed for Sentinels’ VALORANT roster as the organisation looked to qualify for VALORANT Champions.
Given the player’s coveted status across CS:GO, as well as his massive fanbase, it’s no surprise to see that the most viewed match in the competition was the face-off between The Guard and Sentinels. The top three highest viewed matches of the competition featured Sentinels with the qualifiers’ finals recording a figure of 277,822 (100 Thieves vs The Guard).
Finishing third on Esports’ Charts’ list is the ongoing 2022 VALORANT Champions. In August the title recorded a viewership of 860,332. This figure, which was garnered during Paper Rex vs EDG in the group stages, has yet to be beaten. Nevertheless, there are still the finals to be played.
All eyes will be on the final figure, with VALORANT Champions 2021 reaching over 1m peak viewers last year. On top of performing well on overall viewership, both VALORANT tournaments garnered significant popularity across English-language streams.
3. Dota 2 continues development
After recording a peak viewership of 708,359, Dota 2’s PGL Arlington Major didn’t just finish 4th in terms of August’s viewership. The event went on to become the second-most viewed Major in the title’s history.
In addition to its peak viewership figure, the tournament garnered over 305,000 average concurrent viewers and more than 33m hours of watch time. The figure of Dota 2’s most viewed major still goes to The Kyiv Major 2017, which recorded around 842,000 peak viewers. Nevertheless, the recent figure continues to highlight Dota 2’s second wind in popularity. To find more statistics regarding PGL’s major, check out ESI’s article on the event.
2. LCK maintains LoL’s momentum
League of Legends’ Korean league has continued to be the title’s shining light when it comes to viewership. Alongside the LPL (LoL’s Chinese league), the LCK is widely regarded as the premier domestic competition — and the viewership highlights this.
With a peak viewership of 1.3m during its finals clash between T1 and Gen.G, the LCK becomes LoL’s 12th highest viewed esports competition.
Whilst this may not sound impressive, six of the events are World Championships. The only domestic leagues that are higher are LCK Spring 2022 (1.37m) and LCK Summer 2021 (1.31m). It’s also worth noting that Esports Charts does not record Chinese viewership in its statistics due to the difficulty of acquiring comparable figures.
Whilst LCK has continued to at least maintain its momentum, less can be said for the LEC and LCS. In September, both competitions concluded with peak viewership figures of around 732,000 and 370,000, respectively.
This was the 6th highest LEC tournament since its rebranding in 2019. Meanwhile, LCS Summer placed 12th out of all North America LCS events. What’ll certainly be worth keeping an eye on will be whether the LEC will be in September’s viewership list.
1. Mobile Legends maintains its dominance
Mobile Legends’ Indonesian enigma (wink wink) is back with MPL ID Season 10. The competition has since gone on to record a peak viewership of over 1.7m in August, placing it at the top of Esports Charts’ viewership list. Whilst the figure is impressive, the competition has its work cut out for it if it is to beat the 2.8m peak viewership that MPL ID season 9 recorded. Only time will tell whether this figure can be matched — or even topped.
Going deeper into the statistics, unsurprisingly most of the competition’s audience is through Indonesian-language streams (1.5m peak viewers). However, the title has also garnered a peak figure of 297,742 across its English channels. As of this writing, RRQ Hoshi is the most popular side in the competition when it comes to consistent audiences with the organisation’s games recording an average viewership of 747,000.
The competition still has a long way until its conclusion in October, so keep an eye on the league’s progress. Right now, MPL ID is MLBB’s 9th most viewed event, with MPL ID seasons seven, eight and nine all featuring above it.