M5 World Championship records over 5m viewers

18 December 2023

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M5 World Championship Mobile Legends Bang Bang
Image credit: Moonton Games

The M5 World Championship, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang’s biggest tournament, saw its grand final peak at more than 5m concurrent viewers.

Statistics provided by viewership analytics platform Esports Charts show that the final reached a peak of 5,067,107 viewers, the highest peak ever for a Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) match. This eclipsed the event’s previous high — reached at last edition’s M4 World Championship — by almost 800,000 viewers. 

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The majority of viewers tuned in on YouTube with a peak of 3.28m watching through the site. Additionally, over 1m viewers also watched on TikTok as the social media platform’s stream reached 1.18m concurrent spectators.

Held in the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila, Philippines, the grand final saw Philippines-based organisation AP.Bren take down Indonesia-based team ONIC Esports in a 4-3 series win that earned the former $300,000 (~£237,000) in prize money. This was AP.Bren’s second MLBB World Championship victory having also won the M2 World Championship in 2021; then under the previous name of Bren Esports.

The figure reached in the M5 final was also the fourth-highest esports viewership of all time on record. Only the 2022 and 2023 League of Legends World Championship finals and the 2021 Free Fire World Series finals have reached higher viewership peaks.

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Though the peak was a new high for MLBB, the overall hours watched for the championship took a dip from last edition, going from 80.1m hours for the M4 World Championship to 71.0m hours in the M5 World Championship. This is despite the latter having 52.5 hours more airtime – an increase in excess of 50% due to the introduction of a Wild Card stage.

It’s worth noting that Esports Charts’ analytics do not include Chinese viewership despite China having one of the largest esports markets. This is a result of the country’s streaming platforms not publishing direct viewership statistics. Instead, sites opt to use their own ‘heat index’ to rank streams and each site’s ‘heat index’ may differ in its methodology.

Lee Jones