Esports Insider recently collaborated with esports analytical firm Esports Charts to take a closer look at event viewership on a monthly basis. It’s pretty common to see esports viewership compared to the Super Bowl, but that’s not the most accurate comparison. Rather, Esports Insider and Esports Charts have taken time to actually review the statistics, and understand how different events are growing. This time, we’re recapping the most watched esports events of 2019.
(Chinese platforms have been excluded from the following stats).
What are esports?
Now let’s clarify some things for those new to esports. Esports are a type of sport involving competition and video games. It often takes the form of organized, multiplayer gaming competitions, specifically with professional players, either as individuals or in teams.
Esports is becoming increasingly popular, and as we move into an increasingly digital world, will likely grow even more. Esports suit the modern person, and is a genuinely exciting industry. As it evolves, it’ll become more mainstream, and an even bigger industry than it already is.
Most hours watched
According to the report, the League of Legends World Championship dominated the competition when it came down to most hours watched. However, the competition ran for almost a month, and was hosted in Berlin, Madrid, and Paris. The length of the event, combined with where it aired and who battled it out, was a huge spectacle, and amassed more than 137 million hours watched.
In second place was Dota 2’s The International 2019, which clocked in at 88 million hours watched. Following on from Dota 2 was the IEM Katowice Major, StarLadder Major Berlin, and Mid-Season Invitational reaching 53 million, 45 million, and 43 million respectively.
In terms of average viewership, League of Legends World Championship and the International 2019 both did pretty well, hitting 1 million and 726,000 average viewers each. However, they were beaten by the finals of the Fortnite World Cup, which maintained an average viewership of 1.1 million – plus it lasted for a much shorter amount of time than the League of Legends World Championship. Ultimately, the most popular event of 2019 was the Free Fire World Series 2019 Rio with 1.2 million average viewership!
Once again, the League of Legends World Championship remained an absolute force to be reckoned with, hitting a peak viewership of 3.9 million. This event reached the top of this category, with no other coming even vaguely close to beating it. The Fortnite World Cup Finals maxed out at a peak of 2.3 million views, and the Free Fire World Series 2019 Rio event hit 2.0 million views. The International 2019 and the Mid-Season Invitational – another global League of Legends event – hit 1.9 million and 1.7 million views respectively.
Recapping the most watched esports events of 2019 can tell us a lot about which games are the most popular among esports viewers. Clearly League of Legends is at the top of the list, scoring high in each category. The International 2019 also did really well. Stats like these tell us where esports viewership is going, and how the trends will evolve over the upcoming year. At the moment it looks fairly likely that 2020 will be a huge year for the industry, and that likely won’t change in the future.
What to expect from eSports in 2020
Knowing what the most watched esports events of 2019 allows us to (hopefully) determine where the upcoming year is going. With increasingly exciting events cropping up all the time, we’ll likely see an even bigger boom in esports this year. The League of Legends World Championship sat at the top of most of these stats, with The International 2019 following closely behind. With League of Legends hitting a whopping 3.9 million views, and the others following suit, it’s pretty clear that this industry is just going to keep growing. 2020 will likely be an even bigger year for events of this nature, and we’re seriously looking forward to it.