Top 5 Most Watched eSports Games

The growth of eSports in the online gaming industry has been boosted by the availability of streaming infrastructure. Social platforms like Youtube, Instagram and Twitch have served as suitable avenues for fans of online gaming to satisfy their gaming desires. Games like Fortnite, Dota and League of Legends have attracted a lot of followers. Also, there has been a boost in the followers of eSports celebrities due to the ability of their fans to watch them play via the above mentioned platforms. In this post, we will be taking a closer look at the top 5 most watched eSports games as it is today.

According to reports from Newzoo Predicts, the year 2018 recorded 380 million viewers of eSports. This figure was split between 215 million occasional viewers and 165 million enthusiasts. The platform also predicts that by 2021, the annual growth rate of eSports viewers will be around 14% with the total audience growing to 557 million. This figure is split between 307 million casual viewers and 250 million eSports enthusiasts.

5. Counterstrike

Counterstrike is a multiplayer action game with a first-person shooter challenge. It is a battle between a team of terrorists trying to carry out their acts through different means. Bombing, hostage-taking and assassinations are all part of the terrorists activities. On the other side is a counter-terrorist that tries to prevent this from happening. This is done through acts of bomb defusal and hostage rescue.

Counterstrike has evolved over the years across a number of series. After the original Counter Strike video game which was launched in 1999, the other series that followed are Counter Strike: Condition Zero; Counter Strike: Source and Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

The game has become one of the world’s top eSports games played in tournaments. At the time of writing, the season’s championship had entered the stage of the final eight. However, the previous month recorded over 17.2 million unique players.

At the end of 2018, the total number of hours of Counterstrike watched was 351.51 million. This puts it among our top 5 most watched eSports games.

4. Overwatch

This is another first-person shooter game that is team-based. Overwatch was first released in 2016 in PS4, Xbox One and Windows versions. Players in groups of six have the responsibility of working together in order to secure regions or escort payload across a part in limited time.

In the last one year, Overwatch has recorded over 296.9 million watch hours. The game has over 30 million players across the globe on various platforms. Many professional teams are already playing the game in leagues, tournaments and championships.

Shortly after release in 2016, Overwatch won the “New eSports Game of the Year” and “Game of the Year” awards.

3. League of Legends

This is one of the most popular eSports games in the industry today. It is highly competitive and features in many tournaments. It is a game that can be played alone, or with multiple players.

League of Legends is an action game where a player or team of players targets a structure (Nexus) that lies in the heart of the opposing team’s base. Players on League of Legends start with minimum strength and power, but grow by accumulating them as the game goes on.

In April 2019, a championship match of League of Legends attracted over 10,000 live audience members and more than 600,000 online viewers. Between January 2019 and June 2019, the eSports game has accumulated over 512.2 million viewership hours on Twitch.

2. Dota

Dota was developed by Valve Corporation and was first released in July 2013. It has risen to become one of the top eSports games played in tournaments. It is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game.

Each game session is comprised of a match between two teams, with each team comprising of 5 players. The goal of the teams is to defend their respective territories, and primarily their base on the map.

Dota has grown in popularity, especially as the top teams have also generated massive followers and fan bases across the globe. “The International 2019” recorded a viewership of over 1.1 million. This qualified it as Twitch’s most watched Dota 2 event in history.

1. Fortnite

Fortnite is a multiplayer online game that can accommodate up to 100 players at the same time in a last man standing mode. It is a flexible game that can also be played alone, as a duo, and in teams. The game is also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Fortnite is very popular among gamers and has earned the reputation of the most popular battle royale game worldwide. In 2018, Fortnite’s Celebrity Pro-Am at E3 recorded a concurrent viewership of over 1.5 million. This is a record in terms of concurrent viewers in the eSports industry.

The global audience for the Fortnite game has held their own by following their celebrity players an a regular basis. The most popular Fortnite streamer who goes by the name Ninja attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers everyday. 


The growth in eSports viewership in recent years has been tremendous. A huge part of the financial growth that the industry has experienced comes from the viewership circle. While viewers may not directly contribute funds to the industry, the traffic attracts more sponsorship and advertisers to the industry.

The number of professional eSports players are increasing, as are the number of casual players. There are those who do not even play the game at all, but enjoy watching others play. These viewers are responsible for most of the growth that we see today. Incidentally, the games listed above is where most of the focus of viewers lie. The make up our top 5 most watched eSports games.