There have been new records set in terms of viewing in 2021, as well as titles rising to new heights of fame and acclaim.
Several esports championships drew over 1 million peak viewers this year, including 22 different ones, whether they were traditional games building fan bases or mobile esports expanding their reach. eSports Insider, in partnership with eSports Charts, has compiled a list of the ten most-watched events of 2021 as the year winds to a conclusion (excluding Chinese viewership).
Interleague Playoffs in 2021
League of Legends’ Mid-Season Invitational 2021 comes in at number ten. Over 711,460 people tuned in on a weekly average to see the second-largest international event of the year.
League of Legends is one of only two games on this list with more than one entry, illustrating the genre’s enduring appeal. As of this writing, the highest average viewership of 924,130 was set by DWG KIA in their match against RNG.
It’s interesting to note that paiN Gaming was the team with the second-highest average viewership (879,770). 1.15 million people tuned in to watch the Brazilian team’s match against MAD Lions in the group round.
South East Asian Championships 2021
There were a total of 2.28 million peak viewers for the Southeast Asia Cup 2021 for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. Execration, an esports team headquartered in the Philippines, took home the title after a 57-hour tournament that drew an average of 514,617 viewers and over 29.42 million hours of viewing time.
The event’s success demonstrates how quickly the scene has evolved. At its peak, 276,579 people tuned in to watch MLBB’s Southeast Asia Cup 2019.
Season 8 of the MPL ID
Among the top ten most watched esports events of 2018, only the MLBB Indonesian League made the cut. The league was the most watched esports tournament in August and September, with a peak audience of 2.39 million people, topping out the LCK, LEC, and the ESL Pro League.
In October’s lower bracket final between ONIC and EVOS Legends, the almost two-month competition hit its peak audience. It’s impossible to tell just how big of a deal the Southeast Asia Cup is to MLBB’s fan base. MPL ID’s statistics, on the other hand, show a steady upward trend between the seventh and eighth editions.
Season 8 of MPL ID attracted more than 500,000 more peak viewers and an additional 100,000 average viewers over its existence. It’s even more remarkable when you consider that Season 7 ended only a few months ago, in May of 2021.
The tenth anniversary of the International
The International, DOTA 2’s long-running esports extravaganza, comes in at number seven. It was DOTA 2’s most successful esports event ever, with a peak audience of 2.74 million people following the tournament broadcasts for more than 107 million hours. In terms of esports, only the World Championships of League of Legends have recorded a higher number.
Analyzing the most popular TI10 teams, the most time was spent watching Team Spirit (in terms of average viewership). There were an average of 805,216 viewers each match, according to the Russian esports organization. PSG came after this. LGD has 767,762 members, Team Secret has 561,481, and OG has OG has 761,481. (517,908).
the international appears to be growing in favor among esports players in spite of its reputation as one of esports’ “old guard.”
The PGL Major Stockholm 2021 project.
PGL Major Stockholm 2021 had a slightly higher peak audience than TI10 with 2.74 million viewers. As expected, CS:inaugural GO’s Major in almost two years was the most-watched event in its discipline.
The previous record was 1.33 million, according to Esports Charts, which is 52% lower than the new one set by ELEAGUE Major 2017. Four of the seven playoff matches of the PGL Major Stockholm 2021 had higher peak viewing than the ELEAGUE Major 2017 in terms of total viewers.
Even though a lot of people are wondering what the future of CS:GO will be in 2021, these numbers show that it is here to stay as an S-tier esports event in the world of VALORANT.
The M2 World Cup
Returning to the realm of mobile esports, the M2 World Championship of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang came in fifth with a peak audience of 3.08 million.
There will be a second MLBB World Championships in 2021, and this initial competition was the most-watched in the history of the title. A total of 21.43 million hours were spent watching just BREN Esports’ matches during the competition, according to Esports Charts. Despite this, M2’s third-place team, RRQ Hoshi, garnered the highest average viewing at the tournament (1.10m).
Championship of the M3
The M3 World Championship, which was held earlier this month, has become the most-watched esports event in MLBB history. With a high audience of 3.19 million and a total of 62.61 million hours viewed, Blacklist International won the tournament.
The M3 World Championship had a smaller average audience than the M2 World Championship, despite the fact that M3 had a greater overall viewing. M2 had 689,737 viewers, while M3 had 602,588. Because M3 aired for 104 hours instead of just 62, this may be the reason why.
In total, this is MLBB’s fourth appearance in the top 10 in 2021, more than any other team. There is no doubt in my mind that MLBB is becoming more popular, at least from a viewership aspect, in 2021.
Season zero of the PUBG Mobile Global Championship
PUBG Mobile’s Global Championship Season 0 may have begun in November 2020, but its finish – and highest peak viewing – will occur in January 2021, making it eligible for this list. With a peak audience of 3.80 million people, the show has been able to hold its own throughout the year 2021.
During its 122-hour airing, the title averaged 528,000 viewers, with the most popular session being the Round 1, Day 1 Finals of the tournament. At its peak, Indonesian (2.12 million viewers) had the most people watching; followed by Arabic (494,393 viewers); and Russian (415,412 viewers).
Championship Series of League of Legends (Cup Series) in 2021
The 2021 League of Legends World Championships, with a record-breaking peak audience of 4,01 million viewers, came in second (again, excluding Chinese viewership). For the first time, a competitive PC esports event has attracted over 4 million peak viewers and is now the most watched tournament in the series’ history.
As an added bonus, this esports competition has the record for the most hours viewed by an esports event (174.82m). League of Legends is often recognized as the most popular esports game, as seen by the large number of people who watch the game on television. It’s possible that these statistics could be far higher if Chinese audience figures had been included.
In fact, Riot Games announced that the Grand Finals between EDward Gaming and DWG KIA had over 73 million views at its peak, according to an announcement. This shows not only how popular League of Legends is in China, but also how mainstream esports are. While the numbers for Chinese viewers appear outstanding, it is difficult to verify them because platforms in China do not publish numbers.
2021 Singapore’s Free Fire World Series
The Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore has the highest peak viewership of any esports event in 2021, according to Esports Charts. The mobile game had a peak audience of 5.41 million and an average audience of 2.08 million during its short non-hourly airtime.
Aside from Hindi and Indonesian top viewership counts of 1.95 million and 1,03 million, Brazil’s popularity was instrumental in securing this record total. The show’s audience in Portugal peaked at 1,06 million people during one of its broadcasts. More than 890,000 people tuned in to its Spanish broadcasts as well.
As of this writing, the Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore is the most-watched esports tournament in history.
It has been an incredible year for esports, given how many titles have grown and improved this year, with most games smashing prior records for their particular disciplines. Look for new titles like VALORANT or Halo to challenge 2022’s top 10 list if the current trend in mobile esports continues.