The main esports region of Call of Duty has long been known to everyone: no one can compete with North America. But this doesn’t apply to its little cousin Call of Duty: Mobile, which is on a rise in Asian countries. Here’s how CODM scene is developing in SEA countries, who helps the regional esports scene grow and which teams are the most popular.
What is Call of Duty: Mobile esports?
Despite the American roots of the franchise, the mobile version of Call of Duty was developed by the experienced TiMi Studios, which is known for Honor of Kings and Arena of Valor, which are very popular in China. The project was initially focused on the Asian market, since the distribution of the game was done not by Activision, but by its partners Tencent and Garena.
The first Call of Duty: Mobile esports events were held almost immediately after the game’s release, but they were all local in nature. These were relatively small championships in Indonesia, Japan and other Asian countries.
Garena actively involved in the development of Call of Duty: Mobile esports at the beginning of 2020 as the company began to regularly hold competitions Southeast Asia. In addition, the Singapore-based company started to cooperate with one of the largest tournament operators in the world ESL: they jointly held championships in Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia. As a result, it is Garena that is the main driving force behind Call of Duty: Mobile esports at the moment. But everything could have been different.
In the spring of 2020, Activision teamed up with Sony to host the first truly major event in the game, bringing together Call of Duty: Mobile fans around the world. However, the plans were shattered by the coronavirus: only regional qualifiers were held as the tournament itself was canceled.
Most popular CoD: Mobile tournaments
Despite the immense popularity of the game itself, Call of Duty: Mobile esports scene is still only growing. Viewership statistics of the events proves this point: SEA qualifiers for the world championship became the most popular in the discipline: 38K concurrent spectators at the peak, which is very small number in comparison with other mobile games.
Despite the fact that the NA qualifiers for the World Cup took 2nd place by peak viewers, the region is not so strongly tied to the Call of Duty: Mobile esports scene. Way more events take place in Latin America, and the local qualifiers for the World Cup also hit the top 5 CoD: Mobile tournaments by peak viewers.
What are the major regions of CoD: Mobile esports?
In 2020, more than a hundred tournaments were held in Call of Duty: Mobile, even though the audience did get to watch the World Championship. Let’s break down the statistics of the discipline by language.
The absolute leader of the discipline by language is English with 52.3% from overall number of Hours Watched of the game in 2020. However, this does not mean that tournaments are primarily popular in Europe and North America. The statistics were strongly influenced by the qualifications for the World Cup, which were held in both regions. But apart from that neither NA nor EU had other big events.
The statistics for other languages is much more interesting. Indonesian took the 2nd place with 14.2% from discipline’s overall Hours Watched. Note that the Indonesian language is similar to Malay, so there are some CoD: Mobile fans from Malaysia in this share.
The top 5 also includes Thai (11.6%), Spanish (6.6%) and Hindi (6%). Note that the Filipino was just slightly behind Hindi: the difference between them was less than 0.5%.
What to expect from discipline in 2021?
The publishers of the game have not yet announced new international championships, which means that the discipline will continue to grow at the regional level for now. And this makes sense as Call of Duty: Mobile has a lot of mobile competitors and needs to fight for local markets.
Activision and Loco company hosted the Call Of Duty: Mobile India Cup in mid-February, which featured the best teams from India. The region was chosen for a reason: PUBG Mobile was banned in India back in Fall 2020, and all local esports players had to look for new disciplines. And CoD: Mobile became one of them.
One of the top Indian streamers under the nickname MortaL switched to the CoD: Mobile just a month after PUBG Mobile was banned in India. He founded his own Call of Duty: Mobile team (although he does not play in it) under the name S8ul Esports. The team finished second in the India Cup, losing only to the undisputed best team in the region: Team Mayhem finished the tournament with 19 wins in 19 matches.
Another major regional tournament is just around the corner: Garena Invitational 2021 that will feature the best SEA teams in Call of Duty: Mobile. The event will take place in Taiwan next week.
Eight teams will attend Garena Invitational, including the two most popular teams in the discipline: NRX Jeremiah from the Philippines and Divinity.Uprising from Indonesia. Perhaps we will see an update of the peak viewers record in CoD: Mobile esports.