Many Western gamers are well-acquainted with the video game festivals. But few people know that there was an extremely interesting annual event taking place in Thailand on the last weekend – Garena World 2019. This is what we will be talking about today.
First of all, it makes sense to explain what is this (previously known as Garena Star League) exhibition is about. In short, this event gathers the competitions for all the popular games of the publisher. In particular, the following entries could be seen on the list of event's disciplines: Free Fire, Speed Drifters, Fifa Online 3, Ring of Elysium, Point Blank and Arena of Valor.
The game titles make it obvious that Garena focuses on mobile gaming. The company has a thorough understanding of the modern trends and is not going to miss the chance to capitalize on them. Because of this, some relatively important changes were made.
As example of such changes, we'd like to emphasize on the fact that this is the first year for Heroes of Newerth to not be included. Even the company itself does not believe in the future of this game, which was confirmed during their recent announcement of a new project. During it, the developers have officially confirmed that this mobile game is discontinued as of now, and no more patches will be released for it.
We will start our summary from the most important part of the championship. Many have missed the news that the Free Fire competition has managed to set a YouTube record among the esports games, peaking at 1 million 7 thousand viewers and exceeding the viewtime of even the juggernaut of gaming that is League of Legends World Championship. As of today, even when compared to existing titans of the market, such an achievement marks the absolute winner.
On average, the championship matches of this discipline were watched by 630 thousand viewers, which exceeds the results of other mobile games. By comparison, the matches of PUBG Mobile Star Challenge 2018 were observed by 174 thousand viewers on average. Looks like we've found a new “champion” right there.
The championship for another battle royale, Ring of Elysium, was watched by a much smaller amount of gamers, with the game peaking at only 686 viewers. The average figure has reached the mark of 398 viewers. Compared to its counterpart, the game comes off as problematic both the prize fund-wise and broadcast viewtime figure-wise. But this should mostly concern Tencent.
The Arena of Valor tournament, being the third season of the RoV Pro League, has managed to peak at 150 thousand viewers, with nearly 100 thousand viewers following the event on average. The battle between BAZAAR Gaming and Buriram United Esports became the most popular match of the event.
To compare, the second season of the same league has managed to attract fewer viewers than its successor, averaging at 60 thousand viewers and having the championship's all-time peak figure of 160 thousand viewers – which is 10 thousand more than that of the third season.
Fifa Online 3 and Speed Drifters have shown a decent performance. The competition for the former has attracted nearly 11 thousand viewers. But looking at the average figures, this particular item didn't manage to grow in popularity by more than 3 thousand viewers. It looks like the eastern region does not show much love for the soccer simulators, even when those are adapted to the local audience.
As for the latter, the figures of Speed Drifters Thailand Championship 2019 ended up being even smaller. While not the RoE-level low, these are still extremely unsatisfying. On average, the championship has gathered 1,500 viewers, while peaking at the mark of 5,437 viewers.
The Point Blank competition is ranked similarly to the last discipline, with the game showing similar results of 4 thousand viewers on average, and the 14 thousand viewers at the peak. Of course, these results were obtained while omitting the Chinese platforms.
This time, 2019 seems to underperform a lot. Last year, its broadcast has managed to gather 6,721 viewers on average, while peaking at nearly 14 thousand viewers. While comparison of the peak figures ends in a relative draw, the average figure indicator of the current championship comes off twice as inferior.
Finally, we should state that Garena World certainly has its own audience, one that's by no means small. The publisher was holding this esports festival specifically for this audience. The figures shown by the Free Fire tournament were extremely surprising. The performance of Arena of Valor has turned out well, as expected. As for all the other games, they are still taking a back seat – and it looks like the situation will not change in the foreseeable future.