Esports in 2021 began with world championships in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and PUBG Mobile. In Dota 2 first DPC qualifiers were held and first regional tournaments began. BLAST Premier championship was held in CS:GO, and the spring splits in League of Legends started in almost every region. But what spectators watched the most? More about this in the new article by Esports Charts.
Mobile esports is still unmatched
M2 World Championship and the PUBG Mobile Global Championship surely were the main events in mobile esports. They not only became the most watched esports events in January in general, but also competed for the title of most popular mobile event ever!
Even without the statistics from Nimo TV (which counted viewers in the game client), both tournaments reached more than a million Peak Viewers. The most popular tournament in January was M2 World Championship, which was watched by more than 2.8M people at peak: this is the #3 result in the history of esports only behind the last two League of Legends World Championships.
With the statistics of Nimo TV, PUBG Mobile Global Championship performed even better than M2 with over 3.8M viewers at peak. Excluding in-game viewers, the result of the tournament is 1.4M viewers, which is also a very impressive result.
No other tournament in January has been able to attract a million spectators, and the closest to this was LCK. On January 15, one of the most anticipated matches of the spring split took place, where the three-time world champions T1 faced current champions DWG KIA. At its peak the match of the first week of LCK gathered more than 802K spectators.
Thanks to Natus Vincere and Brazilian esports fans, BLAST Premier Global Final 2020 became the fourth most popular event in January. In the final of the lower bracket, the CIS team once again met with Team Vitality and won: more than 687K spectators watched the game simultaneously.
LEC spring season has also successfully started. The first match of the split (MAD Lions vs G2 Esports) gathered 574K Peak Viewers. Most likely the season will soon update its record by PV: hardly anyone doubts that statistics of G2 Esports vs Fnatic game that’s scheduled for February 6 will be even more impressive.
What was popular on Twitch?
It is no secret that mobile esports is mainly watched on Facebook, YouTube and other services. But Twitch remains the mecca of esports broadcasts for many English, Russian and Portuguese-speaking viewers. And on this platform esports tournaments have shown quite similar results.
The most watched esports channel on Twitch in January was LEC. It gathered 249K spectators at peak during the match between MAD Lions and G2 Esports. Yet it should be noted, the difference between LEC and other channels is less than 40K Peak Viewers.
Two LCK channels got into the top 5. The Korean channel (#3) was watched by 218K spectators at peak, and the English-speaking channel (#5) gathered up to 212K Peak Viewers. Both channels’ peak was during the game T1 vs DWG KIA on January 15. Note that LCK is no longer broadcasted on YouTube, so this helped the tournament to grow the audience on Twitch.
Interestingly, the official broadcast of BLAST Premier: Global Final 2020 did not make it to the top 5 on Twitch. It was bypassed by the Russian-language (#2) and Portuguese-language (#4) broadcasts. Over 235K CIS fans watched the final of the lower bracket between NAVI and Vitality. The peak of the Portuguese-language broadcast, hosted by Gaules, took place in the NAVI match against Liquid who recently signed Brazilian CS legend Gabriel FalleN Toledo (over 212.8K Peak Viewers).
What did the English-speaking viewers watch?
LCS started at the very end of January with the Lock In pre-season event. It could have entered the top 5 overall by platforms and all viewers, but the most popular games of the competition took place during the night from January 31 to February 1, so the final between Cloud9 and Team Liquid (which was watched by over 370K Peak Viewers) didn’t make it to the list.
As a result, the game between Team SoloMid and 100 Thieves took only second place in the top for English-speaking spectators with 344K Peak Viewers. It was outperformed G2 vs MAD Lions match at the LEC.
The aforementioned M2 World Championship (#4) also appeared in the top tournaments, namely the final between Bren Esports and Burmese Ghouls with 248K Peak Viewers. The third and fifth positions were held by BLAST Premier and LCK.
Mobile esports continues to dominate streaming services but not Twitch. League of Legends continues to deliver amazing viewership stats, as does CS:GO. In February, the competition will grow even stronger, because the LCS spring split, Call of Duty League 2021 and IEM Katowice 2021 will begin very soon.
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