2019 was an incredible year for esports as it was full of unbelievable events and interesting competitions. And today we will figure out what events of the past year were the most popular.
At the same time we took the community's streams into account. Such broadcasts from streamers had a big impact on the indicators of competitions such as Twitch Rivals and The International. We will consider three different rankings: Peak Viewers, Average Viewers and Hours Watched. Chinese platforms were excluded from our calculations due to the "heat" parameter they use instead of viewers count is not a representative for any quality analysis.
The biggest peak viewers figure in 2019 belonged to the League of Legends World Championship. Nearly 4 million viewers watched the LoL Worlds 2019 semi-final at the peak. This is 94% more than the last season's World Championship.
Fortnite World Cup 2019 Finals took the second spot with 2 million 334 thousand viewers watching the final round of the Solo tournament. Closing the top 3 is the mobile esports representative - Free Fire World Series 2019 Rio. The battle royale competition from Garena has a result of 2 million viewers, not without the help of the event's single-day format.
There have been two LoL tournaments in the top 5 for the second year in a row. Mid-Season Invitational 2019 is in the fifth spot of the ranking. Interestingly, its peak viewers figure of 1 million 704 thousand almost reaches the indicator of The International 2019. Dota 2 World Championship has received an indicator of 1 million 968 thousand viewers — 63% more than last year.
However, the average viewership numbers clearly demonstrate the victory of Free Fire. The first spot went to the World Series 2019 Rio with 1 million 231 thousand viewers and number 5 was the spring World Cup in Thailand with a result of 643 thousand viewers.
The second spot again went to the Fortnite World Cup. By this indicator alone, the result of the event reaches 1 million 114 thousand viewers. The key factor of this number was the format of the event, with 30 million prize pool contested during a couple of days.
The International has managed to stand out as well — the 4th spot with the average viewers at 726 thousand, +37% compared to last season. The 2019 LoL World Championship takes the third spot in this ranking. The statistics for this event could've been higher — almost 1.3 million average spectators if we take into account only the main stage (without preliminary matches).
When it comes to the hours watched, the balance of power shifts in favor of League of Legends. The top spot is occupied by Worlds 2019 with 137 million hours. The result was 66% higher compared to the Worlds 2018. In addition, the Mid-Season Invitational has reached the fifth spot in the ranking. LoL's MSI was able to collect 43 million hours, improving the series' indicator by 42%.
The second event is The International with a result of 88 million hours. This figure has exceeded last season by 38%.
Coming up next were two CS:GO events. The third spot went to IEM Katowice Major 2019 with 53 million hours watched, followed by StarLadder Major Berlin 2019 with 45 million. Note that the Polish championship was held at the beginning of the year.
Tournaments like the Fortnite World Cup and the Free Fire World Series 2019 Rio are not included in the hours watched top due to events' format lasting only a few days (and not generating enough air time).
As a result, the last season of League of Legends was more than successful. Discipline has reached a new peak viewers record. In addition to this, the new league for Europe showed a phenomenal result. Also, the results of 2019 demonstrate that mobile gaming got quite close to PC-based esports and ready to challenge its crown.