The most popular esports tournaments and leagues in 2020

The most popular esports tournaments and leagues in 2020

2020 was extremely hard for esports because of the pandemic. The organizers tried to save March tournaments, and the fans were disappointed over and over again due to the event's postponement. This is the main reason for the online format of many leagues and tournaments. Today we'll sum up this year's results and find out which tournaments fans appreciated the most.

Note that we've excluded the data from Chinese platforms and Nimo TV to provide you with up-to-date numbers.

The Hours Watched leader hasn't changed from the previous year. Worlds 2020, the most important tournament for League of Legends, has taken first place with 139M Hours Watched. If we compare the numbers with 2019, the growth compiles 2.8 million HW.

Other top-3 tournaments belong to LCK and LEC, regional competitions in Korea and Europe. Moreover, Summer and Spring tournaments have ended almost with an equal outcome.

We should highlight the owner of the fifth position -  PUBG Mobile World League 2020 East. This is the first mobile tournament in our top by Hours Watched. Last year mobile games didn't even reach the TOP-20 by this metric.

LoL Worlds remains in the leaders by Peak Viewers. This year it was watched by 3.8M concurrent viewers. But the event didn't beat a former record, as it lacked only 2%.

The other part of our rating clearly demonstrates this year's growth of mobile disciplines. Free Fire Continental Series took place at the end of November, but they managed to set absolute records for the discipline in Asia and America. Moreover, they've set the second and the third positions in the rating of tournaments' popularity.

The game received special love in India. For example, Hindi native speakers compiled 1.5M on Free Fire Continental Series 2020 Asia. A detailed analysis of the reasons for such incredible growth you can find in this article.

The sixth season of  Mobile Premier League in Indonesia appeared in the fourth position. This year was fortunate for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. The next three tournaments, along with MPL ID Season 6, overtook MLBB World Championship 2019 and set the records in several regions.

Read: MPL ID Season 6: Absolute record

The results of MPL PH, MY/SG and MM in November

The concluding event of our Peak Viewers top again belongs to Free Fire. FFL Clausura gathered 1.2M concurrent viewers and became the most popular Spanish-speaking event. This competition proved again how much the discipline is famous not only in Brazil but in the whole Latin America. More about the results in our report.

The first trio by Peak Viewers won't change if we make a list by Average Viewers because of the general event popularity among fans of this discipline.

Copa América 2020 ended in the fourth position. It's only one event, apart from Worlds 2020, held offline in January 2020, but it still attracted the viewers to the screens.

The regional finals of LCK in September 2020 are in the last position in our rank by Average Viewers - 540K. The main thing about this tournament is that T1, one of the most popular teams among Koreans, fought for the spot on the main event, but they didn't make it, and the viewers were shocked.

The most popular esports leagues in 2020

As in the previous year, we sum up the results of esports leagues. The league is a series of ongoing events under the same name, and they can divide into regions or seasons (summer or spring). That's why we've calculated the outcome for each league's series and deduced them to separate tops for the objectivity for statistical figures.

The Korean League of Legends league has got the first position this year with 136M Hours Watched for 637 hours of Air Time. This year, LCK has beaten Peak Viewers' record, gathering 1M and got close enough to Worlds results. The European franchise in the form of LEC appeared only in the fourth position and lacked 64M Hours Watched.

The second position goes to Mobile Legends Professional League - 95M Hours Watched for 1108 hours. This year, MLBB entirely led among mobile games because of the rapid popularity of the discipline itself in South-East Asia and the teams' media presence. The league itself covers Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia/Singapore, and Myanmar. This year the regions updated the records several times.

The third-place goes to CS:GO discipline. The ESL leagues gathered 77M Hours Watched for 642 hours of Air Time in 2020. They've included European and American battles in the 11th season and the whole 12th season, divided into five regions and two qualifiers.

Season 12 has set a new record, and you can learn more about it in our corresponding article.

We should note that Dota 2 didn't enter a single tournament rank this year. People waited for The International, but it was canceled due to a pandemic. The discipline now is passing through difficult times, and the fans have lost their interest in it. ESL One Los Angeles 2020 Europe & CIS has shown the best results this year, but it's far away from the leading top-5.

Moreover, Call of Duty and Overwatch leagues results were not enough to become the leading events. Despite the enormous amount of tournaments in the series, CoD gathered only 15M Hours Watched, and Overwatch - 25M so that both disciplines couldn't get top positions.

Based on the tournaments and leagues' results, you can see how rapidly mobile esports gained popularity during this year.

The question remains open, which mobile discipline is the most popular in 2020? You can learn about this and other esports achievements in our other results of this year.  

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