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The most popular tournaments of December 2020 – a mobile esports breakthrough at the end of the year

The most popular tournaments of December 2020 – a mobile esports breakthrough at the end of the year

December rarely presents Western audiences with major esports events, and 2020 was no exception. Everyone was looking forward to the release of Cyberpunk 2077 and the results of The Game Awards. Meanwhile, the championships largely faded out of importance. To that end, the competitions dedicated to the mobile games became the most popular ones. We will tell you how Mobile Legends overshadowed CS:GO, while PUBG Mobile outperformed its PC counterpart by a wide margin.

General statistics — mobile esports is unmatched

The top of December tournaments had the first four spots occuped by mobile game competitions. With Dota 2 remaining inactive and the League of Legends’ season having yet to start, two other MOBAs made it to the top: Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Arena of Valor.

In terms of the peak viewers, the most popular championship in December was the ONE Esports MPL Invitational, a Mobile Legends championship where teams from Southeast Asia were competing. The Indonesian race between Rex Regum Qeon and Alter Ego was watched by more than 723 thousand viewers, which is almost twice the number of those watching the competition’s final featuring the Philippines-based team Bren Esports. It should be also noticed that the championship itself started back in November (at that time it also got into the top 5 based on the peak viewers indicator), while the World Championship will begin on January 18th.

Arena of Valor International Championship 2020 took the second spot. The tournament’s decisive match was an encounter of the Vietnamese Saigon Phantom and the Taiwanese MAD Team. The game was watched by 568 thousand peak viewers, which is 27 thousand more than at last year's final.

The third and fourth spots were taken by two mobile games of battle royale genre. PUBG Mobile Global Championship Season 0 entered the top 3 by amassing 520 thousand peak viewers. The competition began in November, and the last month of the year still saw no breaking of the tournament’s current record of 568 thousand viewers. But given that the competition’s final stage will take place at the end of January, at the moment it is still too early to summarize its results.

La Copa Season 1 in Free Fire gathered 498 thousand peak viewers over 15 broadcast hours. The most popular matches all took place on the final day of the event (including the show match), and the viewers closely followed the first day of the competition as well. The large number of viewers is also due to the fact that the popular Brazilian streamer NOBRU was broadcasting the tournament on Twitch and YouTube.

IEM Global Challenge 2020, CS:GO tournament ended up being the only PC game tournament in the top 5. The semi-final between Astralis and Natus Vincere became the tournament’s most popular match, being followed by 420 thousand viewers. This is almost 30% more than the peak viewers of the decisive match, where the Danes quickly disposed of Liquid.

Statistics of English streams – Valorant got ahead of CS:GO

By the end of the year, English-speaking viewers got tired of the endless series of online CS:GO tournaments. Hence, rising to the top was another shooter — Valorant, which had its first series of First Strike tournaments (organized by Riot Games).

In terms of the peak viewers, the first spot was taken by the decisive match of the NA First Strike division, where veterans of the North American CS:GO scene met. The match of Team SoloMid vs 100 Thieves was watched by more than 300 thousand viewers concurrently.

The second spot was taken by the NAVI vs Astralis match at the IEM Global Challenge, the match being followed by 30% fewer viewers. Closing the top 3 was the aforementioned encounter between NAVI and Vitality at BLAST Premier Fall, watched by 185 thousand viewers on English-language streams.

Closing the top 5 were the battle royale tournaments. Chipotle Challenger Series VI Finals in Fortnite amassed 133 thousand peak viewers, while the NYSL $100K WarzoneMania Tournament in Call of Duty was only 4 thousand peak viewers behind.

Statistics on Russian-speaking viewers — Counter-Strike turned out to be more popular than Dota 2

It is no secret that Dota 2 is the main CIS esports discipline. But in December, the Russian-speaking viewers watched CS:GO more — mostly thanks to Natus Vincere.

When it comes to the Russian-language streams, BLAST Premier: Fall 2020 became the most popular tournament. NAVI vs Vitality game in the semifinals of the upper bracket playoffs gathered the most viewers: a total of 178 thousand people from the CIS were watching the match. The same match became the most popular across the whole tournament, with two more NAVI matches entering the overall top 3.

The second spot went to the IEM Global Challenge. Slightly less than 160 thousand CIS-based viewers were following the match between NAVI and Astralis. That is 38% of the total peak viewers of the match and the tournament as a whole.

The last three spots in the top 5 were occupied by Dota 2. It started from 143 thousand peak viewers celebrating the victory of over OG in the finals of the EPIC League Season 2 first division. A week later, viewers from the CIS witnessed NAVI's triumph at OGA Dota PIT Season 4. Event gathered a total of 113 thousand peak viewers – which is more than a half of the overall peak viewers gathered at the final.

The decisive match of the second division of EPIC League Season 2 was also interesting to viewers from the CIS, due to the participation of the team of Akbar SoNNeikO Butaev in the finals. The Russian-language streams were watched by more that 80 thousand peak viewers, which is 61.5% of the total peak viewers of the match and the tournament as a whole.

Twitch esports – a major success of Among Us

The Brazilian streamer NOBRU became the most popular esports streamer on Twitch in December. He hosted the Copa Nobru Season 2, a Free Fire championship that gathered almost 294 thousand peak viewers.

The second spot also went to a streamer: AuronPlay took part in the Twitch Rivals tournament in ... Among Us! His broadcast lasted only a little over three hours, but the games were watched by up to 189 thousand peak viewers.

The remaining spots in the top were taken by CS:GO broadcasts, with Russian-language channels taking the third and fourth spots respectively. BLAST Premier Fall 2020 casted by Winstrike was watched by 165 thousand viewers concurrently with the peak moment taking place during the NAVI vs Vitality match. This is only 7 thousand more than the audience of the Astralis vs NAVI match at the IEM Global Challenge (which was casted by the Maincast studio). The clash of mousesports and Astralis in the DreamHack Masters Winter 2020 final in the European division gathered 125 thousand viewers concurrently, with the stream taking place on the official DreamHack CS channel.

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