From January 24 to 26, the grand final of the PUBG Mobile Global Championship was held. The regions surprised with their results, there was an outbreak of COVID-19 at the tournament, and the developers attracted more than 3.8M concurrent viewers on all platforms including in-game viewers. Everything about the tournament is in Esports Charts’ article.
How COVID-19 interfered with the organizers' plans
PUBG Mobile Global Championship was supposed to be held in the beautiful Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai. But despite all the precautions taken by the organizers, the championship had to be moved to the Hilton Hotel.
In fall, Riot Games successfully hosted the League of Legends World Championship and even managed to convince the Chinese authorities of the safety for fans. As a result, almost 6K people watched the decisive matches at the stadium. PUBG Corporation followed the example of its colleagues, but something went wrong: three PMGC participants were diagnosed with COVID-19 just before the start of the event, so the tournament had to be urgently moved online.
Esports Charts talked about the tournament with PUBG Mobile Esports Team. The company assured us that the organizers followed all the protocols and took the necessary precautions.
“We did our best to ensure every precaution. We regret that there are players that got tested positive upon entry to the PMGC Finals. In line with our existing precautions and procedures, the individual should be under self-quarantine, along with all those who have been in contact with them and we have conducted regular testing and closely monitoring of their health status. Our team provided all necessary support, including medical assistance from health facilities and we were dedicated to their full recovery”.
PUBG Mobile Esports Team
The problems didn't end there. After moving the event online, players started having connection problems, so the tournament was still delayed. It took the organizers three days to sort everything out, the matches resumed only on January 24 and lasted until January 26.
Nova Esports from China became world champions. In 29 rounds, the team earned 319 points and outran the compatriots from 4 Angry Men. Interestingly, the gap between the second and the third place, taken by Mongolian team ZEUS ESPORTS, was only two points.
Viewership statistics — PMGC attracted a record number of viewers with Nimo TV
Technical problems and the urgent transition to online did not prevent PMGC from attracting a huge number of viewers. As a result, the discipline updated its record for peak viewers and hours watched on streaming platforms.
One way to attract an audience is by in-game activities and gifts. This practice is common throughout the industry, but it is especially actively used in mobile games, for example it was used at the recent World Championship in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
Previously, PUBG Mobile actively collaborated with YouTube, their broadcasts appeared in the game client. In 2020, Nimo TV was chosen as the general broadcasting partner. This made it possible to calculate in-game audience more precisely, so Esports Charts was able to include it in the overall stats of the tournament.
We have summed up the results of the tournament with two values: including and excluding viewers from Nimo TV.
In terms of peak viewers, the tournament record with Nimo TV was on the first day of the playoffs, when all viewers of the in-game broadcast received gifts. As a result, the championship showed huge numbers in terms of PV: 3.8M people (almost 2.9M viewers from Nimo TV). Note that in-game prizes were distributed for the time spent on the broadcast, so after a few hours majority of in-game viewers received their gifts and left the stream, while on other platforms the audience grew until the final.
Excluding Nimo TV, Peak Viewers of the tournament was 1.4M people; it was reached during the decisive rounds of the competition. Notably, in the overall chart of the broadcasts' popularity, Nimo TV lost to YouTube: the first accounted for 38.5% of HW, and the second for 44.5%.
The tournament was broadcasted in more than ten languages, but the indisputable leader was the Indonesian stream, which gathered more than a million people at the final day. The audience of the Indonesian broadcast was ten times larger than the Malaysian one, which took the second place with 146K Peak Viewers. A peak of over 100K people was also recorded on Thai and Indian broadcasts.
New record for PUBG Mobile tournaments
PUBG Mobile Global Championship has set a record in the discipline even without statistics from Nimo TV. The World Championship was ahead of PUBG Mobile World League 2020 East in both hours watched (39.7M vs. 37.3M) and peak viewers (1.4M vs. 1.1M).
The PMGC was the second tournament in the history of the discipline with more than a million Peak Viewers. All other events in the discipline were watched by up to 596.8K concurrent viewers. And how did the tournament show itself in comparison with other top events in mobile esports?
Even excluding Nimo TV, the PMGC reached the top 5 most popular mobile esports events ever. The PUBG Mobile World Championship is now a leader by Hours Watched, it has overtaken Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (39,7M vs. 37,6M HW).
The PMGC lost to M2 and three Free Fire tournaments by Peak Viewers. Thus, M2 remains the record holder in mobile esports with 2,8M Peak Viewers.
If we take into account the statistics of Nimo TV, PMGC beats all mobile game tournaments and reaches the top 3 by Peak Viewers in all esports.
Regions are becoming more equal in strength
Traditionally, the main region of PUBG Mobile is considered to be Asia. Local teams get more slots at international championships, but at the 2020 World Championship they all lost to teams from Europe, Middle East & Africa region. And teams from the CIS showed themselves especially well.
The team from Mongolia appeared in the top 3. The fourth place went to Natus Vincere, and the Kazakh team KoninaPower took the sixth place: two teams from the CIS in the top 6 of the tournament. Interestingly, Bigetron RA was the only team from Southeast Asia that got into the top 6.
Esports Charts asked PUBG Mobile Esports Team if they would consider the results of the World Cup to determine priority regions.
“CIS has seen a surge in participation and performance and we're excited to see how the region will perform in the future. In the upcoming year we will continue to grow opportunities to compete in CIS across the board. We're building a dedicated Pro League for CIS this year and PMCO sign-ups are higher than ever before”.
PUBG Mobile Esports Team
Organizers talk about the importance of building proper ecosystems in the regions and believe that this can bring success on the international arena. In short, the teams will have more chances to prove themselves. PUBG Mobile seems to have a good esports future.
The new season will start very soon. The Japanese league matches will start in February. Esports Charts will continue to monitor the development of PUBG Mobile esports in terms of viewership statistics.
Esports Charts’ mission is increasing transparency and trust towards esports viewership data — enabling sponsors, organizers, and viewers to better understand the popularity of any esports event through a trusted third party.