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The 5 Most Watched Esports Events of All Time



The 2019 World Championship of the League of Legends was decided by FunPlus Phoenix and G2 Esports slugging it out on a Sunday. The premier tournament of Riot Games was an amazing outing. The semifinal game between SK Telecom’s T1 and G2 to set up the final in 2019 had the highest views by any event in the esports sector at that time. But before that match happened, higher peak numbers than the grand finale of 2018 had already been hit by four others.

There are some familiar names to grace the list, such as CS:GO and Fortnite, which should come as no surprise. 2021 has been a huge year for CSGO in both tournaments and for sites like where you can win the best CSGO skins on roulette, open cases and much more.

The Issue with the Number of Viewers

The viewership numbers are not straightforward. In the esports business, high numbers are very essential. Publishers want people to be interested in their games, the organizers crave for the evidence to show to sponsors and streaming platforms are interested in the visitors. But amidst all these, which of the numbers is very important? Is it the most hits that you need? Are you looking for unique visits?

Of course, you can’t know the most successful event through a single metric. The same numbers in different events may mean different things sometimes, depending on how the events are organized. Since the records we mentioned earlier are for peak viewers, we will consider that metric here, with the data from esports charts.

Another problem to take into consideration is the China problem. The country has a massive esports base, but the streaming platforms are known to artificially inflate their numbers. So, we will not be considering the statistics from China.

Having set our goals, we can now start with the list.

Eleague Major 2017

This CS: GO event that is shown on BTS was won by Astralis. It was actually their first major title and they won it in a nail-biter sort of game against Now, the total number of hours viewed in other CS: GO events like the IEM Katowice of 2019 and the 2018’s FACEIT London Major could have been higher than this, but these other events were twice as long as this. When you check the peak viewers, this event of 2017 is still ahead of the other competitions with the 1.33 million eyeballs watching.

MSI 2019

This featured the top teams from the four major regions of the League of Legends. This mid-season invitational of May always had the potential to be great. To make matters even bigger, the finals happened to be between Europe and North America, after the tournament was dominated by mostly Asian teams. That is actually why the MSI 2019 ended in the 4th spot.

The International 9

Since The International of 2011 in Cologne, Germany, the premier tournament for Dota 2 has not stopped advancing on all angles. The 2019 edition had a prize pool of $34 million USD, and we already knew it would attract a whole lot of viewers. Also, the high level games on display and the fact that OG became the back to back champion of the game, plus the viewership, gave it the greatness it enjoyed.

Fortnite World Cup Finals

There is only one prize pool that is bigger than this in the entire esports world ever, and it is coming from the game that is more popular than all the others that ever existed. The finals happened for only 20 hours, but within the 20 hours, more than 2.33 million peak viewers were witnessed, and the total number of hours watched is 22.70 million. The blackhole event of the game should also be mentioned honorably, as Fortnite streamers were getting up to 100,000 viewers by just staring at the blackhole.

Worlds, Worlds and Worlds

As we said in the first lines of the article, the popularity of the main event of the league of legends is never in doubt. The numbers seem to lend credence to this, with the last four finals of the world championship coming fought, third and first respectively. The 2017 edition of The World defeated the 2108 edition with 2.10 million against 2.5 million peak viewers. But it is a different thing when you consider the total hours watched.

This year, the tournament is still the number 1, as it garnered 3.98 million peak viewers, with a total of 125.38 million hours watched during the 131 hours that the event spanned. From what we’ve noticed, it will likely break more records before it ends.


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