Mobile esports are taking over, entering the top 5 of the most-watched events
Not too long ago, mobile esports were dismissed as a joke, as something that couldn’t possibly compete with PC or even console-based games. Well, the Asian region alone has shown that this isn’t true – mobile esports are incredibly popular there, easily beating alternatives.
Slowly, this new fad has also been creeping over to the Western world, and mobile esports have started to catch on here as well. Now we are at a stage where they are absolutely soaring in popularity – looking at last month’s matches, four of the five most-watched esports tournaments were mobile esports ones.
League of What?
While the most popular event was the League of Legends World Championships that netted a spectacular 4 million peak viewers during the Semi-Finals, the other four events in the top five were all mobile-based.
Gareena’s Free Fire Watch Series in Rio took the second spot with about half as many viewers as the LoL event had, and Free Fire Pro League Brazil Season 3 – another Free Fire event a week before the other one – still netted over a million viewers.
The third spot was taken by the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Championship, which still had over half a million peak viewers, as did the Arena of Valor International Championship. Those are some impressive viewership numbers across the board, especially considering that, with the exception of League of Legends, a lot of audiences are only barely if at all aware of these games.
The World vs the West
An important thing to know about these events is that the majority of the viewers in this count weren’t in the West, and the streams watched weren’t in English. Limited to English-only, Call of Dury, CS:GO, and Dota 2 would be on the list along with League of Legends.
A vast majority of the viewers of these events are based in Southeast Asia and South America – they outnumbered Western audiences easily. The Free Fire World Series Rio for example had 1.16 of its 2 million viewers based in Brazil, and many more around the rest of South America.
The viewers were also almost exclusively on YouTube – despite being broadcast on Twitch and proprietary platforms like Nimo TV and Garena Live, 1.97 million of the viewers were via different YouTube streams. There were a total of ten in different languages.