PMGC 2021 Finals viewership drops 70% – What’s to Blame?

The PUBG Mobile Global Championship finals just took place. The event was the culmination of the year for PUBG players and fans, and it saw Nova Esports once again take the top spot of World Champions. However, the PMGC 2021 Finals viewership numbers were a pretty major disappointment from the year before, even if the action wasn’t. The event ended up attracting considerably fewer viewers than the previous year’s events.

Between the move to YouTube though and the in-game broadcast, the viewership numbers were simply not there, and it wasn’t due to the game being less popular.

PMGC 2021 Viewership

PMGC 2021 Finals viewership drops 70%

The PMGC 2021 finals are the last stage to find a champion for the year’s PUBG Mobile action. The event represents the top tier of this game, so naturally, it is one of the most popular for the game. However, the viewership does seem to have dropped quite a bit this year.

The PMGC Finals 2021 viewership peaked at 646,633 viewers. The previous year’s peak was ~4.0 million. This is a pretty big decline in terms of raw numbers and it definitely means fewer people watching the official stream. Does this mean the event was considerably less popular though?

That might not be the case.

The PMGC Finals were broadcast in a different way this time around. Last year, the event was viewable on Facebook, Twitch, and Nimo TV with one of these offering rewards for viewers. This year the event is entirely exclusive to YouTube, with drops dependent on certain viewership figures being crossed. This has led to a bit of a drop, and it isn’t the only game to suffer in these circumstances.

YouTube Isn’t Great for Esports Broadcasts

For a while now, YouTube has been perusing recapturing a bit of the gaming market from Twitch. This has included trying to get more streamers on their platform and perusing a number of esports’ exclusive streaming rights. This has included the PMGC 2021 Finals. However, the drop in viewership isn’t exclusive to PUBG.

Other major esports that moved to YouTube saw similar drops, particularly the Overwatch League. The OWL saw drops up to 70% in its viewership when it first switched over to YouTube. This may have had more to do with problems involving rewards on drops on streams though. The viewership for YouTube Overwatch has risen back up in recent seasons.

Other games like LoL have even surpassed their Twitch viewership over on YouTube. While YouTube exclusivity is clearly a factor for the PMGC 2021 Finals viewership drops, games have different results from the move. Titles that don’t continue the same level of drops often run into more problems than those that do.

The switch to YouTube can be a difficult one for many games, and it is definitely a factor in how well the finals for PUBG mobile performed this year. This doesn’t necessarily show that YouTube is always to blame for a drop in viewer numbers. However, a drop is definitely a possibility for games moving wholesale over to YouTube. Hopefully PUBG Mobile can manage things a little better next time around and we can viewership jump back up for the game.