The year 2021 saw the reintroduction of esports in LAN mode. Several major viewership records were also broken during the year.
Esports Charts, an analytics firm, compiled a list of the popular esports tournaments by various categories. Mobile esports dominated the peak viewership category while PC dominated the watch-time category. Let’s take a look at the top esports events of the year.
Most popular esports tournaments of 2021 (in terms of peak viewers)
Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore broke all records and became the first-ever tournament to cross 5 million in peak viewership. Despite no Indian team, the Hindi broadcast achieved a new record with 1.9 million Peak Viewers, which is the highest for a single broadcast. The tournament was won by Thailand team Phoenix Force (Evos Esports).
The finals of the League of Legends Worlds 2021 between Korean team Damwon Gaming and Chinese team Edward Gaming crossed 4 million peak viewership. The finals broke the record of Worlds 2020 finals which touched 3.88 million concurrent viewers. Edward Gaming won Worlds 2021.
At third place is PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2020, which touched 3.8 million peak viewership. The tournament finals were held in January 2021 and won by Chinese team Nova Esports.
The Grand Finals of PMGC 2021 is due to begin on January 21, 2022, and it will be interesting to watch if it sets any new records.
Apart from these, in the two seasons of the MLBB World Championship, the M3 and M2 also crossed 3 million peak viewership. Philippines team Blacklist international won M3, while Bren Esports emerged victorious in M2 World Championship.
The finals of CS: GO PGL Major Stockholm and Dota 2 The International 10 accumulated more than 2.74 million peak viewership. Natus Vincere won PGL Major while Team Spirit was crowned champion of The International 10.
Most popular esports tournaments of 2021 (in terms of most hours watched)
League of Legends Worlds 2021 was the most-watched event of the year. The event broke its own record of 2020 by a big margin. As compared to 139.86 million hours in 2020, Worlds 2021 had more than 174.8 million hours of watch time. The 10th iteration of the Dota 2 Championship became the second event to cross 100 million hours of watch time.
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MOBAs account for eight of the top ten events, demonstrating the genre’s devoted and large fan base.