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The League of Legends World Championships event has repeatedly taken first for engagement numbers. However, recent esports tournament viewership data has also shown mobile as a rapidly growing market with a good chance of overtaking other platforms. In November, four of the top five titles in peak viewer count were mobile-based, according to a report by esports analytics company Esports Charts.

Mobile Esports peak viewership

Like the year before, the first spot went to the League of Legends World Championships, which saw a peak of nearly 4 million viewers during the Semi-Finals. The other four events shown are on mobile titles like Garena’s Free Fire, Moonton’s Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Tencent Games’ Arena of Valor. While mobile esports are a big phenomenon in the East, though, many in the West have not fully accepted the concept.

Worldwide mobile esports viewership
Worldwide mobile esports viewership

The biggest event was the Free Fire World Series Rio, which took place on Nov 16 at the Barra Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Teams from around the world competed, with the tournament streamed on YouTube in ten different languages. While the action was broadcast to several different platforms like Twitch, Facebook, Garena Live, and Nimo TV, 1.97 million of the peak viewership was taken up by YouTube alone. In addition, the Brazilian audience accounted for 1.16 million in peak viewership at one point during the event.

Majority of viewers not in West

This viewership doesn’t consist of specifically English live streams, though. If focused on English-only, it would place Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Dota 2 in the top 5 instead. The numbers are also much lower with a Western audience – under 200,000 in peak viewership, except for the World Championships.

Englsih-only mobile esports viewership
Englsih-only mobile esports viewership

However, this is due to the fact that a majority of gamers in Southeast Asia play mobile esports titles, something not seen in the West. This can be attributed to mobile devices being more accessible to the youth. Many games in this region also see 50 to 60 million daily active players, according to co-founder and former COO of Twitch Kevin Lin. Still, with the upcoming release of Riot Games’ multiplayer online battle arena title on mobile and many mobile esports events also currently taking place in the West, we may see that change in the future.

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