Worlds 2021 was already known to be the biggest event in esports history, but it wasn’t clear just how much bigger it was than anything else.
Riot Games has announced that the 2021 World Championship final reached more than 73 million peak concurrent viewers, an increase of almost 30 million from the previous year. The exact peak reached 73,860,742 viewers, up from 46,067,896 in 2020, while the average minute audience grew from 23,041,147 to an impressive 30,604,255.
The peak concurrent viewers is the highest number of viewers watching at the same time during the broadcast, while the average minute audience is the average number of viewers tuned in each minute and gives an idea of how many watched the event throughout.
|Final||Peak Concurrent Viewers||Average Minute Audience|
|2018 – IG 3-0 FNC||43,997,815||19,280,120|
|2019 – FPX 3-0 G2||43,982,055||21,469,358|
|2020 – DWG 3-1 SNG||46,067,896||23,041,174|
|2021 – EDG 3-2 DWG||73,860,742||30,604,255|
The grand finals viewership numbers had been steadily increasing year-over-year and can be affected by a number of factors including timezones and the popularity of the organizations that make the finals.
Given that the timing of both the 2020 and 2021 finals were very similar and the fact that both featured a Chinese and Korean team, the vast increase in viewers this time around is even more impressive and speaks volumes of the health and trajectory of the esport. Riot has consistently kept the game fresh and, despite some viewership hiccups in specific regions, the overall popularity of the title has shown little sign of declining.
Worlds 2022 heading to North America
Focus now turns to the next iteration of the World Championship, which is set to take place across North America. Riot Games recently revealed the host cities for the tournament.
The event heads to Mexico for the first time with the play-in stage kicking off in Mexico City’s Liga Latinoamerica Arena before the group stage and quarterfinals are held in New York City’s Hulu Theater at Madin Square Garden.
The semi-finals then move to Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, after which the champions will be crowned in San Francisco’s Chase Center.