Olivia R. April 9, 2019
Esports Charts recently released detailed esports viewership statistics for 2018, and there were some pretty surprising outcomes.
The first category sorted was "Most Popular Esports Tournaments," which could be calculated by both hours watched and peak viewers numbers. The League of Legends World Championship took the first spot, with 78.8 million total hours watched. This was followed by The International, with 64 million hours watched.
There weren't too many shockers in the "hours watched" chart, but the "peak viewers" version of the data showed some new faces. Riot Games' World Championship and Valve's The International still held the top spots with 1.9 and 1.3 million peak viewers, respectively. But esports viewers may not have expected to see the PUBG Global Invitational in the top ten with a peak viewership of 797,000.
To give an idea of how many people this really is, Esports Charts noted that the Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am tournament had over 1.97 million peak viewers, which they noted was equal to 22 full Wembley Stadiums.
The International's most viewed game had nearly 2 million views alone, which was very similar to the most viewed games from League's World Championship. No other game could really compare to those numbers, but Counter-Strike: Global Offensive came close with a little over 1.3 million peak views during the Eleague Major. The Overwach League came in fourth, peaking at 436,789 peak views in Season 1 Stage 1.
Esports Charts also showcased the most popular teams by hours watched. Team Liquid took first place with 92.8 million hours watched, followed closely by Fnatic at 90.8 million. Cloud9 took third with 57.6 million hours watched.
One team that surprised the Reddit community with its placement was Astralis, which came in ninth despite having only a CS:GO team. Astralis had an impressive 40.4 million hours watched. Reddit users speculated that the team received so many views thanks to always being in the finals of the tournaments they enter, and thus the most viewed stage of each such tournament.