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The most viewed esports events of 2023

Over the last year, major esports titles have held some of the industry's most important events.

Four esports events made it into the top ten of all-time peak viewership on Esports Charts in 2023. This includes naming a new most popular esports event, excluding Chinese viewers. So, which titles drew the greatest attention from viewers?

As the year comes to a close, Esports Insider reveals the top ten most-watched esports events of 2023. Esports Charts provided all of the data.

The LCK Spring Split 2023 is the tenth most popular esports event in 2023, after missing out on the list last year. The League of Legends event was won by global esports organization Gen.G, which defeated Korean powerhouse T1, with a high audience of 1.47 million during its nearly 300-hour air duration.

The Korean league’s worldwide appeal was a major driving element in its success, with its English and Vietnamese language platforms performing exceptionally well. Along with a peak viewership of 607 914 in Korean, the two other languages had figures of 528.508 and 306,581 respectively. The event was also well-attended across various platforms, including YouTube (508,892 peak viewers), Twitch (366,952 peak viewers), Naver Esports (324,593 peak viewers), and Afreeca TV (284,425 peak viewers).

Counter-Strike’s final ever CS:GO Major is represented on this list. The BLAST.tv Paris Major 2023 had a peak audience of 1.53 million and an average viewership of 507,688. While it did not outperform last year’s most popular Counter-Strike event, the PGL Major Antwerp (2.1 million peak viewers), BLAST’s maiden Major was the third most popular CS:GO event ever.

It was only right that the event was hosted by French side Team Vitality. However, Gamer Legion and FaZe Clan had more total hours viewed than the final winners – 10.9m and 10.7m, respectively, compared to Team Vitality’s 10.3m. In terms of average viewers, however, the French organization took first place with 666,050.

Twitch appears to be the most popular site for Counter-Strike enthusiasts, with a peak viewing of over 1.1 million compared to YouTube’s 254,000. It’s worth mentioning that the switch from CS:GO to CS2 had a significant impact on the scene’s event schedule, with only one Major taking place this year instead of two.

The LCK returns for a second year, with LCK Summer Split 2023 surpassing its previous edition with a peak viewership of 1.53 million. According to Esports Charts, the LCK topped the BLAST.tv Major by barely five viewers (1,528,729 vs. 1,528,724).

Similarly to the previous split, Gen.G emerged victorious versus T1. T1’s popularity, on the other hand, is a defining influence in the league’s audience, with the organization getting the most hours viewed and average viewers across both Summer and Spring 2023. One final point to note is the increase in YouTube popularity since Spring, with the platform yielding a peak viewership total of 957,459 — approximately 450,000 more than the previous edition.

If the LCK’s popularity isn’t already clear, it’s worth remembering that the 2023 Spring and Summer editions are the most popular non-international League of Legends events ever.

The popular mobile esports title, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, comes in eighth position with MPL Indonesia Season 11 (This isn’t the last time you’ll hear Mobile Legends mentioned).

The game’s franchised Indonesian league had a peak viewership figure of 1.89 million, placing it as the 13th most-watched MLBB event of all time. Despite its impressive peak audience, MPL Indonesia’s first season of the year had a lower viewership than previous year, when it drew 2.84 million people in Season 9. To be honest, MPL Indonesia Season 9 had the second most viewers of any esports event in 2022.

ONIC Esports won the mobile MOBA championship, and the SEA organization was also named the most popular participant in terms of average viewers (662,100).

The viewing chart for Mobile Legends’ second MPL Indonesia season in 2023 has also been updated. MPL Indonesia Season 2 surpassed 2 million peak viewers, clocking in at 2.1 million, with an amazing average viewership of 520,262.

What distinguishes this Season from previous esports leagues is that it recorded over 100 million hours watched (116.7 million to be exact). While the league’s over 220 hours of TV time helped, it is still an astounding record that just seven esports tournaments have ever accomplished. It is the only domestic league to have accomplished this feat.

ONIC Esports once again won the competition, like they did last season.

The remaining most-watched esports events in 2023 are now cross-regional competitions, with League of Legends’ 2023 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) kicking off the top five. MSI 2023, which was held in London, England, had a peak viewership of just under 2.3 million, making it the most popular edition to date by more than 100,000 viewers.

JD Gaming, a Chinese esports organization, won the event, defeating regional rival

Gaming by Bilibili. Given that Esports Charts does not report Chinese viewing due to difficulty acquiring this data, it is quite likely that viewership for this event considerably exceeds this level. However, even outside of China, the competition drew outstanding numbers in a variety of languages. This includes platforms with a peak viewership of 626,403 in Korean, 492,018 in English, 490,565 in Vietnamese, and 306,765 in Portuguese.

League of Legends will return to the United Kingdom in 2024, with London hosting the World Finals the following year.

The 2023 Southeast Asia Cup, Mobile Legends’ own mid-calender significant tournament, came in fourth place. The event had a peak viewership of 3.65 million, 659,400 average viewers, and over 40.5 million hours viewed during its 61-hour air period.
MLBB’s SEA Cup 2023 is the tenth most popular esports event of all time, demonstrating the mobile esports goliath’s domination. ONIC Esports won the event, continuing the organization’s winning record, defeating Filipino franchise Blacklist International.

The event drew a sizable audience on TikTok, with the platform topping at 672,284 watchers. Furthermore, given that the event was held in Cambodia, MLBB surpassed regional audience records with its Khmer language coverage reaching 130,000 peak viewers.

Mobile Legends’ M4 World Championship earned a medal with a peak audience of 4.27 million.

When compared to other mobile titles, at least those outside of China, the tournament’s viewing momentum is exceptional. The last four Mobile Legends World Championships have all had over 3 million peak viewers.

While this statistic is great, it is possible that the tournament’s viewership would have been higher if popular esports organization RRQ Hoshi had made it to the final. The tournament’s most popular match-up was the upper-bracket semi-final showdown between RRQ Hoshi and eventual runners-up Blacklist International.

Still, this isn’t to suggest that M4 champions ECHO were unpopular. Three of the top five most popular match-ups featured the MPL Philippines representative. Furthermore, the grand finals attracted over 3 million peak viewers. M4 finished with an average audience of 806,660 and over 80 million hours watched.

The M5 global Championship came in second, indicating that having two global championships in one year had no effect on Mobile Legends’ audience. The year-ending event, which barely ended in early December, had a peak viewership of little more than 5 million, making it the game’s most popular esports event.

Unlike the M4 World Championship, this figure was boosted by the event’s grand final between the Philippines’ AP.Bren and Indonesia’s ONIC Esports. The event drew 475,259 viewers on average and 72.2 million hours of viewing time. The decreased average viewership figure compared to M4 is most likely due to the tournament introducing a wild-card stage for the first time.

AP.Bren, formerly Bren Esports, has won its second Mobile Legends international title. However, ONIC Esports was the most popular team at the event, both in terms of hours seen (31.1m) and average viewers (1.5m).

The king of competitive esports has maintained its position atop Esports Charts’ viewership ranking. Not only that, but Worlds 2023 has the highest peak viewership of any esports event, with 6.4 million viewers.

League of Legends has long been a successful esports title, owing to its fan bases in both the Western and Eastern areas. Nonetheless, the increase of LoL’s season-ending event is noteworthy, given that Worlds 2016 had 1.55 million viewers (the most popular esports tournament of that year).

T1’s 2023 League of Legends World Championship outperformed the previous record holder (Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore) by approximately 1 million peak viewers. Similarly to MPL Indonesia Season 12, the event received over 100 million viewers during its 116-hour broadcast. Despite beating the peak viewership record, last year’s League of Legends World Championship still holds the record for most hours watched, with 174.83 million.

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