How many people are watching esports?
|Fortnite||43 million||1.36 billion|
|PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)||27.6 million||454.6 million|
|Grand Theft Auto V||21.9 million||147.4 million|
|League of Legends||19.3 million||986.8 million|
|Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO)||16.6 million||402 million|
|Overwatch||15.4 million||302.5 million|
|Dota 2||15.4 million||302.5 million|
|Hearthstone||6.6 million||358.1 million|
|World of Warcraft||5.0 million||260.5 million|
Twitch.tv is the top esports streaming web site on the internet. A decade ago it didn’t exist, and live esports viewership barely did, either. Today, Twitch is one of the top 30 sites on the entire Internet. On June 6, 2011, Twitch launched and had many people asking why gamers would want to watch other gamers play games, instead of playing themselves. By 2015, the question was answered by millions of gamers: Twitch had 1.5 million broadcasters and 100 million viewers per month.
On August 25, 2018, seven years later, Twitch had 3,584,121 simultaneous viewers, which was equal to the population of Los Angeles. Today, it’s no question that hardcore gamers, casual gamers, and non-gamers alike all like watching others play games. Whether it’s the bonding, the competition, the learning, or the fun, it’s grown into an iconic form of online humanity in recent years. But in particular, gamers fervently love watching professional gamers play their favorite games. This process has caused the esports scene to blossom, boom, and continue to explode year after year. Those who used to think esports would never go toe-to-toe with physical sports pro scenes have been forced to reconsider.
Amazon acquired Twitch Interactive for $970 million, and it is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon.com, with Emmett Shear as its CEO. Today, Twitch has 5.81 million followers on Twitter, 1.3 million followers on Facebook, and over one thousand employees. Both are large numbers, but are over shadowed by many eSports viewership statistics. Here are the number of Twitch users who follow some of the top eSports channels:
Number of Twitch Users per Esports Channels
Fortnite: 43,067,113 followers, 1.36 billion hours watched
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG): 27,644,897 followers, 454.60 million hours watched
Grand Theft Auto V: 21,979,217 followers, 147.40 million hours watched
League of Legends: 19,311,197 followers, 986.87 million hours watched
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO): 16,668,208 followers, 402.33 million hours watched
Overwatch: 15,402,982 followers, 302.58 million hours watched
Dota 2: 8,187,699 followers, 473.84 million hours watched
Hearthstone: 6,656,612 followers, 358.15 million hours watched
World of Warcraft: 5,076,412 followers, 260.59 million hours watched
The Riot Games channel alone has received over 1.1 billion total views to date. Before moving on, let’s take a look at the breakdown of the top esports viewership languages:
- English: 47.5%
- Vietnamese: 13%
- Korean: 11.5%
- Spanish: 7%
- Portuguese: 5.5%
- French: 3.8%
- Turkish: 2.5%
- Polish: 2.2%
- German: 1.9%
- Other: 5.2%
As far as single tournaments go, the League of Legends 2018 Worlds Championship Finals had 1,958,619 peak concurrent viewers, but had 99.6 million unique viewers, which was almost 20 million more than the previous year’s top tournament. To put that in perspective, the 2018 MLB World Series games had an average of 14.3 million viewers, the 2018 NBA Finals games had an average of 17.7 million viewers, and the 2018 NFL Super Bowl had 103.4 million viewers. Still think esports is a fad? Let’s see which games get more primetime air-time in a few years!
2018 esports would not be complete without discussing professional Fortnite streamer, Ninja, who alone has over 14 million followers! Last year also brought about the rise of mobile esports. Here were the six most popular mobile esports games by hours watched:
Most Popular Mobile Esports Games (hours watched)
- Arena of Valor: 39,401,866
- Clash Royale: 5,213,303
- PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG): 4,580,593
- Shadowverse: 1,393,604
- Mobile Legends: 1,134,079
- Clash of Clans: 143,772
Lastly, and arguably most importantly, the viewership for gaming charity marathons has also exploded in recent years. In 2018, Awesome Games Done Quick had 20,937,111 hours watched, which led to $2,295,190 raised for its charity. Summer Games Done Quick had 18,641,606 hours watched with $2,168,913 raised for charity. The next three best charity events were Yogscast Jingle Jam 2018 (7,373,934 hours watched, $3,307,929 raised), Z Event (3,950,247 hours watched, €1,083,596 raised, ESA Summer 2018 (2,829,962 hours watched, $71,597 earned).
NFL and other sports continue to be filled with scandals and dipping viewer counts, while esports as a whole continues to expand year after year. What was once a section of gaming that many wondered would even exist for long, has taken over and proven it’s here to stay. Animation Career Review is excited about all o the careers it’s supporting, and the future artists it will inspire to join the game industry!
Schools to Consider: