Esports has been on fire over the last couple of years. Its growth, both in terms of viewership and revenue generated, is genuinely incredible. Be it streaming on Twitch and Youtube, or competing in various tournaments, eSports players, as well as, organizers make thousands and millions of dollars yearly. Video game developers like Riot Games, Valve, etc. generally host said tournaments for their respective games. And brands like Red Bull, Microsoft, Louis Vuitton sponsor these very tournaments. With its growing popularity and influence across the globe, this industry has become too big to ignore. With all that said, we are finally going to reveal the most watched esports league of 2019. In some way, it may have helped the industry get more recognition (and even commercialized).
When one talks about esports leagues, two major leagues always come to mind: the famous Overwatch and the League Of Legends World Championship. These two were the most watched leagues of 2019.
The Overwatch League
The Overwatch League was the number one amongst the two. It may come as a shock because, until last year, The League of Legends Championship was the most-watched league. However, the Overwatch League surpassed it in 2019, with almost 76 million hours watched. The League of Legends Champions Korea, on the other hand, secured second place with 71 million hours.
Overwatch League – produced by Blizzard Entertainment – witnessed a 16% increase from their first season. They had an average of approx 1.12 million viewers per round. For those who do not know, this game consists of 20 professional teams competing with one another to become the champion. This league’s season has four phases, with 70 matches in each particular one.
Unlike other sports, not just esports, The Overwatch League is the only prominent league that has seen a significant increase in its audience viewership. It had an 11% rise in viewership that came from the audience between the ages of 18 to 35.
This League has made itself a place where the participated players can establish their career, be it the winner or a runner up. Not only those, in fact, all of the players that engage in this League also get some benefits. It resulted in a considerable shift in the eSports economy as well.
Also, unlike League of Legends Champions, the Overwatch League is not divided into multiple leagues. Regardless of any region, the teams compete against each other on the same stage.
However, with its next season around the corner, the League has been getting a lot of negative attention recently. Some of its significant figures, like MonteCristo and DoA, are deciding to not be a part of it anymore for season 3.
We can only wait and see what 2020 has in store for The Overwatch League.
League of Legends World Championship
Now, if we talk about the League of Legends World Championship, it has remained number one for quite a long time. It has numerous teams across the globe. Countries like South Korea and China have had the most prominent teams, most professional players, and most happening tournaments in the world of League of Legends. Korea has been a top dog in the scene.
The League of Legends Championship, by Riot Games, is said to be the closest eSports event that there is to the famous Super Bowl. It draws approximately 100 million viewers from across the globe every year. League of Legends, without a doubt, continues to be one of the most played games in Korea. It still has an important place in the esports world.