Esports have been rapidly growing in popularity over the past few years, with millions of people around the world tuning in to watch competitive gaming events. The industry has seen a significant increase in viewership, with some estimates projecting that it could reach $1.5 billion by 2023. Esports Charts, a data analysis website that tracks the viewership of esports events, has recently released their viewership breakdown for January 2023, offering a glimpse into the current state of the industry.
One of the most notable trends in esports viewership is the dominance of certain games. In January 2023, the top three games in terms of hours watched were League of Legends, Dota 2, and CS:GO. League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena game developed by Riot Games, was the most watched game with a total of 94.9 million hours watched. Dota 2, a similar game developed by Valve Corporation, came in second with 70.4 million hours watched, while CS:GO, a first-person shooter game developed by Valve Corporation, was third with 66.7 million hours watched.
These numbers are significant for a few reasons. First, they demonstrate the staying power of these games. League of Legends and Dota 2 were both released over a decade ago, while CS:GO was released in 2012. Despite their age, these games continue to draw massive audiences, indicating that they have established themselves as pillars of the esports industry.
Second, the dominance of these games highlights the challenges faced by new and upcoming titles. While there are certainly new games that are gaining popularity in the esports scene, such as Valorant and Overwatch, it is difficult for these titles to compete with the established fanbases of games like League of Legends and Dota 2.
Another interesting trend in esports viewership is the growing popularity of mobile gaming. Mobile esports titles have been on the rise for several years, but in January 2023, they accounted for a significant portion of total esports viewership. Two mobile games, Free Fire and PUBG Mobile, were among the top ten most watched games of the month, with 47.5 million and 37.7 million hours watched, respectively.
This trend is significant for a few reasons. First, it demonstrates the growing importance of mobile devices in the esports industry. As mobile devices become more powerful and accessible, it is likely that we will see more and more mobile titles gaining popularity in the esports scene.
Second, the rise of mobile gaming could also have an impact on the traditional PC and console gaming markets. If more players start to shift their attention towards mobile gaming, it could lead to a decline in PC and console game sales, as well as a shift in focus for game developers.
Finally, Esports Charts’ data also sheds light on the regional differences in esports viewership. In January 2023, the top regions for esports viewership were China, the United States, and Europe. China was by far the largest market, accounting for over half of total esports hours watched. The United States and Europe were distant second and third, with 12.5% and 9.9% of total viewership, respectively.
This regional breakdown is significant for a few reasons. First, it highlights the importance of the Chinese market for esports. China has been a major player in the industry for several years, with the government investing heavily in esports infrastructure and talent. As the industry continues to grow, it is likely that China will continue to be a major market for esports.
Second, the regional breakdown also shows the potential for growth in other markets. While the United States and Europe are well-established esports markets, there is still room for growth in other regions. For example, South America and Southeast Asia are both regions with large populations and growing economies, making them potentially lucrative markets for esports in the future.
In conclusion, the Esports Charts viewership breakdown for January 2023 offers valuable insights into the current state of the industry. The dominance of certain games, the rise of mobile gaming, and the regional differences in viewership all point to a rapidly evolving landscape. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, it will be interesting to see how these trends develop and what new challenges and opportunities emerge for esports.