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All time leading eSports tournaments worldwide as of 2018, by unique viewers

The eSports market has exploded in recent years with more and more viewers tuning in to watch the best gamers in the world do battle. The 2018 Mid-Season Invitational tournament, a League of Legends tournament hosted by Germany and France, was the most watched eSports event, with a recorded 60 million unique viewers. The second most viewed tournament was the 2017 Intel Extreme Masters Katowice, with 46 million unique viewers.

eSports on the rise

The eSports audience size in 2018 stood at a considerable 173 million frequent viewers, on top of 222 million occasional viewers. If these figures were not impressive enough, they are forecast to grow even further in the next few years. The enthusiasts are spread across the world, but the Asia Pacific region seems to be a particular hotspot for eSports. In the United States, meanwhile, some 9.2 percent of internet users in 2019 watched eSports, with the figure expected to rise to 15.5 percent by 2023.

League of Legends tournaments

Although League of Legends was released some 10 years ago, it has only recently exploded into life thanks to the eSports market. With the increased viewership comes increased revenue, and this means that the League of Legends tournaments are worth big money. The game’s cumulative prize pool for tournaments across the world amounted to almost 15 million U.S. dollars in 2018. As well as the Mid-Season Invitational tournament, the best LoL players also fight it out in the annual League of Legends World Championships. The stakes were higher than ever in 2018 as the total prize pool stood at 6.45 million U.S. dollars. The final of the 2018 World Championships was contested between Fnatic of Europe and Invictus Gaming of China. The latter emerged as champions following a 3-0 victory, pocketing prize money of over 2.4 million U.S. dollars.

Number of unique viewers of selected eSports tournaments worldwide as of January 2018

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Release date

January 2019



Survey time period

January 2019

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Statistics on "League of Legends"

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