Market research company Newzoo have revealed the top 10 most watched esports during 2018 so far.
Newzoo have ranked esports based on how many combined hours fans have watched the games on both YouTube and Twitch, with popular MOBA League of Legends leading the pack with a massive 240 million hours watched.
Behind LoL is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with 212 million hours followed by DOTA 2 in third with 180 million hours.
The full top ten list is as follows:
- League of Legends - 240 million hours
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - 212 million hours
- DOTA 2 - 180 million hours
- Overwatch - 96 million hours
- Hearthstone - 43 million hours
- Heroes of the Storm - 19.5 million hours
- StarCraft 2 - 17.5 million hours
- Rainbow Six Siege - 14.5 million hours
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds - 14 million hours
- Rocket League - 13 million hours
Notable by its absence from the list is the ultra-popular Fortnite Battle Royale, which has dominated the gaming industry since its launch in 2017.
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Esports consultant Rob ‘Slasher’ Breslau states that this is due to Newzoo only recording hours spent watching “content from professionally organized esports competitions and does not include pro players individual streams”, which works against Fortnite, where pro players stream their gameplay of the Skirmish events.
Popular console esport Call of Duty also failed to break into the top 10, sitting in 11th place with just over nine million watched hours on Twitch and YouTube. MLG's Director of League Operations Adam Apicella disputed this number, stating the number was "way off", and that the Call of Duty World League had "had more than double" Newzoo's estimated hours watched alone.
This is wrong. We had more than double this for CWL alone. Also not sure if the totals include VOD on YT per your YT reference, but that would add a lot as well.
— Adam Apicella (@MrAdamAp) October 4, 2018
While Newzoo’s statistics include Twitch and YouTube, they currently don’t measure hours watched on Facebook. Due to ESL’s exclusivity deal with the social media platform, it’s possible that CSGO and DOTA 2 could climb those ranks if the numbers from Facebook were included.
It’s likely that League of Legends will increase the gap on its closest competitors during the 2018 installment Worlds. LoL's World Championships began on October 1, and with many fan favorite teams still to play, it’s likely that all eyes will be on South Korea in the coming weeks.