League remains the world’s most popular esport after record-breaking 2023

Declan Mclaughlin
Valorant esports crowd

The 2023 season for esports is behind us, and it’s not overly surprising that League of Legends is the most popular esport out there. However, a few titles are getting close to dethroning the monolithic esport.

2023 had dozens of major esports events across the calendar as games like League of Legends, Valorant, Overwatch 2 and Rocket League hosted tournaments around the world.

The year, unfortunately, was also filled with massive employee layoffs and changeover as the esports sector was not immune, and might have even been more impacted by, the crumbling of the technology sector.

That didn’t stop major publishers and tournament organizers from putting on highly-produced and expensive esports events for fans to enjoy and Esports Charts has revealed which games were the most watched in 2023.

League was the most watched esport in 2023

Far and away the most watched esport of 2023 was League of Legends. The export saw a slight decline in viewership overall but set a viewership record with the Worlds 2023 Grand Final, making it the most-watched esports event ever, according to Esports Charts.

The tournament peaked at 6.4 million viewers. Only Mobile Legends: Bang Bang was even close to that number, bringing in 5.07 million peak viewers for one of its M5 World Championship matches.

The Worlds 2023 Play-In stage.

The next most-watched esports of the year include Counter-Strike at No. 3, Dota 2 at No. 4 and Valorant at No. 5.

All five esports are considered in the top tier of esports in terms of competition and audience engagement, albeit with Mobile Legends leading more with an Eastern Audience.

Counter-Strike and Dota 2 are two legacy titles that are usually always in the top views-wise, while Valorant is a newer esport that Riot Games is pushing to the top of the charts. Riot has also said that, with an emerging Chinese audience for the esport, it has potential millions of un-counted viewers that bring even more value to the broadcast.

With 2024 getting off to a roaring start in League of Legends, the esport looks to be in a position to lead the industry in viewership once again.

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