The most watched esports events of 2020

Throughout the course of 2020, live events took a drastic turn across not only the esports industry, but the world as a whole. In terms of esports, a booming scene with the potential to fill stadiums and draw even more attention in the streaming universe was quickly thrown into turmoil at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But those crowds and viewers all remained faithful in the online stratosphere throughout 2020, despite the rapidly shifting nature of the scene due to extraneous circumstances. The year saw record-shattering viewership numbers posted across the board in regard to some of its biggest games. Titles like League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty, and others all grew their audiences extensively in a year where the battle to do so was certainly strenuous. 

Even despite an unprecedented and ultimately threatening year in the greater landscape of esports and its events, the industry rebounded in tremendous fashion and at a rapid pace. Here are some of the biggest events in esports of 2020 that showcased the scene’s growth to the fullest extent. 

League of Legends 2020 World Championship 

Photo by Hugo Hu via Riot Games

In terms of viewership, this year’s League of Legends World Championship was an absolute triumph on all levels. With over 139,000,000 hours watched from start to finish, this year’s iteration of Worlds was the most-watched esports tournament of all time, according to esports viewership statistics website Esports Charts. The groundbreaking numbers posted by Worlds 2020 beat out marks previously posted by the 2019 Fortnite World Cup, The International 2019, as well as last year’s League World Championship.

It should also come with little surprise that the most-viewed match of the tournament was its grand final matchup between Suning and DAMWON Gaming. The match, which capped off an unprecedented year of League esports, saw over 3,882,000 viewers tune in at its peak, the second-most of any League match in history, only behind last year’s semifinal matchup between SK Telecom T1 and G2 Esports. 

In a year that showcased so much uncertainty, League of Legends continued to perform well in every aspect. In a final culminating tournament—the first to feature a limited live attendance of fans since the beginning of the pandemic—Worlds 2020 displayed just how far the game had come throughout the course of the year.  

Free Fire Continental Series Asia Opening Round

This year saw mobile gaming rise to new heights throughout the course of the year, especially in regards to its esports scene. And perhaps there’s no game more representative of that claim than Free Fire, a mobile battle royale that surged in popularity across the world, but most notably in eastern markets. 

The game’s most prolific event, the Continental Series, put up some extremely impressive numbers in the…

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