Q2 2021’s Most Impactful PC Games

Q2 2021’s Most Impactful PC Games

The Q2 2021 TEO PC Games Impact Score, published by The Esports Observer, features some of the closest results since its inception in 2018. While Riot Games’ League of Legends remains on top of the ranking, its position was seriously threatened for the first time since Q1 of 2019 as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive came within one unit of the current score. Ultimately, League of Legends’ superior player base and Twitch viewership made the difference. 

Close scores continue throughout the ranking with several games lying within one score unit of each other, which created an upside-down distribution of tier rankings with only two game titles falling into Tier 3 (score lower than 10), while an unprecedented large number of games qualified for Tier 1 (score higher than 40), five. The close ranking and distribution of tiers is representing small margins between the strongly weighted player bases and distributed winnings. For example, during the quarter, nine game titles distributed prize pools larger than $1 million USD but only three of those exceeded $2 million.

Riot Games’ League of Legends remains on top of the PC Games Impact Index in TEO’s Q2 2021 edition of its benchmark scoring system, although its lead over Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the thinnest in years. The popular esports title’s successful defense of the Index’s top rank is once more based on its enormous player base and global competitive scene.

League of Legends continues to be the most played game ranked in the Impact Index, with its player base being roughly 14% larger than the second most played game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The game’s popularity not only shows in its player base but also the consumption of League of Legends game play on live streaming platform Twitch, on which it was the most streamed game at approximately 480 million hours watched in Q2. Additionally, it logged the most esports hours watched on the platform and the only title to exceed 100 million esports hours watched.

The TEO PC Games Impact Index is a metric that quantifies six weighted key performance indicators – powered by Newzoo – such as player base, viewership and competition prize pools to determine which game titles have the most impact on the esports industry each quarter. The ranking was first introduced by The Esports Observer in 2018 to help readers understand which game titles currently coin the esports ecosystem and could be of interest for investments, sponsorship activations, etc.

In an effort to focus on the esports ecosystem, the ranking excludes games that don’t have a relevant esports scene such as Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto V. Furthermore, the metric does not account for the Chinese market as Twitch was blocked in the country in September 2018. Consequently, the Chinese PC player base is filtered out before calculating the Impact Index.

The six KPIs (and their respective weights) are:

  • Monthly active users on PC: 30%
  • Distributed prize pools: 25%
  • Twitch esports hours watched: 20%
  • Total Twitch hours watched: 15%
  • Number of tournaments: 5%
  • Concurrent twitch streams: 5%

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