Riot Games’ MOBA was the most-watched esport of 2021 based on the total number of esports tournament hours watched across multiple streaming platforms, according to esports statistics website EsportsCharts. The data doesn’t contain numbers from Chinese platforms.
League of Legends accumulated over 664.16 million hours watched, far ahead of CS:GO, the No. 2 esport on the list, which had 410.81 million. The top five is rounded out by Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (387.29 million), Dota 2 (347.64 million), and PUBG Mobile (216.76 million).
Some other esports got close to making the list, too. Valorant finished 2021 a few million hours watched away from PUBG Mobile, followed by Free Fire.
A huge chunk of League of Legends’ impressive viewership numbers came from its most prestigious tournament, the World Championship. The competition won by EDward Gaming had, in its grand final, 4,018,728 concurrent viewers watching it. Worlds 2021 only loses to the Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore in terms of peak viewership in esports history, according to EsportsCharts.
League of Legends came out in 2009 and is undisputedly the largest esport in the world. The MOBA game has broken into mainstream culture over the past year with the release of Arcane, Netflix’s show based on the game’s universe.