The most popular esport is League of Legends as it is the esport which gains the most viewership and engagement from fans. It’s weekly leagues in North America and Europe, the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) and the League of Legends European Championships (LEC) boast 120,000 and 95,000 concurrent viewers respectively.It’s more difficult to obtain streaming statistics for the Korean and Chinese leagues which are streamed primarily on their native platforms. It’s very evident that these leagues are hugely popular in their own countries though as League of Legends is among the most popular PC games in both of these countries. League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) even has a significant following in the Western world, having its own English broadcast that is reasonably popular.
Other esports games don’t have elite weekly leagues with the exception of Overwatch whose developers Blizzard introduced their own ambitious weekly league shortly after the game’s launch. The Overwatch League boasts viewership numbers that rival even League of Legends, often getting over 150,000 concurrent viewers on their weekly matches. A big reason for this is because the Overwatch League is a global league, having teams and players representing North America, Europe, China and Korea so it appeals to more than one ‘local’ viewer base. Defence of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2) and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) don’t have elite weekly leagues as their scenes are open circuit with a lot of tournaments, but their “majors” pull in huge numbers but they aren’t quite as high as what League of Legends international events pull in.
Despite stiff competition from Overwatch, Dota 2 and CS:GO, League of Legends still takes the mantle because of their regular weekly viewership as well as the massive numbers their international events attract. The finals of the League of Legends World Championships 2018, an annual tournament where the best teams from every region compete, had over 99 million viewers at its peak and averaged 20 million throughout. In comparison, the finals of the inaugural Overwatch League season averaged 880,000 and the finals of Dota 2’s “The International 2018” peaked at 15 million viewers.