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The Biggest Esports Finals From 2018, Ranked by Viewership


The Biggest Esports Finals From 2018, Ranked by Viewership

Biggest Esports Finals From 2018

It’s a matter of when, not if, esports will reach mainstream popularity. To some, it has already arrived. These are the biggest esports finals from 2018, ranked by viewership.

20. Paladins

Let’s kick off this list by explaining the numbers we’re using for ranking. We’re using data that has been put together by Esports Charts, and ranking this list based on their numbers average concurrent viewers (CCV) and Total Views when appropriate.

Not that China isn’t a wonderful place, but its massive population skews the data for some games in some wild directions.

There exists the possibilities of hiccups in this data, it’s not perfect, but it useful enough to give us a basis to work with at least.

Paladins kicks off this of the biggest esports finals. Their World Championship had an average CCV of 17,407. A nice number, but much smaller than a lot of the giants on this list.

19. Magic: The Gathering

Just as big online as it is in person, Magic: The Gathering’s World Championship for 2018 had a total of 459,469 across all of the channels covering the event but an average CCV of 11,545. It had a lower CCV than Paladins, but the total views were much higher.

18. Hearthstone

Fellow card collecting game Hearthstone pulled in an average CCV of 20,744 without China for its Global Games 2018, putting it comfortable ahead of Magic: The Gathering but below most of the games on this list.

17. Tekken 7

Tekken 7 might still be behind Street Fighter V, but it’s still among the biggest fighting games, and esports, in the world. The average CCV for the Tekken 7 finals was 32,528.

16. Heroes of the Storm

The final Heroes of the Storm Grand Finals pulled a CCV of 36,090 excluding China, and 60,730 with China. Although never a major tier 1 esport, HotS had a respectable following still. Rest in peace.

15. Super Smash Bros. Melee

While Ultimate is still cutting its teeth in its early days, Melee is still the king for Super Smash Bros. esports. The average concurrent viewers for its finals was 41,183

14. FIFA 18

Anywhere outside of America soccer is hugely popular. This is obviously true in real life, but it is in esports too. The FIFA 18 eWorld Cup had an average CCV of 43,094.

13. Smite

Smite was one of many MOBAs that tried to capitalize on the success of DOTA and LoL, and is one of the few that actually made it. Its 2018 World Championship pulled in an average concurrent viewership of 51,102.

12. StarCraft II

StarCraft is the great grandparent of the esports world, but it still can hold its own. The 2018 WCS Global Finals for StarCraft II had an average CCV of 55,325 and 87,392 with Chinese viewers.

11. World of Warcraft

Blizzard might lack that one mega esport that can compete with League and DOTA 2, but hey at least it has a harem of IPs that all do pretty well for themselves. Even World of Warcraft’s Arena World Championship 2018 had an average CCV of 60,930.

10. Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V, even with its silly ads, remains the king of the fighting game genre. Its final championship raked in an average concurrent viewership of 69,093.

9. Rocket League

Who could have predicted when Rocket League first launched as a PS Plus free game that it would become this popular? The average CCV of the RLCS Season 5 World Championship was a massive 101,780.

8. Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege has grown into one of the biggest and most popular games in the world through positive word of mouth. It’s no surprise than that the Six Invitational 2018 then pulled in 113,998 CCV.

7. Call of Duty

Sure it’s easy to hate on Call of Duty, but there really isn’t much of a good reason to these days. These last couple of games have been great and its staying power is reflected in its esports results. The World League Championship for CoD: WW2 had 116,722 concurrent viewers.

6. Overwatch

The biggest Blizzard-ran esport by far right now also happens to be the company’s youngest property. The OWL Playoffs is a tough event to wrangle, but ESC’s best estimate for the event has it at a CCV 128,672. The finals themselves though peaked at 348,059 viewers which is worth noting as well.

5. Fortnite

Fortnite esports is still in its infancy, but that will change in 2019 for sure. For 2018 though, the biggest pro-only event was the Fall Skirmish which had an average concurrent viewership of 247,156 for the whole event. The finals peaked at 558,606 viewers, giving fans a small taste of what’s to come.


While PUBG has fallen behind Fortnite in overall popularity, in 2018 at least, its esports got off to a quicker start. The PUBG Global Invitational 2018 had a CCV of 370,473.

3. Counter Strike: Global Offensive

This is where we draw a line between popular esports and in the stratosphere popular esports. Counter Strike: GO’s finals, aka the ELEAGUE Major 2018 had an average concurrent viewership of 412,987. This balloons to a massive 897,476 if you include Chinese viewers. And, the actual grand finals themselves? It pulled in 1,847,542 viewers.

2. DOTA 2

DOTA 2 has the richest prize pool, that’s for sure, but it just barely gets edged out in popularity from viewers. The International 2018 had an average CCV of 523,561. DOTA 2 and League of Legends in particular are two cases though where the Chinese viewership just gets out of control. If you include Chinese viewers, that number explodes to 4,026,504!

1. League of Legends

Finally we arrive at the biggest esport finals of 2018. The 2018 League of Legends World Championship. The average concurrent viewership for this one was at 591,563, obviously super impressive. However, when you add China’s viewers, you’ll instantly learn why company’s care so much about appealing to Chinese gamers. The CCV for 2018 League of Legends World Championship was an astonishing 46,651,489.

There’s no question that League of Legends had the biggest esports finals of 2018.

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