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ESL hails growing viewership figures

Esports company ESL has revealed that its major tournaments have benefited from a record 90-per-cent growth in viewership figures so far in 2019.

The UK’s ESL One Birmingham tournament surpassed the highest viewership for an ESL Dota 2 event, with the tournament reaching a new record peak of 306,700 concurrent viewers. It represents a rise of 12.4 per cent on the previous record, set during the Hamburg Major in 2017.

The total hours watched by viewers during the Birmingham event also rose significantly, to over 7.6 million.

As well as the average minute audience growing by 90 per cent, the average number of hours watched also grew by 190 per cent in the first seven months of 2019, with video views increasing by 55 per cent.

Elsewhere, the Intel Extreme Masters Sydney surpassed the previous year’s viewership figures with over 20 million viewers, while the ESL Pro League Occitanie broke its all-time viewership record in June. Last month, ESL One Cologne recorded the most hours watched (12.3 million) for a non-major Counter Strike: Global Offensive tournament.

ESL chief executive Ralf Reichert said: “This growth in viewership and interest is humbling to see. ESL’s open ecosystem enables us to work with a variety of games that allows ESL to build standout, innovative properties such as IEM Katowice, ESL One Cologne and Birmingham and see them thrive and grow over the years.”