Mobile gaming once again showed its enormous popularity in e-sports in the year 2021. Games such as Free Fire and Arena of Valor saw their tournaments’ viewership increase dramatically during the year, putting them on a par with famous PC games. Knowing this, the Esports Charts portal published, on January 17, a list of the most-watched mobile games of the year based on the number of hours watched on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.
From the Battle Royale genre to MOBA, check out the list of the five most popular mobile games in esports in 2021. Keep in mind that Esports Charts does not count the audience data coming from Chinese platforms.
5. Battlegrounds Mobile India
In fifth place comes Battlegrounds Mobile India, the version of PUBG Mobile specifically developed and adapted for the Indian audience after the original version was banned in the country in 2020. The game became a big fever in India, and all its popularity was represented in the audience that the public gave to the game in its tournaments. In all, there were 19.3 million hours watched and a peak of 547,000 simultaneous viewers in 2021 Battlegrounds Mobile India competitions.
The Battle Royale highlight was the iQOO Battlegrounds Mobile India Series 2021, which began in December last year and concluded on January 16, 2022. In December, the Major averaged over 300,000 viewers each round, and the numbers only grew in the month of January.
4. Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor is a game in the MOBA genre that is an adapted version of the Chinese title Honor of Kings. Launched in 2017, the game remains very popular worldwide and shows this with its attendance at the major 2021 tournaments. AoV reached the mark of 82.1 million hours watched and a peak of 879,000 simultaneous viewers.
The game’s main event was the Arena of Valor International Championship 2021, an online tournament held between Asian teams from November 27 to December 19 that averaged 144,000 viewers.
3. Free Fire
A huge success, Free Fire is still on the rise in the mobile esports scene. The most popular tournament of 2021, based on peak viewership and considering PC and console games as well, was the Free Fire World Cup 2021. The tournament, held in Singapore reached 5.4 million simultaneous viewers in the final round, putting the event at the top of e-sports overall.
Gathering data from all tournaments in 2021, Garena’s Battle Royale reached 142 million watched hours, ranking third among mobile games. Other tournaments that helped Free Fire reach this mark were the Brazilian Free Fire League (LBFF), the Free Fire League Latinoamerica, and the Free Fire India Championship.
2. PUBG Mobile
Ranked first in 2020, PUBG Mobile once again unseated Free Fire in the Battle Royales mobile duel. Although it had a lower peak viewership than Garena’s game, with 3.8 million, PUBG Mobile managed to outperform itself in the list’s main aspect. There were 217 million hours watched in the 2021 competitions, a 61% increase when compared to 2020. Major events of the year include the PMPL 3 2021 Southeast Asia Finals and the PUBG Mobile World Invitational 2021.
1. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
At the top of the list is Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. One of the main reasons for its success in 2021 was the growing popularity of the game in Southeast Asia, which reached millions of spectators at major local tournaments. The absolute highlight of the region was Indonesia, whose competitions were able to top several of the world’s most famous e-sports tournaments in 2021.
While the M3 World Championship had the highest peak in viewers with 3.1 million, MPL Indonesia Season 8 excelled in terms of hours watched, reaching 76.94 million. Summing up all tournaments in 2021, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang reached 386 million hours watched, making it the mobile leader in esports.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.