Biggest FPS Esports Games in Terms of Viewership

Nov 24, 2022

First-Person Shooters are some of the most accessible games in the industry. And that’s because they’re easy to understand. You can learn how to play CS:GO in a few hours. It’s not rocket science and you don’t need to memorize hundreds of notions.

All you need to understand is the basic round structure and the fact that winning gives you more money, which means better guns, which usually leads to more winning. If you enjoy watching CS:GO and betting on it, you should check this blog section.

Here’s a brief presentation of the biggest FPS games, or the esports that attract the largest audiences.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

CS:GO is by far the most watched esport in the FPS genre. And the reason for that is easy to understand: this game has half a dozen $1 million tournaments each year, as well as dozens of smaller competitions. And all of them are highly successful. 

People tune in to watch the Majors, IEM Katowice, IEM Cologne, ESL Pro League, BLAST Premier, and every other prestigious CS:GO event. Combined, these tournaments attract a lot of attention from the game’s community, which numbers around 20 million members.

Every CS:GO Major has at least 500.000 average concurrent viewers and around 1-2 million viewers at its peak. This peak can be reached in the Grand Final or earlier. It all depends on the names of the teams.

CS:GO tournaments tend to last significantly longer than other esports events. Combined with the fact that the game’s community is eager to see much of the action, this results in very good numbers for the organizers and the game itself.

Watching players like Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev in action is like watching Liam Neeson play in a great film.

Valorant

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Despite being just a few years old, Valorant’s player base has already surpassed CS:GO’s. And the tournaments are being watched by large numbers of people. Valorant Champions 2022, for instance, had 525.000 average concurrent viewers. At its peak, the event’s Grand Final had 1.5 million viewers.

The only problem with Valorant is that right now, the number of S-tier tournaments per season is quite small. There are only 3 or 4 competitions that are worth watching. A lot of fans watch them, but there isn’t much else to see throughout the year.

However, this will change sooner or later. We don’t know yet when, but Riot Games will inevitably turn Valorant into a highly successful esport, just as it did with League of Legends. And when that happens, Valorant will probably surpass CS:GO in terms of viewership.

At the moment, the two esports cannot be compared because one is much better established than the other. But the fact that Valorant’s tournaments are watched by so many people should give us hope. This is an indicator that the game itself is fun to watch. The only problem is that it needs to be scaled up.

Overwatch

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Overwatch is a modern version of Team Fortress 2 and the game is very well designed from a player’s perspective. However, it’s not that well designed from a viewer’s perspective. The action is difficult to follow and it takes place in such a fast and chaotic way that there’s little room for the audience to truly enjoy it.

However, Overwatch competitions are still watched by a fairly large audience. The Overwatch League 2022 Playoffs had 216.000 average concurrent viewers and nearly 400.000 viewers at its peak.

It remains to be seen if the next seasons will improve the situation. They might, especially now that Overwatch 2 has been released. But it’s still unlikely that the game will reach the heights of CS:GO.

Call of Duty

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Call of Duty is a very interesting FPS game that’s almost as old as Counter-Strike. The CoD series has been around for many years and during this time, the recipe has been refined almost to the point of perfection.

CoD offers players an engaging experience that forces them to master several game modes. And these game modes are also played in professional tournaments. This makes the action very engaging, but it seems that Activision isn’t very interested in the success of its game as an esport. 

The fact that hundreds of millions play CoD seems to be more than enough for it. Therefore, very little time is spent on trying to convert the CoD community into an esports community.

Despite the huge number of people who play CoD games, the Call of Duty League 2022 Playoffs had only 104.000 average concurrent viewers. At its peak, the Grand Final was watched by 275.000 people, which is quite a low number given the size of the game and the fact that the organizer, Activision, offered $2.55 million in prize money.

Call of Duty will continue to be a highly popular FPS game. And with more effort on the part of Activision, it could turn into a highly successful esport. Right now, its viewership is relatively modest but still good enough to be on this list.

Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege is considered to be the most advanced tactical shooter and it’s definitely one of the best FPS games in esports. Its player base is comparable to that of CS:GO and Valorant, but only a small percentage of it is interested in the esports side of the game.

Rainbow Six Siege features half a dozen tournaments each year. These tournaments offer massive prize pools but they only attract a few hundred thousand viewers each time. 

It’s not entirely clear why people don’t tune in to watch the best players in the world, but right now, it’s obvious that not too many people enjoy watching R6 Siege as opposed to playing it. For some, every match feels like a great movie. But for most, the action doesn’t seem to be that interesting to spectate.

In 2022, Six Invitational featured 20 teams, lasted for nearly 2 weeks, and offered $3 million in prizes, but managed to stir the interest of only 121.000 average viewers. At its peak, the tournament was watched by 272.000.

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