Vietnamese audiences dominate global esports viewership

By Dang Khoa   January 23, 2021 | 05:00 am PT
Vietnamese audiences dominate global esports viewership
Members of Vietnamese esports team Saigon Phantom competing in the 2020 Arena of Valor International Championship. Photo courtesy of Saigon Phantom's Facebook.
Vietnamese esports enthusiasts led viewership of the 2020 Arena of Valor International Championship (AIC), with two local teams enjoying the most streamed hours.

According to a report published earlier this month by analytical site Esports Charts, last year AIC received the most viewership from Vietnamese audiences, accounting for 68.5 percent of 17 million hours watched, followed by Thai viewers at 23 percent.

Arena of Valor is a multiplayer battle arena game, with participants competing in matches lasting 12-18 minutes on average, aiming to destroy turrets on the map, and so the core.

The online competition last November, which spanned 102 hours of airtime, saw local players face top teams from Thailand, South Korea, China, and other countries.

Even though Vietnam's Saigon Phantom finished as runner-up after losing to Taiwanese Team MAD, Vietnamese audiences accounted for 255,000 of 568,000 viewers tuned in to their final battle.

Statistic also showed Team Flash and Saigon Phantom pocketed the highest number of watched hours in 2020 tournaments.

Team Flash, winner of 2019 AIC, was the most popular team with 22.96 million hours watched, while Saigon Phantom came in second with 17.88 million.

Thailand's Buriram United Esports finished third with 16.34 million hours watched, followed by Taiwanese Team MAD (13.79 million) and Thailand's Talon Esports (11.03 million).

In another report for multiplayer online battle arena video game League of Legends, Esports Charts stated Chinese professional esports team Suning Gaming "gained a huge following thanks to the presence of a single Vietnamese player: SofM." The team enjoyed the highest airtime with 20 hours, equal to 23 percent of the total airtime of the League of Legends World Championship main stage in 2020.

Vietnam had the highest number of adult gamers in the world in 2020. Ninety-four percent of participants said they gamed at least occasionally while nearly 20 percent said they were frequent gamers, according to a survey released by German data portal Statista late last year.

In a different report, Statista projected online game revenues in the country last year to top $10.1 million, up 16 percent from 2019.

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