The Counter Strike: Global Offensive Major Championships have set new viewing figure records this year during its Major League Gaming event in Ohio.
Running from March 30 to April 3, the competitive action received 71 million video views, as well as 45 million hours of live broadcasts. When combining each medium of available viewing devices such as phones, tablets and laptops the matches peaked at 1.6 million simultaneous viewers. The previous record was set the year before in 2015, with 34 million hours viewed and 1.3 million simultaneous viewers.
The figures come from Activision Blizzard Media Networks (via SpazioGames) with this year’s major championships being the first to take place in the USA, with a $1 million prize pool on offer for the winners. Each day of the event pulled in over 10,000 spectators and the MLG (Major League Gaming) produced 68 hours of broadcasts to countries all over the world in 15 different languages. It’s expected that 2017 will exceed 300 million viewers in total, compared to this year’s already impressive 225 million.
ESports are such a rapidly growing phenomenom, with over 225 million players at the last count. This is clearly rivalling any other professional sport league in the world and may sooner or later become widely considered to be on a par with those more popular sports from a general audience. With numbers like this, it’s hard to see any other outcome.
February saw over $6 billion spent on digital gaming, with Counter Strike: Global Offensive accounting for the most amount of money spent on PC downloadable content, despite originally releasing four years ago.