IEM Katowice Major tops 2019 as the most-watched CS:GO event

The Major was the only CS:GO event to reach one million peak viewers.

Photo via ESL

The first CS:GO Major of 2019 IEM Katowice, which took place from Feb. 13 to April 3, hit the highest peak viewership for the entire year, beating other events that typically gross high numbers like ESL One Cologne in July, according to Esportscharts.

The IEM Katowice Major 2019 amassed a peak viewership of 1,205,103 viewers, becoming the only CS:GO event to reach a peak above one million concurrent viewers in 2019. It beat the StarLadder Berlin Major which reached a peak of 837,748 viewers. 

But, most strikingly, peak viewership tends to drastically decline for non-Major events. For example, ESL One Cologne barely reached over 500,000 concurrent viewers at its peak, which isn’t even half of IEM Katowice 2019. 

Image via Esportscharts

Although the reasoning behind the drop in viewership isn’t clear, the fact that non-Major events don’t share the same importance could be a decisive factor. But, more importantly, the StarLadder Berlin Major saw a dip in viewership compared to the prior success of IEM Katowice. 

This could have been due to several issues that plagued the event. In the build-up during the Challengers stage, members of the community were frustrated with the amateur observing, with professionals like Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev adding his two cents. 

StarLadder had to answer these calls immediately, hiring well-respected freelance UK observer Connor “Sliggy” Blomfield last-minute. 

The Berlin Major didn’t feature two of the biggest teams in the final, either. Astralis quickly dispatched of AVANGAR 2-0 since they weren’t a match for the Danish team. Everyone knew the outcome of the final before it had even started. 

IEM Katowice was the better Major, and the viewership proves it. It returns this year, albeit not as a Major event, from Feb. 25 to March. 1.