ESL One Los Angeles Online peaks at over 500,000 viewers for OG vs. Virtus Pro finals

The tournament was a big hit.

Image via ESL

ESL One Los Angeles Online wasn’t an official part of the Dota Pro Circuit due to the entire competitive scene shifting in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic—but the event raked in viewers nonetheless.

For the Europe/CIS grand finals between OG and Virtus Pro, the event logged over 500,000 peak viewers, according to Esports Charts, marking the highest peak viewership for the 2019-20 season. 

The final series of a Dota Major is almost always the most-viewed of the event, and if two popular teams clash in the premier match of the tournament, it will bring in even more viewers. Having OG and VP battle it out in a five-game series pushed it past DreamLeague Season 13 and leaps and bounds above the viewership recorded at the MDL Chengdu Major. 

DreamLeague Season 13, otherwise known as the Leipzig Major, previously held the high point of the season, reaching 475,236 peak viewers during the Evil Geniuses and Team Secret grand finals. Prior to that, MDL Chengdu held the mark with 353,798 viewers as Vici Gaming took on TNC Predator. 

During the battle between N0tail and Solo’s teams, 506,288 people tuned in to watch from around the world. Most of the viewers, 361,705 according to Esports Charts, came from Twitch alone, while the other 234,597 came from various Russian broadcasts, which is a big reason for the event’s overall numbers.

Because there were several CIS teams performing at a high level—including VP, Team Spirit, and Chicken Fighters, to name a few—CIS viewers were eager to tune in and watch some of their teams contend at a Major for the first time this season. Dota is a very popular game in the region, which translates to large viewership spikes when a team like VP makes a deep run in a tournament. 

Both of the other Majors did hold a higher average viewer count than ESL One Los Angeles Online, but that was mainly due to the online tournament being split up into regions and taking place over a three-week period. DreamLeague Season 13 had an average of 211,044 and MDL Chengdu had 106,129 people on the stream at any given time. 

In comparison, here are each of the average viewership numbers for the four other regions plus the combined EU/CIS bracket. 

If you were to combine those averages together, you would eclipse DreamLeague at 223,937 average viewers—though you would probably need to take out a decent chunk just to make sure you aren’t counting some viewers twice. 

Timezones played a major role in how the event was played, and since the smaller brackets were run simultaneously over two weeks, the matches weren’t given as much promotion as the bigger bouts in EU/CIS. But the fact remains that an online tournament’s overall viewership was still able to contend with a DPC Major.