PMPL South Asia season 2 viewership falls by 85 percent after Indian players prohibited from competing

India was one of PUBG Mobile's biggest regions in terms of downloads.

Image via Tencent

The second season of the PUBG Mobile Pro League (PMPL) South Asia concluded on Nov. 1 with Nepali team Deadeyes Guys coming in first.

The season was originally scheduled to begin in September but had to be delayed due to the ban on PUBG Mobile in India. The South Asian country’s ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY) banned the game on Sept. 2 due to alleged data security violations.

Following this, Tencent disallowed all Indian players from participating in the competition, as per a report by AFK Gaming. As a result, 17 of the total 24 teams were affected and had to pull out of the league.

Due to the ban on Indian players, the PMPL South Asia’s viewership took a huge hit. According to data from Esports Charts, the second season peaked at just 42,146 viewers. This is 85 percent less than season one of the PMPL South Asia, which had a peak viewership of 285,499 people.

The average viewership for the league was far worse. According to Esports Charts, the second season had 16,608 watching on average. Compared to season one which had 128,796 people tuning into the league on average, this is 87 percent less.

Seeing these huge drops in viewership isn’t surprising. India was one of PUBG Mobile’s biggest regions in terms of downloads. According to a report from September by analytics company Sensor Tower, the game was downloaded around 770 million times in the country alone. Additionally, many of the Indian players command followings in the millions, which pull people in to watch the league.

PUBG Mobile could be coming back to India soon. Recently, PUBG Corp. announced that it was publishing a new version of the game in the country and investing $100 million to “cultivate the local video game, esports, entertainment, and IT industries.” The game still hasn’t returned, though.