The final match of MSI saw China’s Royal Never Give Up face off against the Korean team Kingzone DragonX in a series of four games that amassed millions of viewers. During the MSI Finals, esports stats tracker Esports Charts reported (via Inven Global) that 127,551,726 League fans watched Royal Never Give Up win the series 3-1 and take home the MSI trophy. This makes the final match of MSI not only the peak viewer count for the whole international tournament but also puts it above every other esports event in the past.
This insane number of viewers couldn’t have been reached without the help of the Chinese audience though. If nothing else, this new record set my MSI and the viewers who watched it just proves how significant esports has become in China. Last year’s World Championship for League was held in China when the Semifinals match between the famous SK Telecom T1 and Royal Never Give Up hit 106 million peak viewers. China had the home field advantage that year and almost certainly would’ve put up even bigger numbers then had Royal Never Give Up progressed to the Finals, but even though MSI was held in Europe this year, the Chinese viewers still came in strong to watch their team win it all.
Esports Charts also gives the option to exclude the number of Chinese viewers from the stats, and when you look at it that way, it’s an even better visual of how important the victory was in China. Removing the Chinese viewers from the equation leaves just 947,861 spectators in total – that’s 126,603,865 Chinese viewers who contributed to the grand total and helped make the event the most-watched in history.
Removing the Chinese viewers also changes the rankings of the top matches watched during MSI. Without factoring them in, the top match is still the Finals, but the rest of the rankings include matches with teams like Fnatic and Flash Wolves that are based outside of China. Once you include the Chinese viewers though, the rankings are Royal Never Give Up almost all the way down with the top four games including the Chinese team.
You can check out the full stats with different stream peaks, viewer numbers, and prize pool information through Esports Charts’ site.