With the rapid growth of mobile gaming and the increasing capabilities of mobile devices, mobile Esports has become a significant and rapidly growing segment of the Esports industry. It is becoming popular and mainstream, attracting not only casual gamers but also professional players and teams, as well as sponsors and investors. In fact, 19% of all the viewership in 2022 was from mobile events. Let’s check out which were the most watched mobile games in 2022.
Most Watched in 2022
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, also known as MLBB, is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) developed and published by Moonton. It is one of the most popular mobile Esports games in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines and Indonesia. The game has a dedicated player base and a thriving Esports scene, with numerous tournaments and leagues hosted in the region.
In 2022, MLBB was the most popular mobile Esports title with 331.47 million hours of watch time. The Southeast Asia Cup 2022 finals alone attracted 2,845,364 viewers. On top of that, the M4 event, which had a peak viewer count of 4,260,070 and 80,128,141 hours watched, was delayed until January 2023. This makes MLBB the 5th largest Esports title including non-mobile games, but if we count the M4, it ranks in the top 3.
PUBG Mobile is a multiplayer battle royale game where players parachute onto an island and must fight to be the last person standing. It was developed in 2018 by PUBG Corporation and Tencent Games. Since then, the game became one of the most popular mobile games in the world, and it’s no different in the mobile Esports scene.
It has a massive player base and a dedicated esports following, with numerous tournaments and leagues hosted globally. The game is massively popular in Asia and Africa, and it is slowly getting to the Europe and Americas markets as well. In 2022, the game had 112,22 million of total hours watched. The peak viewership was at 31st Southeast Asian Games PUBG mobile with 903,011 concurrent viewers.
Arena of Valor
Another MOBA game on our list is Arena of Valor. Similarly to PUBG mobile, the game was developed in 2016 by TiMi Studio Group and Tencent Games. The game was formerly known as Strike of Kings, and in China, it is called Honor of Kings.
The game features fast-paced action and strategic gameplay. It has a large player base, particularly in Asia, and has a growing Esports scene on the same continent. In 2022, the game had 103,89 million hours watched and it marked its peak at Arena of Glory Winter 2022 with 644,383 peak viewers. Compared to 2021, the game is growing as the total watch time increased by 25%.
The fourth game on our list is Free Fire which was one of the most watched games in 2022. It is a mobile battle royale game developed by Garena in 2017. In terms of gameplay, the game is similar to PUBG mobile which is slowly stealing its player database.
Unfortunately, the game’s viewership decreased by 69% compared to 2021. Be that as it may, it is still in the top 5 with 45,85 million of hours watched and 1,477,545 peak viewers at Free Fire World Series 2022 Sentosa.
Battlegrounds Mobile India
Battlegrounds mobile India or just BGMI is another battle royale multiplayer game that made this list. It was developed by Krafton Game Union in 2021. In fact, this is a rebranded version of PUBG Mobile which was banned in India due to security concerns. It is a bit newer game with better graphics and some limitations. For example, there is no blood and when you end someone, it says finished and not killed. Something like a censured version of PUBG mobile that is exclusive to the Indian region and only Indians can access the game.
In terms of hours watched, it had 29,01 million hours and 460,034 peak viewers at iQOO Battlegrounds Mobile India Series 2021.
2022 was a great year for mobile Esports gaming. The most played and watched games were MLBB and PUBG Mobile. The numbers will be even higher for both games if M4 wasn’t postponed and PUBG hasn’t been banned in India. But we included those numbers in this article so you can know the estimated numbers.