Jun 27th, 2023

Top 5 Most Valuable Esports Moments in 2023 So Far

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  • Measuring esports broadcasts in terms of media value makes it easy for brands to measure the performance of their ad spend against the actual dollar value of their ad placements.
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), League of Legends, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang each secured a top spot through the first five months of the year with nail-biting matches that kept audiences engaged.
  • The most valuable esports moment so far in 2023 happened during the Season 11 Indonesia playoffs of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, which was valued at nearly $300K.
  • IEM Katowice and the Paris Major each attracted sizeable audiences for CS:GO, allowing it to capture two spots in this list.
  • League of Legends, a perennial favorite among esports viewers, also had two of the most valuable esports moments occur during their European and Korean regions.

While there are many ways for brands to measure the success of their campaigns, media value is often the most compelling as it makes it easy to compare media buys against the actual dollar value of their ad placements during a broadcast. In addition, it lets brands make direct comparisons between esports providers, allowing them to identify those that are likely to yield maximal reach per dollar spent. Media value is calculated by counting the number of impressions that occurred in a given timespan (here defined as any 15-minute increment during an esports broadcast) and multiplying it by a platform specific cost per mille, or CPM, value.

To see just how compelling this can be, the Vindex Intelligence team looked at all the esports events this year and broke them down into 15-minute segments to identify the most valuable moments across the entire esports ecosystem on Twitch and YouTube from January through May 2023.

1. Mobile Legends Indonesia Playoffs Season 11 (April 7, 10:30AM UTC)- $300K

Taking the top spot is a mobile esports title, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. The match with the highest media value was a lower bracket semifinal between EVOS Legends and Rex Regum Queon (RRQ) during the Indonesia playoffs. The most valuable moment had over 660K viewers as the best-of-five series went the distance, EVOS Legends managed to overcome RRQ and eliminate them from the tournament. The massive turnout for the event may be partly attributed to Indonesia given that it is the biggest region for the title.

2. CS:GO IEM Katowice Grand Finals (February 12, 6:30PM UTC)- $265K

Intel Extreme Masters, a long-running tournament series known for its typically high viewer participation rates, gave CS:GO fans plenty to cheer about in Katowice during a high-profile match between G2 Esports and Heroic. The peak moment during the match occurred when G2 Esports claimed a 3-1 victory over Heroic in the grand finals which had 634K hours watched, making up nearly 40% of the total hours watched of broadcast. Despite taking place in February, typically considered to be the esports offseason, it nevertheless yielded the second-most valuable moment so far in 2023.

3. 3. CS:GO Paris Major: Legends Stage Round 5 (May 16, 1:15PM UTC)- $235K

During round five of the Legends Stage of the BLAST Premier Paris Major, Into the Breach faced off against Fnatic and garnered an AMA of over 241K for the match. Into the Breach won the matchup in a 2-1 victory in a best-of-three. The games were high stakes matches as a loss meant elimination for either team. Excitement was high thanks to Fnatic’s early lead, but Into the Breach managed to come back in game two and three for the win.

4. LCK Spring Grand Finals (April 9, 10:00AM UTC)- $219K

Riot Games hosts some of the largest esports tournaments in the world, and League of Legends is just one of the publisher’s esports titles. In April, the League of Legends Champions Korea league held the spring playoffs, during which the grand finals match drew in an AMA of 225K. GenG and T1 were the teams playing in the grand finals and GenG took the championship despite being knocked down to the lower bracket by T1 in the upper bracket finals. Viewers love a comeback, however, and the grand finals was the most valuable match of the tournament.

5. LEC Winter Grand Finals (February 26, 7:45PM UTC)- $199K

The League of Legends European Championship winter grand finals match between G2 Esports and MAD Lions had an AMA of 205K. The European region is one of the largest in terms of viewership for competitive League of Legends. G2 Esports swept the series in three games over MAD Lions, bringing the best-of-five to an early end. MAD Lions fought their way through the lower bracket for their chance at redemption, as G2 Esports had defeated MAD Lions in the group stages of the tournament.

With many exciting esports events yet to come this year, such as League of Legends Worlds and IEM Cologne, this ranking is just the beginning. Brands and advertisers who are looking to partner with esports properties should look beyond hours watched and AMA and should instead use media value to fully understand the value proposition of their prospective campaigns.

Partnering with Vindex Intelligence for media valuation unlocks the potential of esports partnerships. The Vindex Intelligence Platform provides a comprehensive 360-view of the most influential content creators and esports leagues in the space, empowering brands to amplify their campaign messaging and target hard-to-reach audiences. Click here to learn more.