We're way past the midyear mark by now, and in Southeast Asia, one game continues to be widely watched.
Moonton's Mobile Legends (MLBB) dominated the scene, with its regional tournaments drawing peak viewership numbers in the millions.
This is followed by the MLBB Southeast Asia Cup 2023 with 3.6 million, while the current MPL Indonesia Season 12 drew 2.1 million, up from 1.8m from Season 11. MPL Philippines Season 11 drew 936,000 peak viewers, which is a respectable amount.
Smaller tournaments such as the Snapdragon Pro Series Season 3 SEA Challenge Finals drew 820,000, even with lesser known teams participating.
While MLBB remains big in Indonesia and the Philippines, MPL Malaysia Season 11 and MPL Singapore Season 5 drew much lower peak viewers, with Malaysia's S11 attracting 288,000 viewers and Singapore, a mere 7,600.
Other regional tournaments, such as Arena of Valor's Premier League, which took place in Thailand, drew 974,000 peak viewers. The next biggest AoV tournament was the Arena of Glory Spring 2023, which is Vietnam's AoV professional league. It had 470,000 peak viewers during its Feb to May 2023 run.
VALORANT's VCT 2023: Pacific League had 399,000 peak viewers, which is respectable. The VCT Pacific Last Chance qualifier also drew equal numbers, with 387,000.
While League of Legends isn't the most popular game in SEA, it still draws in around 230,000 for the Vietnamese Championship Series (VCS) Dawn. Vietnam is its own separate competitive region, while the rest of SEA, with Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao, only had just 44,000 viewers.
League of Legends' mobile version, Wild Rift, continues to draw little interest, with the Wild Rift League Asia 2023 Season 1 having just 9,000 peak viewers despite a US$280,000 prize pool. This league also includes teams from China.
As for Dota 2, excluding the Bali Major, the DPC SEA 2023 Tour 3: Division I only had 89,000 peak viewers. In contrast, the Western Europe Tour 3: Division I had 190,000 peak. It would seem to indicate that Dota 2 viewership in SEA, while isn't as high as competitive mobile games, still has more interest compared with LoL.
Other popular mobile games include Free Fire, where its Free Fire Master League Season 7 had 127,000 viewers, and its big Free Fire SEA Invitational 2023 had 107,000.
PUBG Mobile's Super League Southeast Asia Spring 2023 drew 441,000 viewers, with the PUBG Mobile Pro League Indonesia Spring 2023 attracting 320,000 viewers.
Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com