When it comes to major online battle royale tournaments in the mobile space, two names tend to pop up a lot. PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire. While the former may be banned in its, it’s still being played globally, and it’s as popular as ever. The guys over at Esports Charts have posted a blog wherein they talk about the viewership numbers of both games over the course of 2020. The results are quite interesting, to say the least.
As the above image shows, Free Fire had an early lead at the start of the year in terms of viewership numbers. However, PUBG Mobile managed to catch up within a span of a couple of months. Esports Charts chalks this up to the start of many PUBG Mobile tournaments like the PUBG Mobile Pro League (PMPL) and PUBG Mobile Club Open (PMCO).
Besides a dip in June, PUBG Mobile tended to have greater viewership as compared to Free Fire. This peaked in July with 28.9 million hours of PUBG Mobile watched that month. That came crashing down in September. To recall, that was the month PUBG Mobile was banned in India. Esports Charts notes that India was the top region for the game.
Free Fire took the lead and in November, Esports Charts notes that 26 million hours of Free Fire were watched that month. However, PUBG Mobile came back strong in December, and re-took the lead with 20.5 million hours watched.
PUBG Mobile vs Garena Free Fire: Tournament edition
When it comes to hours watched, PUBG Mobile tournaments have a commanding lead over Garena Free Fire. However, Esports Charts notes that this is because Free Fire tournaments have been on air for much less as compared to PUBG Mobile. Further, the top Free Fire tournaments were aimed at a Brazilian audience while the predominant PUBG Mobile tournaments were international events.
However, when looking at peak viewership numbers, things turn on its head.
The Free Fire Continental Series Asia smashed the competition with 2.5 million peak viewers with just eight hours of airtime. By comparison, PUBG Mobile World League East had 1.1 million peak viewers with an air time of 90 hours.