Mobile Esports — Growth, Viewership, Top Games, the Future [UPDATED 2024]

someone playing mobile games

When you think of the largest esports games in the world you probably think of League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike 2. But did you know mobile games are just as popular when it comes to esports viewership and fandom?

Mobile games are sometimes viewed as more casual because of their accessibility. But it’s actually that accessibility that has helped phone games become some of the most competitive and exciting esports in the entire scene.

Almost everyone has a phone and internet, meaning many more people from around the world have the opportunity to try out free games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, PUBG Mobile, Free Fire, and more. With more players, there’s instantly more interest in seeing some of the best of the best rise up and compete in a familiar fan-favourite game at a top level.

Mobile Esports = Massive Views

Esports has continued to grow in popularity, with games like League of Legends getting 1.6 billion hours of esports footage watched in 2023. But mobile esports are starting to catch onto the hype despite their infancy. Here are some of the most viewed mobile esports in 2023:

Battlegrounds Mobile India – 26.81M

Battlegrounds Mobile India is the Indian adaptation of PUBG with the same gritty vibe but a few censored features. Despite only being played in India, it’s the fifth-most-watched mobile esports game thanks to its highly competitive and realistic vibe.

Free Fire – 38.8M

Free Fire is huge in Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and more. The Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore reached 5.4 million peak viewers alone and has only grown from there. It had 50 million hours watched in 2022, so 2023 was actually not a top year for the mobile sensation. A market where Free Fire is currently not allowed is India. The title could be poised for even higher growth if that were to change.

Arena of Valor – 111.39M

Arena of Valor is the international adaptation of Honor of Kings, a Chinese MOBA that’s hype in that specific country. The Arena of Valor Premier League 2023 was the most-watched esports competition of the year for that title, getting 27.39 million hours watched, breaking viewership records. The game has massive prize pools and tons of loyal fans, making it one of the biggest mobile esports of the year.

PUBG Mobile – 135.2M

Thanks to its competitive nature, PUBG Mobile has only continued to grow. The intense battle royale has become an esports hit on both PC and mobile, with mobile even surpassing the PC version in the esports scene in any way. PUBG Mobile had 18% more hours watched in 2023 than the previous year, with the PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2023 tournament getting 31.32 million hours watched alone.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang – 530.2M

Taking a big leap into first place is Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, with over 530 million hours viewed. This mobile game is constantly breaking records and showing the true power of mobile games in the esports scene.

The M4 World Championship and M5 World Championship were two of the top five most-watched events 2023. The MPL Indonesia Season 12 had over 116.7 million hours watched, with the largest fanbases emerging from Indonesia and the Philippines. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang had 200 million more hours watched in 2023 than in 2022, showing how rapidly the mobile scene is growing.

Why Mobile Esports are Gaining Massive Views

So why are these mobile games getting so much attention from competitive gamers and esports fans? There are many reasons that mobile esports are growing.


The first, of course, is accessibility. Most competitive games are on PC, including shooters and MOBAs alike. The cost range of PCs is in the thousands, especially a competitive one. A console is not the cheapest investment either, especially when most of the games cost an extra $70 each time you purchase them.

Mobile gaming, on the other hand, is possible if you already have a cell phone. Right now, around 3 billion gamers use mobile devices, a big increase from 2022.

While the top players are obviously above and beyond the normal skill and strategy, there’s no denying that there’s relatability in mobile esports. Fans have often grinded the games and can see themselves in the competitors. They understand what it takes to be at the top and are familiar with the mechanics.

Technological Advancements

Smartphones have become, well, smarter as the years progress. With the games becoming faster and the internet more reliable, it’s no surprise that mobile gaming has become more competitive and viable. You can also use tablets with larger screens and more capabilities than phones, creating another great way to access mobile games.

Meanwhile, people with smaller incomes who can’t get the latest smartphone models can still play mobile games since developers have created light versions for cheaper phone models for added inclusion.

Streaming Platforms

Mobile games have been treated the same way as other games, with tournaments streamed on Twitch, YouTube, and beyond. More people than ever can easily tune in to the growing number of tournaments for these popular mobile esports titles.

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Speaking of, there are more organised tournament series for mobile esports than ever before. Mobile games have world series and entire seasons full of competing top teams. All of this combined has allowed for better esports structure and more fan engagement, especially when organisers like ESL Gaming embrace the mobile scene with Clash Royale, PUBG Mobile, and more.

Will Mobile Esports Grow in NA and EU?

North America and Europe haven’t invested as much time viewing mobile esports as other regions. The low viewership could be due to the publisher’s lack of support and promotion, as well as the culture of esports in these two regions, where mobile isn’t seen as competitive.

This could change as more publishers create mobile versions of their titles and then support their competitive growth. As more and more games go mobile, NA and EU won’t be able to ignore the growing popularity of the scene.

Esports is always changing. It’s a young industry with a lot of innovation and passion. It wouldn’t be surprising to see developers start supporting the mobile versions of their games and promoting a competitive aspect to reach a bigger audience and create more hype. At Abios, we’re looking forward to following the growth of mobile esports in upcoming years and adding titles to our offering where there is demand.

Looking for data for your esports project? With more than 10 years of experience in esports, Abios provides a data-driven product suite for popular esports titles, such as CS2, League of Legends, VALORANT and Dota 2, to companies looking to take their esports strategy to the next level. Read more here.