The BLAST Paris Major 2023 caused massive hype in the CSGO community as the final Major of the CSGO era, but how did it fare in viewership numbers?
On Sunday, May 21, a staggering 1.5 million viewers were glued to their screens as Team Vitality clinched the BLAST Paris Major title in CSGO. Although the grand finale added to the excitement, the tournament's peak viewership remained well below its previous record.
BLAST Paris Major ended up beating IEM Rio for peak viewers, though average viewership came in slightly below. This excludes BLASTtv, though at least in grand final it only accounted for 2-3% of viewership.
— Tomi (@tomi) May 21, 2023
In a thrilling spectacle witnessed by a boisterous crowd of tens of thousands at the Accor Arena, Team Vitality triumphed over the underdog team GamerLegion with a flawless 2-0 victory. The French organization, adorned with renowned players, celebrated their first-ever CSGO Major win, finally achieving the prestigious title after six challenging endeavors.
Data from EsportsCharts revealed that the BLAST Major Grand Final reached its highest viewership peak at 1,528,724, establishing it as the most-watched match of the tournament. Although the event started on a strong note, garnering a substantial viewership during the Challenger Stage, it couldn't surpass the remarkable record of 2,748,434 viewers set at the 2021 PGL Stockholm tournament.
The Paris Major had a shorter airtime compared to the IEM Rio Major, with a difference of 10 hours, and also recorded an average of nine percent fewer viewers over three weeks. It is important to consider that the official numbers might not fully reflect the actual viewership, as those who watched via BLAST's official website were not accounted for. Even with the potential inclusion of those viewers, it is highly unlikely for BLAST Paris to reach the impressive viewer count achieved by the PGL Antwerp 2022, which is the second-most viewed CSGO event in history. The grand final clash between NaVi and FaZe Clan in PGL Antwerp 2022 attracted over two million viewers.
Several factors contributed to a decline in viewership, but the most evident one was the lack of participation by the most popular teams and players in CSGO. Surprising upsets led to the premature eliminations of teams like G2, NaVi, and Cloud9, which would have attracted a large number of fans. In their place, unexpected squads such as Monte, Into The Breach, Apeks, and GamerLegion shocked everyone with their impressive performances in the tournament, knocking out the beloved teams with larger followings.
The late knockout stage games usually draw the most viewership, but the Legends Stage clash between NaVi and FaZe was the second most-watched Paris Major 2023 match. No playoff stage tie could match the viewership stats of NaVi vs FaZe. Since more and more big names left the tournament as it progressed, the viewership numbers dropped.
Another factor that could have influenced the viewership was the absence of certain regional representatives. It was remarkable that, for the first time ever in Global Offensive history, no Russian players qualified for the Major playoffs. Moreover, the absence of a Brazilian team in the final eight had a significant effect on South American viewership.
During the Paris Major final, Gaules, the Brazilian commentator who broadcasts the matches in Portuguese, achieved a peak viewership of 139,983 viewers, according to TwitchTracker. This figure was a notable drop of 400,000 viewers compared to the peak viewership observed during the same stage of IEM Rio.
Throughout the Paris Major, excluding the Grand Final, there was strong competition from Riot Games' League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational. On May 20, this event reached an impressive peak viewership of two million, with T1's thrilling five-match series against JDG drawing a peak of 2,297,919 viewers.
— Esports Charts 🇺🇦 (@EsportsCharts) May 21, 2023
While it is unlikely that the overlapping of the events greatly affected the Major's viewership, it is still important to consider the potential role it played in influencing the overall numbers.
The BLAST Paris Major was highly expected to become the most-watched Major of all time, considering the game's current popularity and its significance as the final Major in CSGO. The 2021 PGL Stockholm, however, held on to its viewership record.