As we enter 2023, the global esports phenomenon is showing no signs of slowing. Leading comparison platforms such as OddsChecker, which provides free bet offers on headline sporting events, has found the surge of interest in competitive gaming that kicked off in 2020 has yet to abate. Fans are now placing wagers on the outcome of a League of Legends game in much the same way as they would an NBA conference final.
Leading this transformation is the mobile sector. For many years, esports has been largely the preserve of PC gamers, with some notable console exceptions. But as interest in the scene has grown beyond its historic confines, an appetite for mobile gaming has exploded among the masses. New titles optimized for mobile devices are climbing the viewership and prize pool rankings.
Below we’re going to take a look at the mobile esports to watch in 2023 – each of these battle royales is giving the gaming old-guard a run for its money. Innovative new gameplay formats and a huge grassroots player base are factors driving up demand for tournaments and increased coverage. Is this the year mobile esports takes the reins? Let’s have a look.
Free Fire exploded onto the scene in 2019, briefly becoming the most popular and widely spectated esport in the world. What’s more, this title has stayed within the top five ranking for streaming hours elapsed, year-on-year, ever since.
In 2021, the Singapore-hosted Free Fire World Series finals even nabbed the record for the most concurrent viewers of a live esport event ever, with 5.4 million people tuning in to catch the action. You can rest assured, Free Fire is going nowhere any time soon and will continue to take the fight to the likes of League of Legends, CS:GO and other PC-based big hitters.
PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds remains one of the most popular esports in the world, with over 30 million daily active players participating in its tactical battle royale thrills. Yet, since 2020, PUBG has been eclipsed by its mobile version, which steadily began to attract more players and greater interest on the esports circuit.
In fact, since 2021, PUBG Mobile has awarded the highest prize pools annually across tournaments in any esport (with the exception of Dota 2), climbing from $8.9 million in 2020 to $22.9 in 2021, and then to $24.7 in prizes last year.
This demonstrates that there’s serious money to be had in mobile esports. Analysts expect 2023’s total sum to comfortably surpass previous years.