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$5M Prize Pool in Q3 2020 Boosts Call of Duty to Tier 1 Game Status

Nica San Juan
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is among the beneficiaries of the global pandemic in the eSports ecosystem. According to the Esports Observer PC Games Index, the game for the first time achieved Tier 1 status in Q3 2020.

The impact index takes into consideration the number of active players, hours watched, winnings, tournaments and concurrent streams.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Safe Betting Sites, during Q3 2020, Call of Duty had the highest total prize pool of more than $5 million. A huge chunk of this amount, $4.6 million, came from the Call of Duty League (CDL) playoffs.


The period also saw a new record of the most watched Call of Duty eSports event. That event was the CDL grand finals between Dallas Empire and Atlanta FaZe. Peak concurrent viewership during the event was 330,000 viewers according to The Loadout.

This figure included influencers streaming the finals from their YouTube channels. It more than doubled the previous record of 156,000 which was set a week prior, during the Optic Gaming L.A vs. Chicago Huntsmen game.

Furthermore, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was the most streamed game during Q3 2020 on Twitch. And even though a good number of its players used consoles during the period, its PC player base was the fourth largest in the eSports ecosystem.

Thanks to this combination of factors, the game shot up from sixth position to second place on the list of most impactful games in Q3 2020. According to the index, it achieved a score of 41.98.


LoL Worlds – Most Viewed Tournament 2020 with 3.8M Peak Viewers

League of Legends (LoL) was in the lead with a 77.92 score, earning the title of the most impactful game for the sixth consecutive quarter. LoL and Call of Duty were the only games to achieve Tier 1 status in Q3 2020.

A key reason for LoL’s dominance has to do with its player base, which was more than double that of Valorant, which had the second highest. LoL was also the most watched game on Twitch during the quarter. With the exception of Q2 2020 when Valorant topped the list of most watched games on Twitch, LoL has held the title since Q3 2019.

Valorant set a new record during Q2 2020, with 534 million hours watched according to Streamlabs. It beat Fortnite, which had set a record of 399 million hours watched in Q2 2018.

According to The Loadout, LoL had the most viewed tournament of 2020 by the end of Q3 2020. The LoL World Championship achieved a peak viewership of 3.8 million. Notably though, this was slightly lower than 2019’s 3.9 million.

CS:GO dropped out of Tier 1, primarily because of the absence of in-person events. However, based on its average viewership numbers and number of tournaments, it secured the third position. Its overall score was 37.04.

Its main events during the quarter are the ESL Pro League Season 12 (European and North American renderings) and ESL One: Cologne 2020 (online edition). Heroic won the decreased prize pool of the ESL One, a total of $325,000. Astralis took home the $450,000 of the European ESL Pro League, while in North America, FURIA Esports won $225,000. Valorant came in fourth with 28.33, followed by Dota 2 in fifth, with 27.93. Dota 2 was among the most adversely affected titles due to the postponement of The International.

The tournament, which is Dota 2’s most important event, usually takes place in Q3 2020, but was moved to 2021. In place of its $35 million+ prize pool, Dota 2’s largest event was the OMEGA League, with a $500,000 prize pool.


Tencent Holdings Net Profit Soars by 85% in Q3, Activision’s up by 29%

In tandem with the games’ Q3 2020 performance, LoL and Call of Duty publishers also had a great quarter.

Tencent Holdings, the Chinese conglomerate behind LoL’s Riot Games, reported $5.88 billion as net profit in Q3 2020. It was 85% higher than in Q3 2019.

Net revenue for the period was $18.9 billion, up by 29% from the $14.7 billion posted in the previous year period. According to its earnings report, quarterly revenue from online games shot up by 45%, equivalent to $6.26 billion. Mobile games alone generated $4.92 billion for the tech giant.

Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard also reported earnings that beat expectations for the three-month period. Its revenue for the duration was $1.95 billion, an increase of 29% year-over-year (YoY) from the $1.28 billion reported in Q3 2019.

Its operating profit for the period was the highest the company has reported in the last decade. During that period, the company earned $778 million in operating profit, setting a new all-time high.

Monthly Active Users on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone shot up by 300% during the quarter.

Nica San Juan
Nica San Juan

Nica is a BA Political Science graduate, startup founder and financial expert. She has an entrepreneurial spirit and started several startups from a young age, eventually becoming fascinated with stocks, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain economy. She specializes in financial tech and her expertise is in writing detailed tutorials and guides on how to invest in stocks and cryptocurrencies.

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