Call of Duty and Counter-Strike amongst most-watched esports in the UK

Call of Duty and Counter-Strike amongst most-watched esports in the UK

13 September 2023

As the market for esports in the UK is growing, so is the amount of data that helps fans and professionals to understand the industry. A good example of this is the recently published “Esports in the UK: Challenges and Opportunities” report by the Association for UK Interactive Software (UKIE). In collaboration with communications consultants from The Story Mob, and market research and data analytics firm YouGov, the UKIE has taken a look at esports in the UK, identifying several key findings in the process. The data that is used as a foundation for the report comes from a YouGov panel of approximately 2.7 UK residents.

Most-watched esports in the UK

With an eye on the potential of esports in the UK as a profitable industry, one of the most important variables is viewership. After all, the more people who play or follow a certain game, the more valuable content from this game will be for investors and advertisers. The UKIE report has found that, at the moment, Call of Duty is the most-watched esports title in the UK, followed by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Around 25% of esports followers in the UK watch the former, while about 23% of esports followers watch the latter.

The popularity of Call of Duty in the United Kingdom is also emphasised by the fact that the official Call of Duty League is the most-watched esports tournament in the UK. The last edition was watched by around 15,5% of UK esports fans. The second-most-watched tournament is the Apex Legends Global Series, which attracted just under 10% of UK followers.

Single player just edging out multiplayer

The report also takes a look at the popularity of single-player games compared to multiplayer games and the result kind of surprised. A majority of players still prefer single-player titles over multiplayer titles. Just under 40% of gamers in the UK prefer to go at it as a team, with just over 60% holding a preference for single-player gamers.

As far as genres go, 59,26% of gamers play action/adventure titles, like God of War: Ragnarök and The Last of Us, while 54,93% of gamers play shooters, like Call of Duty and Fortnite, for example. Just under 49% of gamers have said that they like to play sports titles, such as FIFA and NBA 2K24. Approximately half of all players indicated that their primary source of finding out about new games is through streamers and other online personalities.

Young male majority

The UKIE report also provides an interesting insight into the audience for esports in the UK. According to the data, almost 83% of all players are male and just under 60% of all players are aged between 18 and 34 years old. Despite the seeming media hype, gaming is still a very much male-dominated sector in the UK.

If you are interested in the “Esports in the UK: Challenges and Opportunities” report, you can find the whole document here, on the official UKIE website.