The ESL announced Friday its recently-completed ESL Pro League season was the most watched of any of the five seasons of the Counter-Strike league.
Despite moving from Twitch to YouTube, the ESL trumpeted viewership numbers for the ESL Pro League Season 5. YouTube content about Pro League garnered just under 65 million views, a 17.5 percent increase from Season 4, according to a news release. ESL’s YouTube channel grew by 163 percent, and broadcasts in 14 additional languages were streamed directly to Facebook and Twitch.
G2 Esports won ESL Pro League Season 5 by defeating North 3-1 (16-13, 16-5, 14-16, 16-3) in the grand final Sunday in Dallas.
“Dallas is in many ways a home of competitive Counter-Strike and we’re happy to have brought a successful weekend of esports to the Verizon Theatre for the first stand-alone ESL Pro League Finals in the United States,” Ulrich Schulze, ESL’s VP of Pro Gaming, said in the release. “With the record-setting 2017 prize pool and increased global reach of Pro League we’re looking forward to even more excitement in Season 6.”
Season 5 was the first since ESL signed a deal to exclusively stream the league on YouTube instead of Twitch, which prompted a debate among the Counter-Strike community about viewership and whether or not the numbers would be sustainable. ESL’s release seems to suggest things went just fine, though there has been criticism from the community, most notably OpTic player Tarik “Tarik” Celik, who tweeted about EPL viewership earlier in the week.