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Six Jönköping Major posts drop of 57,000 peak and 21,000 average viewers from Berlin Major

Despite some amazing Siege played, the Jönköping Major saw a dip in viewership that reversed an upward trend.

Update (Nov. 28, 14:25 UTC):

The Esports Charts figures have now been corrected to a peak of 121,836 and an average of 45,230 -- revised from their previous figures of 71,754 and 40,069, respectively. This still is a lower peak and average viewership than the Berlin Major, but is only a drop of 57,000 peak viewers and 21,000 average viewers instead of the previously reported drops of 107,000 and 26,000.

The corrected figures now indicate hat viewership peaked during the BO5 grand-final between Team Liquid and Team BDS, with the two semi-final games trailing in second and third-place in terms of most-viewed matches. The Y7S4 Operation Solar Raid panel was ranked fifth with 53,590 viewers.

Original article (Nov. 28, 10:00 UTC):

According to figures collected by escharts.com, the recent Six Jönköping Major had the lowest viewership figures since ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals back in August 2017. 

The Major saw a peak viewership of 71,754, which came during Monday’s reveal panel. Monday also included the two most watched games, Team BDS vs FURY (a game that directly preceded the panel) and FaZe Clan vs Wolves Esports.

For comparison the Berlin Major in August -- which took place in the same time zone and also had an EU vs LATAM grand-final -- had a peak of 179,061 viewers during the thrilling grand-final, with the semi and quarter-finals also beating the 71,754 Jönköping figure.

The last tier-one event to dip below a 71,000 peak viewers was the Season 5 Finals in Cologne which had a peak of 69,454 viewers. The 2019 DreamHack Montreal Minor also had better figures than the recent Major, with its grand-final reaching 90,083 viewers. This was notably Beaulo’s first title and Paluh’s first grand-final.

By average viewers, the Major fared even worse. Only 40,069 viewers watched the games on average, down from the Berlin Major’s 66,399 average viewers. Notably, Berlin’s average figure was just shy of Jönköping’s peak figure. 

This was the lowest average viewership of any tier-one event on escharts’ records and it was also below DreamHack Montreal 2019’s average viewership. 

Considering viewership was trending upwards across the last three Six Majors, the cause of this drop can likely be attributed to the shockingly poor scheduling of the Jönköping Major. 

It clashed with the start of the FIFA World Cup, Thanksgiving, Counter-Strike’s BLAST Fall Finals, and Free Fire’s World Series, all of which drew away viewers. 

The tournament also included a number of awkward scheduling decisions, such as spacing the group stage games around the day rather than in regionally-ideal timings -- for example, Soniqs played all their group stage games at 1:30AM and 8:50AM PT. Positioning the reveal panel at the end of the day on Monday, rather than its usual pre-grand-final position on Sunday, also likely caused a dip in grand-final viewers.

While the Major was moved from Japan to Korea and then finally to Jönköping seemingly late on, attaching it to a DreamHack and delaying it from its originally planned date of Nov. 14-20 was an active decision, as were the match scheduling issues.

While the viewership drops was predictable as soon as the scheduling details were announced, this is still a massive shame as numerous fan favourite players -- Shaiiko, Paluh, nesk, Beaulo, BiBooAF, Geometrics, Julio, and Astro for example -- all made it into the playoffs. The grand-final also included a meeting for the ages in Shaiiko versus Paluh. 

While regional finals and SI qualifiers are to come, Siege will now effectively have a three-month break before the Six Invitational, an event that has always brought in impressive numbers of viewers. 

The next real test will come in May, when the next Six Major might take place as Ubisoft will hope to bounce back from a massive low point. With rumoured changes to the competitive format coming in the 2023 season, this could be a very different Major than fans are used to. 

At the very least, though, if a Brazil Major is announced, we’d be able to get a bigger in-person attendance even if online viewership continues to wane.

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