IEM Katowice sets viewership record amid coronavirus outbreak

IEM Katowice, one of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s most iconic annual competitions, reached a historic milestone Sunday.

According to Esports Charts, more than 1 million viewers watched the grand final, making it the most-watched non-Major match of all time -- and the fifth-largest viewership in CS:GO history.

Natus Vincere dominated the competition throughout, topping G2 Esports 3-0 in the grand final to win the title. Per Esports Charts, 1,002,132 people saw Na’Vi’s finals win, 721,315 saw Na’Vi take down Astralis in the semifinals, 553,573 watched Na’Vi beat Team Liquid in the quarters, and 545,232 saw Na’Vi beat FaZe Clan to advance to the playoffs.

The high viewership is likely due to a couple of primary factors.

First, the 11,500-seat Spodek Arena in Katowice, Poland, was empty when it hosted the three-day playoffs as the Polish government closed the event to the public over the coronavirus outbreak.

Second, Na’Vi superstar Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev competed at a mind-blowing pace throughout the event, turning in several highlight-reel plays during one of the best performances in recent memory.

According to VPEsports, IEM Katowice trails only the FACEIT Major 2018 in London (1.08 million), IEM Katowice 2019 (1.2M), the ELEAGUE Major 2018 in Boston (1.32M) and the ELEAGUE Major 2017 in Atlanta (1.33M) in terms of viewership.

--Field Level Media