On July 10th, the Lower Bracket Finals Western European Qualifiers for The International 2021 wrapped up with OG triumphing over Team Nigma to head to the Grand Final. It was an incredible series. But few expected it to become one of the most-watched Dota 2 events in history.
The 2021 WEU TI10 Qualifiers etched themselves in history on Saturday (July 10th), as the matchup between OG and Team Nigma peaked at 546,223 viewers. According to data tracking company Esports Charts, the TI9 finals rematch between two of Europe’s best Dota 2 teams is the most-watched qualifiers of all time. It even eclipsed the records held by the Kuala Lumpur Major(526K) and the EPICENTER Major 2019 (523k). By doing so, the event become the 4th most-watched non-TI Dota 2 event ever.
Beyond this, this number was almost double of the next highest viewed TI10 Qualifiers. The Southeast Asia Qualifier boasted an impressive peak viewership of 258,348 - but has been dwarfed by the WEU Qualifiers.
The most-watched TI qualifiers of all time?
Esports Charts confirmed that the 546k+ viewers on the Lower Bracket Finals of the WEU TI10 Qualifiers made it the most watched qualifier match since 2016. The landmark series that ended the TI attendance streak of Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi is also one of the most watched non-Grand Final matches ever.
In a back and forth series that saw both teams pushed to the limit. Fans of both teams flocked to stream in record numbers. The turnout rivaled that of last months AniMajor, which also broke peak viewership records.
During the match, Dota 2 briefly became the most-watched game on Twitch. In a screenshot snapped by Reddit user Panishev, the game can be seen ahead of League of Legends, The Just Chatting category, CS:GO and Valorant. A rare occurrence usually reserved for The International itself, or Majors. Even then, Dota 2 sometimes struggled to beat out it’s principal rivals.
Are OG The Most Popular Team in the World?
Leading the viewership stats across the WEU TI10 Qualifiers are OG. The team’s games topped the charts across the entire event. Their two Day 4 matches against Team Nigma and Tundra were huge draws. Meanwhile, their two other series with these teams, and their clash with Vikin.gg on Day 1, never dipped below 300k.
This makes OG the most-watched team in the TI10 qualifiers, and will likely draw similar or greater numbers at TI10. They did the heavy lifting on the over 10.9 million hours of Dota 2 watched over the past few days. They were part of all five of the most-watched qualifiers series
The storyline of the defending champions returning to TI to reclaim their third-straight title is supremely engaging. Their attendance at the biggest event in the competitive Dota 2 calendar is sure to create even more buzz.