How Top Gaming Tournament Platforms Generated Over 255M Web Visits in 2021

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Organic Search & SEO
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January 19, 2022
Gaming

Key Takeaways

FACEIT, Challonge, ESLA Gaming, GosuGamers and UMG Gaming were identified as the Top 5 Gaming Tournament Platforms and generated over 255M web visits in 2021. Here’s how:

Organic search makes up 99% of all search traffic amongst the competitive set.

  • 74% of FACEIT’s search traffic comes from branded keywords, whereas ESL and GosuGamer’s search traffic is predominantly driven from non-branded keywords.

ESL Gaming has the largest audience on social media with a combined total of 5.4M followers, followed by FACEIT with 2.6M.

  • ESL Gaming and UMG Gaming are the only brands in the competitive set active on TikTok, and YouTube and Twitter are the predominant drivers of social traffic amongst all five brands.

UMG Gaming spent the most on digital advertising ($390K), followed by GosuGamers ($39K) and ESL Gaming ($29K).

  • FACEIT and Challonge did not run any digital ads over the year, and GosuGamer and UMG predominately focused their advertising budget on display ads.

Looking at web traffic and social followers in 2021 — FACEIT, Challonge, ESLA Gaming, GosuGamers and UMG Gaming were identified as the Top 5 Gaming Tournament Platforms. FACEIT drove the most web traffic with 184M web visits in 2021. The five sites generated a total of 255M web visits in 2021. 

FACEIT and UMG Gaming have the greatest average visit duration and page visits. The average desktop visit time of five websites is 5:17 minutes, with a visitor viewing 5.69 pages. 

*Desktop data only

On average, organic search makes up 99.8% of all search traffic amongst the competitive set. 74% of FACEIT’s search traffic comes from branded keywords, whereas ESL and GosuGamer’s search traffic is predominantly driven from non-branded keywords.

The following were the top converting search terms* amongst the competitive set in 2021: 

Top desktop search keywords

ESL Gaming has the largest audience on social media with a combined total of 5.4M followers, followed by FACEIT with 2.6M

Total followers include Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.

ESL Gaming and UMG Gaming are the only brands in the competitive set active on TikTok. FACEIT’s largest audience is on Twitch, followed by YouTube. Facebook followers make up over 50% of ESL’s followers.

*Social followers as of January 2022.

In 2021, UMG Gaming spent the most on digital advertising ($390K), followed by GosuGamers ($39K) and ESL Gaming ($29K). FACEIT and Challonge did not run any digital ads over the year.

*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, behavioural targeting or LinkedIn

82% of FACEIT’s web traffic comes directly to the site. Search makes up 13% followed by referral (3%) and social (2%).  

In 2021, Russia made up 13% of FACEIT’s web visitors. FACEIT's desktop web traffic accounted for 95% of its yearly traffic, and the majority of those visitors were male (82%); both significantly higher relative to the competitive set.

Social generates 374K monthly web visits on average to the FACEIT website. Of these social visits, YouTube makes up 51% of the total traffic, followed by VKontakte — a Russian based social media platform. 

The following were FACEIT’s top three social posts in 2021 based on total views:

Gamer Feature | Views: 224K | Engagements: 15.9K

New Game Teaser | Views: 116K | Engagements: 16.6K

Gamer Feature | Views: 48.1K | Engagements: 3.5K

Challonge has the highest amount of social traffic amongst the competitive set at 16%.

22% of Challonge’s web visitors are based in the US followed by Russia at 9%. Challonge draws 53% of its traffic from desktop, while 47% comes in from mobile devices. Most of Challonge’s web visitors are male and between the ages of 18 and 34.

Social generates 488K monthly web visits on average to the Challonge website. Of these social visits, YouTube makes up 41% of the total traffic, followed by Facebook and Twitter at 20% and 18%, respectively. 

The following were Challonge’s top three social posts in 2021 based on total views:

How to Video on Changing Display Name on Bracket | Views: 268 | Engagements: 3

How to Video on Using Tourney Bot | Views: 4.8K | Engagements: 55

Community Engagement | Views: 268 | Engagements: 1

ESL is the only brand whose largest marketing channel was search. The traffic from search accounted for 55% of ESL's total web traffic, and it also had the largest portion of referral traffic at 10%.

ESL’s web visitors are largely based in Germany, which accounted for 22% of its total web traffic in 2021. ESL was the only brand that generated more mobile traffic than desktop.

Social generates 93K monthly web visits on average to the ESL website. In 2021, social traffic peaked in July which aligned with ESL’s Summer Sale. ESL’s top social channels are Twitter (account for 30% of social traffic) followed by YouTube (29%). 

The following were ESL’s top three social posts in 2021 based on total views:

Gamer Feature in Partnership with Shopify | Views: 9.3K | Engagements: 1.1K

Gamer Feature in Partnership with Shopify | Views: 6.8K | Engagements: 600

Live Stream of JBL Quantum Cup - CS:GO | Views: 6.0K | Engagements: 82

ESL spent about $28.8K on digital ads in 2021, of which Facebook ads accounted for 50% of the budget. ESL increased ad spend in the latter half of the year, peaking in September with the launch of a video campaign on Twitch. 

*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, behavioural targeting or LinkedIn

The following were ESL’s top paid digital ads in 2021:

30s video ad that ran on Twitch promoting the Intel® Extreme Masters Certified Gaming System | Spend: $8.1K | Impressions: 742K | CPM: $10.91

Facebook image ad promoting ESL’s Winter Sale | Spend: $1.8K | Impressions: 184K CPM: $9.75

Display ad on nba.com promoting ESL’s NBA global championship | Spend: $5.3K | Impressions: 268K CPM: $19.78

Direct traffic accounts for 56% of GosuGamers’ web visits, followed by search at 37%, and social at 6%.

In comparison to other gaming sites, GosuGamer attracts a large number of web visitors from Asia—specifically the Philippines (16%), Vietnam (8%) and Malaysia (5%). The majority of GosuGamer’s web visitors are male, ages 18-34 and on desktop devices. 

Social generates 77K monthly web visits on average to the GosuGamer. Reddit drives the most traffic at 34% followed by YouTube and Twitter both at 30%.

The following were GosuGamers’ top three social posts in 2021 based on total views:

D.G. Pals NTF Promo to Register | Views: 69.8K | Engagements:8

CS:GO In-Game Contest | Views: 28.7K | Engagements: 143

Riot Points Giveaway Contest | Views: 27.3K | Engagements: 10

GosuGamer spent 99% of their $38.8K digital marketing budget in 2021 on display ads. GosuGamer spent 89% of this budget from September to December 2021.

GosuGamer allocated 99% of its digital budget to display ads on the GosuGamer website. The ads encouraged users to follow GosuGamers on Twitter or visit contests pages on their site.

*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, behavioural targeting or LinkedIn

49% of UMG’s web traffic comes directly to the site. Search makes up 41% followed by social (7%) and email (1%).

UMG attracts a large number of web visitors from South America—specifically in Colombia which makes up 32% of their web traffic and Argentina at 4%. North America makes up 34% of UMG’s total web traffic. 

Social generates 6.7K monthly web visits on average to the UMG website. YouTube and Twitter both account for 45% of the total social traffic, followed by Facebook at 5%.  

The following were UMG’s top three social posts in 2021 based on total views:

Tournament promotion | Views: 9.9K | Engagements: 145

Tournament promotion | Views: 9.4K | Engagements: 9

Gamer Feature from Tournament | Views: 8.9K | Engagements: 65

UMG spent $391K on digital ads in 2021 — the greatest amount out of the competitive set. All of UMG’s ad spend was allocated to display ads. Top websites were Titan TV and 2 News which accounted for 80% of the total ad spend. 

The following were UMG’s top paid display ads in 2021. UMG Bundle ads ran from May to August 2021. 

*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, behavioural targeting or LinkedIn


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