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2021 Esports Awards and The Future of Mobile Gaming

Sarayah Wright
Sarayah Wright
3 min read
Posted on December 15, 2021
2021 Esports Awards and The Future of Mobile Gaming

While many may have their attention on December’s Game Awards, which saw wins by big video game and film franchises, studios and publishers, we would like to direct attention to another industry-relevant event.  

Last month celebrated the sixth annual Esports Awards. The globally recognized ceremony, originally based in London, streamed live on Twitch and was hosted at Arlington’s Esports Stadium in Texas. The show highlighted industry favorites and contributions from publishers, developers, competitive gamers and teams, PC players, platforms and the like. Other stand-out categories spotlighted cosplayers, content creators, analysts, journalists, creative products and cinematics. 

Mobile gaming also experienced a notable spotlight during the program that brought in a total of 1.5 million views on Twitch. Publisher of the year saw nominees such as Psyonix, Ubisoft, Tencent and Electronic Arts, some of whom have noteworthy stakes in the mobile gaming world, with Riot Games proving victorious.  

The show also featured a Mobile Game and Mobile Player of the Year categories—the wins respectively going to Garena’s multiplayer battle royale Free Fire and Nova Esport’s Zhu Bocheng, otherwise known as Nova Paraboy, a highly regarded PUBG mobile player. The Game Awards did have a Best Mobile Game category though — miHoYo’s Genshin Impact won.

The Future of Mobile Gaming and Esports

What the Esports Award’s inclusion of mobile gaming categories tells us is that mobile gaming is a space with demonstrated stakes, reach, community and opportunity for continued growth and innovation. And while stakeholders across industries know not to view award show superlatives as full representations of success, the Esports awards can help breakdown overall gaming and mobile gaming trends for developers, publishers and other gaming content creators.  

For instance, this year's Mobile Game of the Year went to Free Fire. This title has been the most downloaded game on the Google Play Store since 2019. Additionally, it has become the most downloaded mobile game in the world after surpassing 1 billion downloads across the App and Google Play Stores this year.  

Creatives was a huge theme at the fan-voted Esports Awards, proving just how much art direction, stimulating visuals and creative content are important to developers, publishers, players and fans alike in mobile.  

The Streamer of the Year awards category speaks to the popularity of gameplay videos in today’s age of social media. Discord even beat out big creative arts agencies for the Supporting Service of the Year award, again showing the important relationship between (mobile) gaming and social channels. The fact that Paraboy won Mobile Gamer of the Year in recognition of his contributions to Tencent’s PUBG Mobile correlates to the game’s current positioning as highest grossing mobile game in the world according to Sensor Tower data. 

Top Takeaways For Mobile App Publishers and Developers 

One thing publishers and developers can take away from an event like the Esports Awards is how everything from viral gameplay videos and social media platforms to individual and team championship wins, creative content creation and ads (the latter referencing Creative Piece of the Year) feeds back into mobile gaming revenue and provides direction as to where to spend your ad dollars as a publisher. 

If you are a publisher, developer, gamer or simply curious about what this all means in terms of mobile game monetization and how InMobi can help, head on over to our site and be on the lookout for our Mobile Gaming Trends Report in the New Year. We also encourage you to browse around our recommended reads and check out our YouTube channel for more related content. 

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