FACEIT is a UK company for multiplayer PvP gamers headquartered in London, with over 18 million players competing in more than 20 million game sessions each month. It was founded in 2012 by Niccolò Maisto, Alessandro Avallone and Michele Attisani, who wanted to create an environment devoted to amateur esports. FACEIT gives players the chance to play and run tournaments and leagues to win virtual prizes as well as real prizes, through “automated tournament management and matchmaking technology” (Crunchbase).
What makes FACEIT revolutionary is their advanced software development kit (SDK), which provides tools for publishers and developers that allow them to integrate matchmaking, tournaments, and leagues in their video games.
According to Dealroom.com, in 2019 the company was valued at 44-65 million dollars. Since 2011 they have raised 29 million dollars, of which 12 million came during the last investment round (Crunchbase).
After digging a little in their website and gathering data through their APIs, we had the opportunity to talk with the founder, Niccolò Maisto, who was well disposed to answer our questions about the data we collected, and confirmed that we were seeing just a fraction of the information that makes FACEIT great every year and explains their worth.
The data we have collected covers January 2019 until mid-March 2021 and, as previously mentioned, does not provide a complete overview. To better understand the company’s growth, we’ve considered a shorter time frame of one year (February 2020-2021), as we believed that this would create a better picture of their success.
FACEIT Data: a general overview
FACEIT general overview: Players per monthIn March and April 2020, when the pandemic hit, 19,983 and 26,455 non-unique players, respectively, used FACEIT platforms, with an average of about seventeen thousand non-unique players joining tournaments each month.
Assuming that no data has been lost because of an API version change, since February 2020 non-unique players increased about 67%. Even during summer and winter holidays, people joined tournaments in higher numbers than in the previous year, showing good customer retention.
In March 2020, 1457 championships were run, a notably high number, for sure, but considering the tricky situation due COVID 19 and the increase of non-unique players during the pandemic, this data may not seem so impressive. However, when looking at February 2021, the number of championships has increased to 1759, a 20% increase compared to the previous March, and a 110% increase compared to February 2020. This shows how much FACEIT has grown in just one year. During the summer, as expected, the number of championships, as well as the numbers of players, decreased, but right after that, trends have been higher than the previous year.
Since the beginning of 2020, about 221 thousand non-unique players have been playing almost nineteen thousand championships, with an average number of 11.3 players per championship. 81% of these players play on the European server, followed by 8.5% on the SA server, 3.4% from Southeast Asia, 2.9% joining from North America and just 2.5% from the US.
The strength of FACEIT: CS:GO Data
A similar analysis has been run for each videogame. We’ve decided to show the results of the major titles, and CS:GO is among them. Counter-Strike follows a similar positive trend as the one we’ve observed for the general overview.
Between February and March 2020 championships have increased by 103%, growing from 551 to 1123. Since then, numbers have been higher than ever before, with an overall growth of 113% in just one year.
Despite the decrease due to summer holidays, CS:GO players have clearly been more active. February 2020 and March 2020 exhibited growth of more than 80% non-unique active players per month, with a peak of 18,400 users during April 2020.
In one year (February 2020-2021), the platform has seen a 51% increase in players.
Since the beginning of 2020, almost 150 thousand non-unique players have joined tournaments, with an average of 12 players per championship. 88.8% are from Europe, followed by the SA servers (6.5%), the SEA servers (2.5%), and just 2.2% in the US.
Finally, the overall number of Counter-Strike championships in 2020-2021 is about 14 thousand.
The awakening of Rainbow Six Siege
On the 25th of August 2020, FACEIT launched FPL Rainbow Six. All players who can rank in the top 100 and pass the qualifier can access the tournament and try to win about five thousand dollars. Players can enter the Top 100 by earning points through FACEIT Elo, Ubisoft’s Open Cups, Solo Queues, and other competitions available on the FACEIT platform.
The competition started in September, which can give us an explanation for the increased number of players, as well as the number of championships. However, we cannot provide a comparison with February 2020, since we couldn’t find any data, and in order to justify this lack of numbers, there are two different hypotheses:
- The pandemic boosted tournaments of Rainbow Six Siege, bringing in players who joined the platform;
- We couldn’t access the previous data.
Since this latter hypothesis seems far-fetched, we assume that during the pandemic, more players populated the community, and the announcement of FPL Rainbow Six provided an additional boost to its popularity.
This demonstrates the ability of FACEIT to engage new users even almost ten years from its launch.
In total, 628 championships have been run in less than one year, with the participation of almost forty thousand non-unique players and an average of 27.68 players per championship.
Even in this case, the majority are from European servers (87.9%), but in a change from the two previous studies, the second-most popular server was North American, with 5.6%, followed by the SEA server (3.7%) and the SA server (2.7%).
What about Dota 2?
What’s interesting here is that even though the number of championships hasn’t increased in one year (except for June and July 2020), the number of non-unique players has risen significantly between October 2020 and January 2021, probably due to the FPL Circuit, which has enticed users to join Dota 2 tournaments.
Since February 2020, 836 tournaments have been run, with an average participation of 7.3 players per championship. 7487 non-unique players have joined from the EU server (86%), 5.1% are from Russia, and that’s followed by players from SA servers (3.9%), SEA players (3%) and just 1.9% on US servers.