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Published: April 14, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • The 30-year-old CEO talked about LoL’s state on the official 100T podcast
  • He thinks that there are not enough new players entering LoL
  • Nedshot also addressed the fact that the LCS’s popularity has dropped significantly recently

Professional League of Legends in North America has been struggling for years and 100 Thieves’ CEO Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag tried to explain why this is.

Nadeshot Talks About NA LoL

When someone mentions professional League of Legends teams, one may often think about European o East Asian Squads. Rarely are organizations from North America the first thing that comes to mind of a person when talking about high-level competitive LoL. In fact, there was, and arguably still is, the stereotype that the League of Legends World champions are always from South Korea or China.

This all seems to point to a bigger problem with the North American competitive League of Legends scene and recently, 100 Thieves’ CEO Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag tried to explain why this is the case. Talking on the 100T official podcast on April 12, the 30-year-old CEO argued that there aren’t many new players who put in the time and effort to become the best in the region.

“When you ask a 16-year-old kid what’s the first game they play when they get home from school […] you poll 100 16-year-olds, I would say maybe five of them are going home out of those 100 and go play League of Legends,” Nadeshot said.

The 100T CEO also explained that League’s age is also a factor in North America’s problems. Because the game has been out since 2009, it’s already a game with more than a decade of history. This means that there aren’t many new players coming into the game and focusing on getting better at it. In turn, this reduces the number of available players that can enter into professional gaming. Nadeshot added that LoL also just is not that popular in NA. 

We could also say that population also matters for the availability of new players to enter professional League of Legends. The USA and Canada have a combined population of less than 400 million people, which is less than half of Europe’s 800 million, and is dwarfed by East Asia’s population. The latter two regions simply have way more people, which in turn provides a greater pool of availability for new players.

Nadeshot also talked about the low LCS viewership numbers and how they can be seen as a symptom of the state of League’s popularity in NA. The latest grand final of the 2023 LCS Spring Split between Cloud9 and Golden Guardians had 271,000 viewers tune in during its peak. This could be attributed to the fact that the LCS broadcast days shifted from Saturday and Sunday to Thursday and Friday, when people are less able to watch it because of school, work, etc. The next big series of the LCS will return on June 1st when the Summer Split begins, so we’ll just have to wait and see if that even manages to drive up interest in competitive LoL.

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