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Published: March 2, 2021

Written by: Barney

  • Amid declining LCS viewership, LEC has continued to drive reliable overall results 
  • Viewership in North American has declined despite shifts in schedule and a ramped-up schedule
  • Overall, League of Legends viewership remains steady despite a decline in NA LCS numbers 

The LEC and LCS have become polarized in terms of the Twitch viewership they have been generating for the 2021 Spring Split.

Viewership for LEC Continues to Climb up Steadily 

LEC’s Spring Split numbers this year continue to climb, and this is good news for the competitive European League of Legends scene. Last week posted close to 100,000 average viewers, or a whopping 60% increase year-over-year, according to SullyGnome, an analytics website. 

Broadcast for 13.5 hours over Friday and Saturday, and the English LEC coverage raked up some 1.32 million hours watched with 98,052 people watching on average and bringing a refreshing change. 

LEC’s results are in an upswing this year, with every weekend matching or improving on last year’s results. Even though the schedule has been juggled around to fit a tighter window, the fact is there are still as many games planned, and viewership numbers are likely to keep steady as they have for several weeks now. 

The league is also streaming in PolishGermanItalianHungarianPortugueseRussianSpanish, and French, although the French numbers are not factored in because the stream is live 24/7. 

The rest of the channels combined posted 1.84 million hours over the weekend games with 143,000 viewers in total, not too impressive, but still better than a year before and much better than the North American counterpart of the competitive circuit.

LCS Viewership in Steady Decline over Season 

The North American circuit, though, has suffered. LCS viewership is down the drain with a fourth consecutive week of unpalatable decline. While Riot Games shook up its format a little, polishing off some rough edges, no change in the setup helped restore numbers.

If anything, the decline has continued. Year-over-year, the decline in LCS viewership is not too striking, with 63,830 viewers watching this year on average compared to 70,179 viewers from a year before, the SullyGnome says.

Yet, these results are dispiriting in light of the increased number of games with a total of 15 compared to 10 last year. The league mostly shifted its Monday games back to Friday, which in itself was a good call.

The real trouble begins when the weekend arrives in earnest, with interest in live streams dropping quickly. LEC is holding up well, but LCS seems to be still panting to catch up. The issue with the league’s viewership, though, must be deeper. 

According to Newzoo, League of Legends has done well as a whole. The league has posted a total of 170.2 million total hours in January and 34.0 million esports hours, which has kept viewership flat. February results are still pending. There will be some winners, but then again, there would be some losers. Overall viewership for League of Legends is still doing well.

Valorant, Riot Game’s first-person shooter, ranked sixth in Newzoo’s total esports hours for January with 1.4 million clocked hours. Viewership for Valorant will be picking up later in May when the VALORANT Masters Stage Two heads over to Reykjavik, Iceland, the game’s first international esports gig. 

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