Europe has quickly become one of the most competitive and popular League of Legends regions in the world. In fact, the LEC held its Superweek for week one of the 2020 Summer Split and the extended weekend hit some huge numbers in terms of viewership, according to Riot.
The Superweek ended with the highest peak viewership for Europe at just over 479,000 viewers, Riot announced today. Several matches during the Superweek also had over 430,000 peak viewers, including all three of Fnatic’s games and G2’s matches against Team Vitality and Origen.
Overall, Riot said Superweek had a 254.24 percent increase in total hours watched over its three days, while over 13 million total hours have been watched across the first four weeks of the season.
— LEC (@LEC) July 14, 2020
Across the Summer Split, the LEC’s average minute audience—which calculates how many fans are watching at the same time—has grown 81 percent compared to the 2019 Summer Split, according to Riot. The league’s growth doesn’t stop there, however.
Last month, the LEC released a music video for Diplo’s “On My Mind” that featured some of the broadcast’s most popular on-air personalities. That video has already hit over one million views on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, according to Riot. The 2020 Summer Split promo video also has over one million views across those platforms.
This year, Europe has become one of the more exciting regions to watch for League. Fiery, young rosters like Rogue and MAD Lions have risen up to challenge the old guard of the LEC. And as a result, League fans have seen some of the best games in this region.
Earlier this month, in a Twitter thread regarding the format topic, Schmidt said he is not “fundamentally opposed” to another format and that if the viewers wanted either best-of-two or best-of-three matches, he would consider it. He did say, however, that while the other formats more accurately determine the better team, they require more of a time commitment from the viewer, make scheduling more difficult, and allow fewer chances of an upset.
He also said the LEC is doubling its viewership key performance indicators (KPI), which is a reason the league would not want to change its format.
The best-of-three format would impact the amount of time needed for broadcasts. Some broadcasts could be extended to a three-day weekend or feature all the games crunched in infeasible hours. Viewership would also likely suffer dramatically if two less popular teams played. While the matches of top teams will inherently bring more viewership, those teams that did not invest into branding may go unnoticed and drive away viewers from the stream, as shown by LPL and LCK bottom-tier teams having less viewership on average.