The most popular League of Legends competitive leagues are LPL and LCK — Chinese and Korean, primarily because of the huge viewership rates from the Middle Kingdom. In the same time LCS leagues in Europe and North America are the most popular in the world if we do not count Chinese viewers. Riot personally take care of organization that is why LCS demonstrated the highest level of quality, responsibility and entertainment.
EU and NA LCS have always fought each other for the audience, but in almost always North America became the winner. LCS spring season turned everything upside down this year — NA LCS viewership fell greatly while and EU LCS grow significantly.
Esports does not differ much from the traditional sports. It is a huge and bright show, a competition between the best and the most popular players and clubs. The popularity transforms into viewership rates.
The most popular North America organizations are Cloud9, Team Liquid and especially Team SoloMid. Matches with these teams almost always collects hundreds of thousands of viewers, especially in the playoffs of huge tournaments. The final of NA LCS Spring 2017 was remembered by the match between Team SoloMid and Cloud9, which gathered a record amount of viewers — over 641.000.
The situation has radically changed in 2018. Cloud9 and Team SoloMid leaved the tournament in the quarterfinals, which is why in top 4 was only one really popular organization — Team Liquid. It had a huge affect on the amount of viewers — a lot of fans view matches only with their favourite teams, while the fan base of little-known teams are not that large. Team Liquid somehow saved the situation with quite successful performance and their victory in the finals. Nevertheless, amount of viewers dropped significantly compared to the previous year — it had 520.000 at the peak.
There are only two really popular and large organizations in Europe — G2 and Fnatic. Matches between these two teams always collects a lot of viewers whenever or wherever they play — the group stages or the playoffs. Fnatic and G2 where quite unlucky in 2017 as they met each other in semifinal match so only one of them could reach final. Unicorns of Love were the opponent of G2 in the final — it is not the unknown team, but it is far from the popularity of Fnatic. That is why the final of EU LCS Spring 2017 was watched with almost the same amount of spectators as the semifinal — 398.000.
Fnatic and G2 were quite lucky in 2018 — they didn’t meet each other until the final. It provoked a huge increase in the amount of viewers — EU LCS Spring 2018 had 562.000 at the peak.
The popularity of esports event depends on the participation and successful performance of the most popular teams. The eternal conflict between Europe and North America within LCS is the excellent proof of this.