The main CIS LoL league wasn't broadcasted on the popular streaming platforms all year long, and after a long break the championship has returned to Twitch and YouTube. In this article we are going to tell you how has the whole situation affected the viewership of the Continental League Spring Split.
A little background: at the beginning of 2019 Riot has signed an exclusive Russian broadcast rights deal with Yandex. Tournament was broadcasted on the new streaming service called Yandex.Efir. Although it was a very unpleasant surprise for the community, the league had benefited greatly financially.
Shortly afterwards all the disadvantages of streaming on this new platform have become visible.
For starters, since Yandex is banned in Ukraine, Ukrainian viewers weren't able to watch the LCL broadcasts at all. There was no chat, so viewers couldn't communicate with each other, no options to create clips and so on. Basically, the platform just wasn't ready at the time.
As a result, a lot of viewers just decided to watch the rebroadcasts of the tournament on Twitch, where they at least were able to engage in a conversation with one another. And the main broadcast eventually became a place where viewers would just sit AFK and hope to "farm" some gifts.
However, ever since its return on Twitch and Youtube Continental League has been showing some good results. Peak mark of the series, which happened in the late spring of 2018, has improved by 6% and now stands at 80,000 viewers. As for the average viewership - numbers have more than doubled, on average around 29,000 viewers were watching the broadcast this spring, and that is by 128% more than the 2018 summer split, which held the "most watched" title. All in all, it is safe to say that the spring split is now the most popular one in league history.
As we have already mentioned, a lot of viewers were tuning in to get a chance to win special prizes just by watching the stream. Developers were gifting in-game cases, and by opening the cases viewers had a chance to get new skins, for which they'd have to pay real money otherwise.
In addition, split turned out to be quite interesting because of the tournament standings. Although Gambit were dominating the scene for a while, they haven't been able to bring their A game this time, and they've only managed to get to the semi-finals. League triumpher Unicorns of Love once again showed incredible performance, crushing every team who stood in their way, and their clean execution versus ROX in the finals deserves a special praise.
Let's not forget about the COVID-19 pandemic. Such increase in viewers is also due to the quarantine in some CIS countries and in Ukraine. Viewership has spiked at March 14th, and two days before that quarantine was implemented in Ukraine, and Russia with other CIS countries also took serious measures.
Summing up, it's safe to say that a lot of different factors have affected the success of the LCL Spring Split. Indeed, League broke some records, but it might very well not happen again anytime soon.