This autumn, we were lucky to observe some new esports records!
The sensational match between G2 and SK Telecom T1 during the LoL Worlds 2019 semifinal has attracted nearly 4 million people at peak. This sets an amazing new record for the entire esports industry. But what about the competition itself and its retrospective comparison?
Overall, the 2019 season is definitely the most successful in the history League of Legends World Championship series. The championship has managed to increase all three key indicators: the peak viewers, the average viewers and the hours watched.
Worlds 2019 has gathered 3 million 985 thousand peak viewers. This number exceeds the result of the 2018 season's event almost twice! Compared to 2016 this number is +146%.
The increase in average viewers compared to the last season's World Cup has reached +60%.
Let's talk about the most popular teams! The first spot is quite expectedly taken by SK Telecom T1 with 1 million 683 thousand people watching a game on average. They are followed by two European teams: Fnatic and G2 Esports.
One of the keys to such SKT popularity (except outstanding competitive peformance) is a remarkable support of Korean fans. Korean is the second most popular language at this Worlds and has almost managed to reach the first spot (which is obviously taken by English). Closing the top 3 was the Vietnamese broadcast.
It is important to mention the format of the competitive League of Legends scene - since 2017, a whole stage has been added to the main tournament of the discipline. The developers have abolished the International Wildcard, adding a preliminary stage to the World Championship instead. This change was the reason for such a difference in airtime.
It is worth paying attention to the most popular matches of the World Championship series starting from 2016. Each time when T1 took part in the competition, they performed the most popular match. This happened twice during the semifinals: for the first time during the LoL Worlds 2017, and for the second time this year.
It should be noted that over the last several years, Worlds could never reach a complete victory over their predecessors (in terms of 3 key indicators — the peak viewers, the average viewers and the hours watched). Usually, a championship has only improved one of the indicators, which has caused many to joke about the strategy's decline. However, the jokes about the “dying game” have finally lost their meaning.