In 2020, the Mid-Season Invitational was canceled due to the pandemic. In 2021, Riot Games held this event in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, and reached new records.
The first day of the Group Stage has set a new record at the beginning as the first match of the day between DWG KIA and Cloud9 was watched by 1,1M Peak Viewers. However, the biggest amount of spectators usually comes to the finals and MSI 2021 isn’t an exception. Thus, our report will tell you about the results of the tournament and its new records.
The data from Chinese platforms isn’t included for greater objectivity.
MSI 2021 ran from May 6 to May 23 and reached 61.1M Hours Watched. Compared to 2019, the mark increased by 40.9%. The viewers peak was achieved during the final between Royal Never Give Up and DWG KIA — 1.8 million people.
The major hype was caused by Koreans DWG KIA who won Worlds 2020 and other recent major tournaments. Therefore, the question was whether they could repeat the success on MSI and take another winner's cup. Their final match was a full-fledged BO5 series, and the teams were almost equal till a certain period of time.
However, Royal Never Give Up interrupted Korea's winning streak and became the Champions of the Mid-Season Invitational. RNG didn't enter LPL playoffs in 2020, but in 2021 they took the first places both on LPL and MSI.
The final match set a new Peak Viewers record for the Mid-Season Invitational and the mark increased by 7.9% compared to 2019. Of course, MSI 2021 did not overcome the Worlds numbers, but now it is the fifth most popular League of Legends event by Peak Viewers.
Looking at the most popular teams of the tournament, we can conclude that the audience made the main bet on DWG KIA because their matches were watched by 923 thousand average viewers. Also, four matches with their participation were included in the top of the most watched battles of MSI 2021.
The Brazilians from PaiN Gaming are in second place — 879 thousand people on average. Although the team took 7-8 places at the tournament, this is a new statistical record for the Brazilian audience in terms of MSI and Worlds series.
Royal Never Give Up took seventh place in the ranking of the most popular teams by average viewers. Their matches were watched by 723 thousand people.
The main contribution by Hours Watched was made by English-speaking viewers — 32.5% of the total HW number. In second place are Korean-speaking viewers — 18.7%. The top 5 also includes Portuguese-, Spanish- and Chinese-speaking audiences.
The broadcasts took place on ten platforms, and the most popular stream was on LCK_Korea Twitch channel — 339K Peak Viewers. At the same time, Koreans are in the lead by Peak Viewers among all the platforms, excluding YouTube, as there was no Korean broadcast on that platform in 2021.
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