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Worlds 2020: The changes in the viewer interest

Worlds 2020: The changes in the viewer interest

Each region is mostly rooting for its native teams. Standalone matches of international competitions tend to combine different audiences. But how does the interest of various language-based audiences tend to change based on the schedule? Let's take a look.

The group stage of the LoL World Championship was held during October 3rd-11th, with the matches of quarterfinals and semifinals being held during October 15th-25th. Based on our statistics, the most popular language (based on the peak viewers indicator) was either English or Korean, depending on the schedule. The third spot was consistently held by the Vietnamese. After enduring a tough battle, YouTube came on the top as the most popular platform.

Five game days of the group stage, containing matches of the most popular Western teams (such as Team SoloMid or Fnatic) pushed English language towards the top. Looking at the peak viewers indicators of the Korean broadcast, we can say that it became the most popular one in the remaining days of the group stage – when the country's native teams dominated the schedule. The DRX vs. Top Esports match attracted the most viewers.

During the playoffs, the gap between English and Korean became even greater. In fact, the gap became especially large during the Fnatic vs. Top Esports match on October 17th, reaching 419 thousand viewers (with English being ahead). On the other hand, the TES vs. Suning semifinals match featured a huge boom of viewability thanks to Vietnamese broadcast viewers.

Vietnam is expressing so much interest because of the Suning player – SofM, who is the LoL Worlds 2020 only Vietnamese player (as the regional teams were unable to attend the event due to the coronavirus pandemic). This attracted his fellow countrymen to the broadcast, as to follow the course of the events with the participation of their only representative. Incidentally, this is what allows Vietnamese to compete with the other two languages and consistently occupy the third spot in terms of language popularity.

Even this alone already allowed the Vietnamese broadcast to exceed its last year's maximum mark, which was now raised to 521 thousand viewers. That's given that we are yet to see the final match with Suning, which pretty much guarantees to update the record.

Before talking about the platforms, it should be added that only the rivalry between Twitch and YouTube is being taken into consideration – as these are the favorites which are far ahead of all the other platforms. The Chinese platforms are not taken into account as well due the impossibility of verifying the data they provide.

Now let's switch from languages to the platforms themselves – and this is where most viewers were gathered by YouTube – as of today its maximum mark was 1 million 390 thousand peak viewers. Meanwhile, all the eight game days of the group stage saw Twitch being more popular than its main rival.

However, the situation changed during the playoffs, and (with the exception of two days) YouTube managed to get ahead of its rival. During the Suning vs Top Esports semifinals match, Google's platform managed to overcome it's rival by as much as 419 thousand viewers. In percentage terms it means that on that same day, Youtube had 43% more peak viewers than Twitch.

The group stage saw the smallest gap between platforms on October 9th. This day was dominated by Asian teams and so didn't attract much interest from the Western viewers – causing the number of Twitch viewers to dwindle to the lowest point in the entire stage. It also caused the services to have the smallest difference of almost 5 thousand peak viewers.

YouTube dominated the playoffs thanks to the matches between the Eastern Bloc teams. Their battles are not that interesting to Western viewers, causing Twitch to lose a significant part of its audience. When it came to the semifinals, the situation further turned in favor of Google's service: at first YouTube overtook Twitch only slightly during the DAMWON vs. G2 Esports match, and then completely left its rival to bite the dust thanks to the Vietnamese views during the Top Esports vs. Suning match.

All of this can be seen as an extremely positive sign for the discipline itself. Unlike a number of other games, League of Legends manages to not only retain its existing audience but also develops (or even finds) new audiences in all corners of the planet. These two parameters will ensure that the strategy's popularity will only grow.

The list of participants is diverse enough for a wide variety of viewers to find their personal broadcast heroes. Towards the end of the tournament, everyone's interest has shifted from their native teams towards the strong participants – given that it is so interesting to watch the triumphs and failures of the latter.

English has won due to the much larger amount of generated content. It is the English-language broadcast that constantly features the final shows (although only a small part of the audience watches these). In case you are interested in this topic, know that we recently analyzed the English-language Twitch broadcast of LoL Worlds in great detail in this news.

The upcoming finals should bring the battle between the platforms to an end. Scheduled for October 31st, it will feature Suning and DAMWON competing for the gold. Given that the teams competing for the Summoner's Cup belong to the Asian scene, it seems that the victory will remain with YouTube. In case you want to become one of the first to learn about this, be sure to subscribe to our social network pages.

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