Worlds 2018 from the very beginning made everyone understand that it is going to surprise the whole world this year. This year Play-In stage gathered much more viewers than Worlds 2017, that is why we expected even greater achievements during the group stage. Fortunately, we got what we wanted.
The number of viewers of Group Stage almost doubled compared with the last year, there were 129.565.533 spectators at the peak, with is the absolute record for the whole esports industry. All regions grew significantly. Of course, the Chinese were the biggest surprise — the number of viewers from the Middle Kingdom grew much stronger than any other region. The main reason for this is the successful performance of Chinese teams. All the of them went into the playoff and, what is the most interesting, they do not meet each other at the Quarterfinals. It increased the chance to get a lot of Chinese teams in the semifinals and Grand Final. Good performance of Chinese teams is very important right now — if at least one team from the Middle Kingdom will reach the final, we will get a new absolute record for the esports.
The number of non-Chinese viewers also increased. The Vietnamese were quite active — they pay back a lot to Riot for their decision to make Vietnam a separate region. The Koreans also show great interest to the tournament while there are no the biggest Korean star — Faker and his team. The number of viewers from Turkey decreased as it was expected as no Turkish team reached the Group Stage. It is quite sad as the Turkish viewers show great interest to the discipline.
Just in case if someone thinks that it is wrong to analyze the growth of the discipline in terms of the maximum number of viewers, our team gathered other statistics. I will share a small secret with you — the most honest indicator is the number of watched hours. Fortunately, it also grew significantly, so did the number of viewers on average.
The tournament shows a healthy upward trend, right now it all depends on how the teams will play. If the Chinese dominate, we will get the new absolute record which is important for esports. If at least one team from America of Europe (there are 3 teams from these regions out of 8 teams), then we will get a new record among non-Chinese audiences. We should look forward to and believe in a miracle!