The League of Legends worldwide scene has the tendency to accumulate the biggest tension between the viewers during the duration of main western leagues – LCS and LEC. The global pandemic has caused the situation to escalate further, with the respective competitions being forced to adapt to the newfound problems as soon as possible. Let's talk about who exactly has managed to excel this time.
We will be considering each region on the separate basis first, only to compare their results later at the end of our article – determining the winner of the 10th esports season's spring.
For LoL esports, the middle of the season was highly problematic. Riot Games has faced the imminent threat of the pandemic and was forced to change and adapt its regional competitions in a very short amount of time. This has resulted in the company's initial decision of adopting the audience-free stage format for its matches. But soon enough, it has completely switched to the online matches.
LEC was one step short from setting a new record
LEC spring split has gathered 817 thousand peak viewers, which is almost twice as much as during the last spring. Still, the most popular match of the European League is still the one from the LEC Summer 2019. When it comes to the actual difference between the current season and the last summer, it amounts to less than 3%.
Such a result for the championship was brought by G2 Esports. The main team of the region (and of the West as a whole) has been setting records numerous times. After its phenomenal performance in 2019 (which includes winning the MSI and taking the silver at Worlds) it now has more fans than ever.
Aside of this, the roles within the team were adjusted right before the split: the roles of the ADC and central lane players were swapped. The team has also lost the first match in the playoffs, losing most of its chances for earning any kind of title in this competition. Additionally, the final part of the split had them face their main rivals: Fnatic. The ensuing amount hype has brought us the best result of the European championship's spring split.
Talking about G2 and Fnatic, it should be said that nowadays G2 Esports is arguably the most popular team among the two. During all the previous splits, the “samurai” couldn't get the upper hand in the average viewers ranking – each time Fnatic were ahead of them. But this year, the scales have tipped in favor of G2.
The season's playoffs could serve as the reason for such a turn of events. PerkZ and his team have lost the first match, dropping into the loser's grid. Prior to this, the team was usually unstoppable, completely obliterating its enemies. The sudden defeat was akin to a cold shower for the players, causing them to focus – and so already at its next match G2 has completely dominated its opponents.
LCS is quite behind the past seasons
The American league couldn't reach a result that would be even remotely similar to that of LEC. LCS Spring 2020 has gathered 387 peak viewers, which is the worst result of the league over the last several years – being inferior even to the finals of spring 2018.
Furthermore, the peak viewers mark was not reached at the split's final – but instead during the TSM vs. IMT match that has happened during the league's regular part. By the way, Team SoloMid have managed to exceed everyone's expectations this spring. It has taken part in the four out of the five most popular matches of this split.
The giant failure of Team Liquid may be the reason for the low indicators achieved by LCS. The aforementioned organization has earned the penultimate place during the spring split. This is the worst result of the team since the very founding of NA LCS. This is in stark contrast to the 2019 esports season when it became the most popular team in America and a third most popular team worldwide, being exceeded only by G2 Esports and Fnatic.
No chance for victory
When comparing the championships as a whole, the European region has fared better than its overseas counterpart in all possible aspects. This is shown not only by the overall top, but also by the general French-language broadcast. While this is not the first time the “Old World” came out on top, in the past the competition between these two leagues was on a more equal footing.
We can assume that the world stage performance of the American representatives is to blame for this. For several years already, Worlds serves as the stage for LCS failure. 2019 has also marked the first time when the playoffs have featured not a single North American team.
But when it comes to the European teams, the last two esports seasons have ended with rather good results. In 2018, Fnatic managed to make it to the finals of the World Championship, a feat repeated in 2019 by G2 Esports after first becoming the winner of MSI in the same year.
The popularity of the teams was interesting to compare. Based on the average viewers indicator, the top 5 features not a single representative of LCS; the Team SoloMid, being the most popular American team, has only managed to reach the sixth spot.
We have already made the worldwide team ranking in the past. At that time the top 10 has included three representatives of the American league: Liquid, TSM and Cloud9. Currently, the representatives of Team Liquid have left the top 10 due to their recent failure, while the other two teams have merely dropped to lower spots than before.
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