While the United States may consistently beat Europe when it comes to Olympic Sports, Europe reigns supreme when it comes to LoL it appears.
According to ESCHARTS, The League Championship Series (LCS) viewership has continued to drop for the third year in a row. Meanwhile the EU LCS is attracting more viewers than ever. Although, that wasn’t always the case.
When the league had an EU LCS and an NA LCS back in 2017, the average viewership had a stronger base for the NA side. That year the EU LCS attracted 139,018 viewers compared to NA LCS’ 176,595. The following year the average viewership was still in higher support of NA LCS with Spring at 212,986 and EU LCS at 153,756.
LEC and LCS division triggered shift in viewership figures
In 2019 Riot Games decided to disband the EU and NA LCS to create separate competitions; the LEC and the LCS. Since then the LCS has struggled to maintain its lead on viewership. The LCS Spring 2019 attracted an average of 207,887 viewers, but currently sits at 153,318 for Spring 2021.
In comparison, the LEC viewership numbers for the European competition have risen from 207,887 in 2019 to 281,195 in 2021. The figures for 2021 are even more impressive considering the Spring league still has yet to finish.
LCS viewership drop: stagnation to blame?
A recurring thought within the community for LCS viewership’s demise is that it has become stagnant and predictable. The same four teams make it to the top 4: Team Liquid, CLG, Cloud9 and Team SoloMid.
This has been the case since the Spring of 2013 when Team SoloMid got their first win. Since then, Team SoloMid has ranked in the top 4 each year. Cloud9 got their first win in Summer 2013 and have stayed in the top 4. Meanwhile, CLG came third in NA LCS Spring 2014 and were top 4 ever since except for 2018. Finally, Team Liquid came third in the Spring of 2015 and has been in the top 4 ever since except for in 2017.
LEC: Winning World Championships and gaining viewers
LEC, on the other hand, while you are likely to see G2 or Fnatic win. There is a real battle for it; the top 4 is never the same, and the teams that come on board each year are different from the last.
EU teams have made a name for themselves on the world stage, with Fnatic being in the Final and winning the 2011 first League World Championship. Since then, 6 EU teams have made it to the top 4, and every year an EU team makes it into at least the quarter-finals and top 6, except for in 2014.
The highest the USA teams have been is third with the predictable TSG and Cloud9. Since 2019 they have not even made it to the top 8. While LCS is far from dead, it is impossible to deny that it simply does not have anywhere near the viewership that LEC does. Going from Spring 2020-2021, we see the European teams are gaining average viewers while sadly, the LCS teams views are dropping.
Teaser Image from LoL Esports Flickr