LCS 2021

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Riot Games Experiences Lowest LCS Viewership Since 2017

Abhimannu Das
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Highlights
Riot Games saw a dip in viewership at the LCS Summer Split 2021 compared to previous LCS seasons since 2017.
This season pulled in a peak of 364,000 concurrent viewers compared to LEC's 843,000 viewers.
Riot Games is also facing difficulties in hosting its events due to COVID-19, and the organization is reportedly moving Worlds 2021 from China to Europe.

100 Thieves won the recently concluded League Championship Series (LCS) Summer Split 2021 event, but the league has not been able to generate more viewers than its previous seasons. According to data from Esports Charts, the LCS had its lowest peak viewership count over the past five years. LCS Summer Split 2021 achieved a peak of 364,000 viewers which includes co-streams. The number was achieved during the grand finals between Team Liquid and 100 Thieves, which ended with 100T taking home a decisive 3-0 victory. The low peak viewership numbers may have been triggered by the finals being very short as it lasted only three rounds while other recent LCS grand finals have lasted at least four rounds.

Riot Games’ North American viewers are dipping

According to a report by Dot Esports, “the 2021 LCS Summer Split had less than half the peak viewership of its sister league in Europe, with the LEC (League of Legends European Championship) bringing in over 843,000 viewers during a thrilling series between Fnatic and G2 Esports.” The report also states that the reason behind the high viewership at the LEC could be driven by the fact that the match timings were well suited for North American (NA), Asian, and European viewers. But that was not the case for NA’s LCS Summer Split, as it was broadcasted at 8.00 PM GMT, which is not a suitable time for a lot of the Asian and European viewership.

The LCS, on the other hand, has failed to break its previous records. Since 2017, this is the lowest viewership that the event has experienced so far. 2017’s LCS Spring event had over 415,000 viewers with Cloud9 and Team Liquid competing against each other.

Another reason behind the dip in viewership could also be attributed to the fact that this season’s LCS had a lot of new signings but there were no breakout stars to look out for. Riot Games is also facing difficulties organizing its events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The publisher is reportedly looking to move Worlds 2021 from China to Europe. Worlds is the biggest esports event for Riot Games and the publisher will be looking to impress with this year’s event, following a highly successful 2020 with a peak viewership of 49.95 million concurrent viewers across all platforms.

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Abhimannu is a part of the content team at AFK Gaming and a lifelong obsessive gamer. He currently covers esports titles like VALORANT, CS: GO, Call of Duty, Fortnite, PUBG and more.