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Online Crowds Flock to Maiden Qualifier Match as 2023 Worlds Play-In Begins

In this post:

  • The maiden qualifier match between BDS and Golden Guardians drew a massive online crowd.
  • It’s evident that fans were eagerly awaiting the opportunity to witness an EU vs. NA grudge match.
  • The shift to a midweek time slot instead of a weekend primetime broadcast undoubtedly had an impact.

The 2023 League of Legends World Championship Play-In stage kicked off with a bang on October 9th as fans from around the world tuned in to witness the highly-anticipated showdown between the LEC and LCS regions. Despite an inconvenient timing for both European and North American audiences, the maiden qualifier match between BDS and Golden Guardians drew a massive online crowd, setting the stage for an exciting tournament.

Record-breaking viewership

The maiden qualifier match for the 2023 Worlds Play-In made history by recording a staggering 618,854 peak concurrent viewers, according to statistics site Esports Charts. This exceptional viewership number nearly matched the heights of the LEC Summer, demonstrating the immense global interest in the League of Legends World Championship.

While a significant portion of this viewership can be attributed to pre-Worlds hype, it’s evident that fans were eagerly awaiting the opportunity to witness an EU vs. NA grudge match, a rarity since the mid-2010s shift to two major international tournaments annually. Despite the match’s one-sided outcome, it underlined the community’s dedication to all phases of Worlds, with fans turning out in massive numbers to witness the two fourth-seeded teams battle it out.

For the LCS, the recent split of the NA League season struggled to maintain viewership levels. The average viewership for the season barely surpassed 75,000, with the grand final showdown between Cloud9 and NRG peaking at around 224,000 viewers. These numbers pale in comparison to the digital crowd that gathered for the Worlds Play-In match, highlighting the challenges the LCS has faced in retaining its audience.

Several factors contributed to the decline in LCS viewership during the 2023 Summer season. The shift to a midweek timeslot instead of a weekend primetime broadcast undoubtedly had an impact. Furthermore, Riot Games’ decision to schedule the NA VALORANT Champions Tour in the studio on weekends further affected LCS viewership. This move was met with concerns that a similar drop in viewership might occur during Worlds, especially after the 2022 edition of the event experienced a nearly 40 percent decrease in viewership throughout the group stage, despite setting a new concurrent viewership record during the grand final.

Global trends in league viewership

League of Legends viewership faced challenges across the board during the 2023 Summer season. The LCK, for instance, experienced a significant hit in viewership due to Faker’s injury and absence during the midseason and playoffs. Meanwhile, the LEC’s peculiar schedule and spaced-out playoff series also saw a decline in viewership as fans and players voiced their concerns.

As the 2023 Worlds Play-In unfolds, the question remains whether these viewership trends will persist throughout this year’s chase for the Summoner’s Cup. The Play-In stage began with a match between Movistar Riders and PSG Talon, marking the start of the pinnacle tournament in the world of competitive League of Legends.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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