Reaching nearly 900,000 peak concurrent viewers, the LEC’s debut year of franchising destroyed the Europe (EU) LCS’s previous records and showed up its North American (NA) LCS rivals.
Before the rebirth of G2 in 2019, it was near unprecedented for an EU team to be considered a true contender as the world’s best. Even at 2018 Worlds, a tournament famous for the Western resurgence, showcased Fnatic get demolished by Invictus Gaming in a 0–3 sweep during the Finals.
Now in 2019, G2 came out as the winners of MSI, destroying each region’s best team, as well as being the undisputed champion in their regional league during both the Spring and Summer Split. This new pedigree has put EU at the forefront of competitive League of Legends. Fans from all regions are excited to see G2 display their skills.
Considering G2’s dominance and the renowned rivalry of G2 vs FNC, it is no surprise that the LEC playoffs reached high numbers. What did surprise was the extent to which it reached. Peak concurrent views hit 864,337. A view count up 67 percent from 2018’s 517,548.
More details on the LEC Viewership Report here
EU emerges as viewership surges
By comparison, the LCS’s 2019 Summer finals reached only 494,765 concurrent viewers. Their more popular Spring playoffs reached 599,813 viewers, still trailing behind the LEC by staggering amounts. This year has decidedly put EU ahead of NA.
The effects of franchising are often unknown before it occurs, but the result of the LEC’s debut has been clearly apparent for the EU community. Before 2019, the EU LCS was managed and felt like a secondary NA LCS. The franchising rebrand into the LEC did wonders for their image, fully distinguishing them from their NA counterparts.
Production crew EU personalities like Andrew “Vedius” Day and Indiana “Froskurinn” Black have worked to provide fresh takes and content for the EU fans, effectively putting a fresh coat of paint over EU. The EU content team has gone extra lengths to provide quality content, to the extent of even producing music videos.
In the past, the NA LCS stood at the top of Western production in both viewership and quality. But in 2019, EU has surpassed it in not only production but also in regional skill. Heading into Worlds, it is no question which of the two is the favorite, leaving NA the opportunity to prove the world wrong.
Written by Devon Huge
Originally published at www.esportznetwork.com on September 23, 2019.