The LEC Summer Split 2023 recorded a worrying drop in viewership numbers compared to last year. The reasons behind this are complex and very diverse. Here is everything you need to know about it.
The LEC Summer Split 2023 just ended with the final between G2 Esports and Excel. But nobody seems to care about it, since the League recorded a worrying drop in viewer numbers. But what is the reason behind this decrease and how do the numbers compare to the past year?
LoL: The Finals Nobody Cared About
The LEC is the highest competition in European League of Legends and has been a viewer magnet for more than a decade now. That the viewer numbers might dwindle after the hype years was expected and is normal. But now, there has been a massive and worrying drop in viewer numbers for the LEC Summer Split 2023. Especially in the peak numbers' department.
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According to the popular statistics website Esports Charts the peak viewer number dropped by more than 50% compared to the LEC Summer Split 2022. Roughly 344,000 user was the peak of this split, while last year nearly 733,000 people were watching.
The viewership record of 2022 was recorded during the season's final between G2 and Rogue, while the number of this split came from a normal season match between MAD and KOI. This split final, between G2 and Excel, was only watched by 325,000 viewers.
Compared to last year the average viewer number dropped from 212,000 to 172,000. So it's safe to say, that the LEC had a popularity problem. But what could be the reason behind this massive drop in numbers? The possible reasons behind this are complicated and might have to do with the League's format.
Why The Viewer Numbers Have Dropped
Well, if we take a look at the Reddit comment section, below the Thread regarding the numbers, there are plenty of reasons given by the community. One of these reasons was the current format of the LEC, which led to a "meaningless" season final.
LEC Summer 2023 peaks at 343,576 viewers, 53% drop from last year
by u/IWillStudyTomorrow in leagueoflegends
The user "hixagit", who wrote the most liked comment, stated:
Expected. The final was pretty much meaningless. No Worlds spot, nothing to gain for the summer final, played in the studio with a little crowd, no big opening ceremonies, no hype. Riot Europe has a lot to do to bring some meaning to the split winners in LEC, because I don't think many care who wins those splits, and they seem way less impactful than the ones in the old format. And it was a quick stomp too + XL doesn't bring many viewers, which didn't help.
So in his comment, the user presented several reasons in just a few sentences. And he's right about many of them, the finals were pretty much meaningless since no Worlds spot was fought for. The introduction of the three-split system robbed some of the meaning and impact of the splits, so it didn't felt that important anymore.
Also, Excel isn't the most popular franchise in the LEC and might have cost some viewers, even tho they earned it through their performances. And due to a dominating performance by G2 there wasn't even any thrill in the series as well.
The user "aussy16" also picked out the LEC's system as the biggest reason behind the poor viewer numbers:
Yeah not surprising considering the finals doesn't really matter at all other than for getting another trophy. I'm sure the actually LEC summer finals tourney will get more viewers, since worlds spots is probably what most viewers care about.
I cared a lot more about the games leading up to this match than this match itself, with who would get the last remaining spots.
It will be interesting to see if Riot will react to the poor numbers and work out a new and more exciting system for the next splits, since it's safe to say, that this is one of the core problems. But it's a sad development if you take a look at the numbers of the LEC and the LCS, the west seems to lose interest in competitive League of Legends,
Maybe the worlds, and some good performances by western teams, might increase the hype and so the viewer numbers for the upcoming splits. Only the future will show.
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