LoL Worlds 2022: Disappointing Group Stage Viewership Numbers

The League of Legends World Championship is the biggest esports event of the year, but unlike in previous instances, the 2022 Worlds seems to be behind in viewership.

LoL Worlds 2022
The viewership hasn't been what it once was. | © Riot Games

The League of Legends World Championship is the biggest esports tournament in the world. Millions of people tune in to watch the best of the best go head-to-head in a month-long tournament, but it seems that in 2022 the numbers have dropped... significantly.

Why is the viewership down? Let's take a look at the conditions of the broadcast and why there might be fewer people tuning in to the event this year than in previous instances. Are you watching the games live?

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LoL Worlds Viewership Drops Immensely Compared to 2021

We just finished the League of Legends World Championship group stage, but it seems like this year won't hold the same amount of record viewership numbers as in previous years. According to a report by esports charts, viewership for this year's group stage has dropped by almost 40% compared to 2021.

Peak viewership in 2021 was at 2.3 million, while this number dropped to 1.3 million in 2022. Viewership in 2020 was even higher with a peak viewership of 1.8 million. It isn't just peak viewership, but hours watched, and average viewers are also down.

Every single statistic has dropped by a significant margin in 2022. The most viewed game of the group stage was between T1 and Fnatic, raking in 1.3 million viewers mentioned above. On the other hand in 2021 the 2.2 million came in when T1 faced off against the LJL representative DetonatioN FocusMe.

T1, Fnatic and Edward Gaming are the three teams with the most average viewership, with the LCK second seed raking in an average viewership of just over 1 million. No other team at the World Championship group stage has managed an average viewership of over 1 million. This goes to show that Faker and T1 are still the kings of League of Legends even if the last Summoner's Cup came in 2016.

Okay, but enough esports. We also need to be informed of the upcoming LoL preseason, right?

Potential Reasons for Drop in Viewership

Time Zones

Esports charts stated that one of the main reasons for this drop in viewership could be the time zones. Both LEC, LPL and LCK fans have very awkward times to watch the action, with Europeans having to stay up to the early hours in the morning to watch, while games are in the early mornings for Asian League of Legends fans.

Therefore, the difference in time zones seems to have influenced the viewership numbers. In 2021 the League of Legends World Championship took place in Iceland, which is why the times to watch the event was favorable to both European, Chinese and Korean viewers.

The fact that, according to esports charts, viewership in Portuguese and Korean dropped drastically only points to this issue as well. Korean numbers in viewership were down by 60%, while Portuguese viewership dropped by 40%.

EU Teams Performance

European League of Legends fans had to, not only, suffer through awful start times for their matches, but they also had to endure some of the worst League of Legends from any European team at any Worlds event. G2 Esports, who are known for their prowess at international tournament, went 1–5, Fnatic finished their group with 2–4 and Rogue barely made it over the finish line thanks to the Vietnamese representative GAM Esports beating TES.

Watching the train wreck that was the LEC performance in the last week wouldn't want to make any EU fan stay up into the early hours of the morning, which could be another reason for the drop of viewership, especially in the second week of the group stage. The second game between Fnatic and T1 only raked in a viewership of 1.2 million.

LoL Worlds Format

Another reason that could add to the fire of the decline in viewership is that many fans are dissatisfied with the current League of Legends World Championship format. Having some of the most important games play out in mere best-of-ones is very dissatisfying to watch.

The fact that there won't be a lower bracket either in the knock-out round is another reason why some fans could be dissatisfied with the group stage and therefore didn't bother to tune in.

Will you be staying up to watch Rogue face the LPL first seed JD Gaming on Thursday, October 20? The game is set to kick off at 11 PM CEST (5 PM EST). This is a huge David vs. Goliath match, will Rogue be able to overcome the beast that is JDG?

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