League of Legends World Championship is the biggest esports event in the world for the whole year. Last year tournament was the first in the history which gathered more than 100.000.000 viewers at once. Worlds move the whole esports industry forward by breaking the records and becoming the center of attention of millions of people.
Nevertheless, the past year appeared to be tough for the most popular MOBA in the world. The release of Fortnite and hype about this game hit League of Legends hard — according to the official reports Riot’s revenue reached the lowest levels for last several years. Therefore, we expected that the results of Worlds 2018 probably would not be so astonishing compared to last year. Fortunately, seems like we were wrong.
Play-In stage of League of Legends World Championship 2018 demonstrated serious growth. One of the most popular Chinese team EDward Gaming played in the Play-In stage, thus it brought millions of Chinese viewers to this stage. All five the most popular matched include the participation of this team. Luckily, EDward Gaming passed this stage and is going to join the Group Stage. That is why we can definitely say that if the Chinese team will continue to demonstrate excellent results, the tournament will surely beat the Worlds 2017 record.
Play-In was popular not only among the Chinese audience but also among viewers from other regions. For example, the amount of the Korean viewers has doubled, though there were no teams from Korea. All thanks to the Japanese team DetonatioN FocusMe, which was extremely popular among the Korean viewers. Unfortunately, the Japanese team finished their run and not going to join the Group Stage.
Turkish audience also demonstrated the huge growth. The number of viewers doubled, despite the fact that the only Turkish team, SuperMassive eSports, failed and would not play in the Group Stage, while 1907 Fenerbahçe overcame this threshold at Worlds 2017.
It is quite important to highlight the Vietnamese viewers. This region received a separate league and a direct invitation to the group stage in 2018. It means that there were no Vietnamese teams in the Play-In. Nevertheless, the number of Vietnamese viewers did not drop hard. It will be interesting to look at their activity in the next stages.
If we talk about the English-speaking audience, Cloud9 turned out to be the ace in the sleeves of the Play-In stage. One of the most popular teams from North America gathered a large audience, all five the most popular matches without Chinese viewers include the participation of C9.
Despite all the fears, Worlds 2018 demonstrate excellent results of viewers activity. There's a little left to do now — do not slow down. Visit ESC.Watch as often as you can if you are interested in esports future — our statistics are updated in real time.