More than 100 million people watched the 'League of Legends' World Championship, cementing its place as the most popular esport
Joao Ferreira / ESPAT Media
- The "League of Legends" World Championship brought in more than 100 million viewers, including a peak of 44 million concurrent viewers, during the competition's final round on November 10.
- Teams from 13 regions around the world competed in the "League of Legends" World Championship, and the matches were broadcast in 16 different languages. The winning team, FunPlus Phenox, took home $834,375 in prize money.
- "League of Legends" esports events bring in more viewers than competing leagues, and the 10-year-old game itself is still one of the most played titles in the world.
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The 2019 "League of Legends" World Championship brought in more than 100 million viewers this year, marking another impressive milestone for the popular computer game that cements its place as the envy of the esports industry.
The championship coincided with the 10th anniversary of "League of Legends" itself, and reflected the game's consistent international popularity. At peak hours, more than eight million people are logged in playing League of Legends on a daily basis.
The overall popularity of "League of Legends" far surpasses most every other esport, save perhaps for more casual games like "Fortnite." The free-to-play game has drawn a massive audience, and creator Riot Games has steadily grown the "League of Legends" fandom with constant community engagement and partnerships that expand the franchise's recognizable characters beyond the gaming industry.
The League World Championship gathers teams from 13 different international regions for a multi-million dollar tournament. Qualifying teams played dozens of matches in Berlin, Madrid, and Paris over a five-week span, culminating in a $1.1 million championship match at the AccroHotels Arena in front of 15,000 fans on November 10. The championship match between G2 Esports and FunPlus Phoenix was broadcast in 16 different languages and the audience peaked at 44 million concurrent viewers.
The "League of Legends" World Championship doesn't offer as much overall prize money as other esports championships like the "Fortnite" World Cup, but "LoL" offers more stability for professional players. Players in the most successful regional leagues earn annual salaries and other benefits from their teams.
There are roughly 800 professional players playing for more than 100 different teams around the world. Teams have spent up to $30 million for a franchise slot in the North American League of Legends Championship Series. ESPN's Jacob Wolf pointed out on Twitter that viewership for the "League of Legends" World Championship far surpassed the audience for the "Overwatch League," another franchised esports league with multimillion dollar teams, built around a much newer game.
The success of "LoL" has made Riot Games one of America's largest video game makers, and the company is now working on seven new games, including multiple titles set in the "League of Legends" universe and new franchises designed for competitive play. The 2020 "League of Legends" esports season will launch in late January.
The @lolesports World Championship Finals nearly 20x'd the @overwatchleague Grand Finals this year in global average minute audience.- Jacob Wolf (@JacobWolf) December 17, 2019
Earlier this year, both @riotgames and @ATVI_AB partnered with @nielsen to standardize these metric numbers and it's clear League is bigger. pic.twitter.com/sEwpez473a
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