And Europe takes the lead in its perpetual rivalry against NA.
We’re approaching the halfway mark for many leagues in competitive League of Legends, and as usual, North American and European fans are getting ready to rekindle the rivalry between the two regions. Unfortunately for LCS fans, in terms of overall viewership, the LEC has them beat by more than double through the first four weeks of play.
The 2023 LEC Winter Split currently has an average concurrent viewership number of just over 288,000 people, with a peak of about 486,000 viewers during the second week of the regular season, according to esports stream stats aggregate Esports Charts.
This completely overshadows the LCS, which only has a average concurrent viewership of about 109,000 spectators, with its peak viewership count only reaching 178,000. This disparity might be shocking for some, but for others, it isn’t as surprising as it might seem because of the various changes that have occurred to both leagues.
Related: Why other LoL esports regions should consider adopting the LECs new season format
In Europe, for example, the LEC is thriving after a series of sweeping changes to the league’s general format, including a new Winter Split that has a three-week regular season, a group stage, and a four-team playoff bracket. Since teams can be eliminated from championship contention through the first three weeks of play, every game matters and each week is a must-watch for supporters.
It also helps that one of the fastest-rising esports organizations joined the league this year, with KOI bringing over a whole army of new fans and viewers who have taken over the charts with ease. In fact, four of the top five most-viewed games of the season so far have featured the Spanish squad and all crested over 450,000 viewers each.
Meanwhile, the LCS is still adjusting to its new broadcast days on Thursday and Friday. The league starts at 4pm CT, which is a relatively inconvenient time for some viewers in Western NA, along with EU fans looking to tune in. Although the level of competition has arguably improved, it’ll be tough for the LCS to rival the LEC at the moment in terms of viewership.