The 2022 League of Legends World Championship has broken the League of Legends esports viewership record by recording a peak viewership of 5.1m.
According to esports data company Esports Charts, this is an increase of 1.1m from its 2021 edition. As a result, the event is the most-watched League of Legends tournament in history and the second most-watched esports event in general, following the Free fire World Series 2021 Singapore.
It’s important to note that stastics provided by Esports Charts do not include Chinese viewers due to the unreliability when collecting these figures.
The League of Legends World Championship took place throughout October in North America (USA and Mexico). South Korean organisations T1 and DRX were the event’s two finalists, with DRX walking out victorious after a five-game series.
The event saw some changes and improvements to the presentation and distribution, which, in turn, resulted in much greater viewership than the Worlds that preceded it. The event also broke language records in English, Korean and Vietnamese for all games, as well as the record for the Spanish language broadcasts in League of Legends.
There were two important contributing factors in the 1.1m increase for the event. First was the opening ceremony, which saw American rapper and ‘President of League of Legends’ Lil Nas X perform live ahead of the tournament. He was joined by surprise guest Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast), one of the most popular YouTubers in the world. The ceremony itself was watched by more than 3.2m viewers, making it the second most watched moment of the tournament, only surpassed by the grand final.
This was also the first time that Riot Games allowed community streamers to cover the finals. Notably, Ibai Llanos, one of the biggest streamers on Twitch, covered the event on his own stream. Ibai’s channel saw around half a million concurrent viewers, a notable boost to the event’s numbers.
Interestingly, all of this was still not enough to bring League of Legends back on the throne of esports numbers. The number one most-watched esports event is still the Free Fire World Series 2021, which recorded around 200,000 more viewers. However, the FFWS only lasted around nine hours of air time, compared to the Worlds’ 143 hours of broadcast.