The LCS, North America’s League of Legends franchise esports series, has seen a viewership decrease for its Spring Split opening week, compared to last year.
According to Esports Charts, the first week of the 2023 LCS Spring Split recorded a peak viewership of 178,784. This is down from 2022’s LCS Spring opening weekend figure of 243,217.
The most viewed match-up of LCS’ opening week was Cloud9 vs 100 Thieves. However, the team that recorded the most hours watched over the game week was Evil Geniuses, with the North American organisation’s matches totalling around 337,000 hours watched.
This year the LCS underwent significant broadcast changes — alongside most of Riot Games’ major leagues — that could have impacted on the title’s viewership decrease. Most notably the series was moved from Saturday/Sunday to Thursday/Friday. The league initially received community backlash regarding its start time, which was initially set at 12pm PT / 3pm ET, since the league would be airing during work hours for most North Americans. However, this was later changed by Riot to 2pm PT/ 5pm ET.
During the LCS broadcast, the competition’s commercial partners for the split were also revealed through various advertisements that occurred during breaks and within the games. Some of LCS’ sponsors include the likes of Mastercard, Secretlab, Buffalo Wild Wings and Grubhub.
Riot Games’ North American esports competition isn’t the only League of Legends franchise league to record lower opening-day viewership figures. The LEC also garnered decreases on its opening game week, recording 454,630 peak viewers.
Meanwhile, LCK’s week one viewership took a hit, with the Korean league’s clash between Gen.G and T1 garnering 525,468. This is lower than last year’s LCK Spring figure of 675,389, though this figure was somewhat rectified by T1 vs DPlus securing 720,712 peak viewers in week two.
Esports Charts data notably does not include Chinese viewership figures, due to the difficulty of measuring that data.