The inaugural LEC Winter Split has recorded a decrease in viewership during its opening week when compared to 2022.
The game week, which concluded on Monday, garnered a peak viewership of 454,630, according to data platform Esports Charts. This figure is down from the LEC 2022 Spring Split, which recorded 527,567 peak viewers.
LEC’s most viewed match-up of the opening week occurred on Sunday, with British esports organisation EXCEL facing off against Spanish organisation KOI. Interestingly EXCEL was also featured in last year’s most-watched opening match, that time against G2 Esports.
The competition’s decrease in viewers could be attributed to a number of factors, particularly the significant changes LEC has made to both its format and broadcast schedule. Late last year it was revealed that the LEC would change its broadcasting days from Friday and Saturday, with an occasional Sunday game week, to Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The LEC now also features three splits — Winter, Spring and Summer — with each split featuring a single round robin, a best-of-three group stage and then finally best-of-five playoffs.
From a commercial standpoint, this year’s LEC season features partnerships from notable brands such as Kitkat, KIA, Displate and Desperados 0.0%, the latter of which sponsors LEC’s German broadcast.
However, on a positive note, the competition did record its highest-ever Spanish-speaking viewership, likely a result of Riot Games’ recent co-streaming partnership with KOI and Team Heretics. The peak viewership of Spanish-speaking platforms for the LEC was 138,123.
Unfortunately, the LEC wasn’t the only European League of Legends competition to suffer declines in viewership from last year. The game’s Spanish regional league, LVP Superliga, recorded 113,075 during its opening game week last week. This is significantly lower than last year’s 2022 Spring Split figure of 196,366.