Is LEC Spring 2023’s drop in viewership worrying?

Image credit: Michal Konkol/Riot Games

League of Legends’ LEC Spring 2023 split concluded over the weekend, with the European competition recording a peak viewership of 572,391, down from Spring 2022’s figure of 723,061.

Average viewership for LEC Spring 2023 (219,007) was also lower than last year’s event (270,749), according to statistics from data platform Esports Charts. However, despite the lower figures on the surface, there is some cause for optimism.

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The match-up that secured the highest peak viewership in Spring 2023 was the grand final between MAD Lions and Team BDS. Interestingly, this is higher than Winter 2023’s peak figure of 555,521 which saw MAD Lions clash against popular European organisation G2 Esports

Despite not making the finals, G2 Esports featured in the second, third and fourth most-watched match-ups in Spring 2023.

It’s hard to compare LEC Spring 2023 to its previous year due to the fact that the European competition now operates over three splits instead of two. As a result, LEC Winter 2023 and Spring 2023 combined take place over a similar period of time (January – April) than last year’s Spring split. However, air time during that period has increased from approximately 135 hours in 2022 to over 190 hours. This is largely due to the new format featuring more games.

Whilst peak viewership across both 2023 splits is lower than LEC Spring 2022, average viewership remains consistent. This is particularly noticeable when looking at both LEC Spring 2023 (219,007) and LEC Winter (271,373) in comparison to LEC Spring 2022 (270,749). 

What also could be affecting LEC viewership and interest is the competition’s new tournament that will officially crown one definitive LEC Champion for 2023. Whilst becoming split champions is important for qualification to international events, the splits serve as a qualifier for the LEC 2023 Season Finals later this year. 

In terms of other statistics garnered from Spring 2023, KOI recorded the highest average viewership across its matches. Viewership was impacted by the organisation being given permission to co-stream its matches in Spanish for Winter 2023 and Spring 2023 splits. KOI is notably owned by popular content creator Ibai Llanos Garatea. 

Tom Daniels
Tom has been part of Esports Insider's team since October 2020 and is currently the platform's Editor. When not playing Football Manager, he enjoys reporting on the mobile esports scene as well as the betting sector.