MSI 2023 breaks viewership record despite low finals figure

Last weekend League of Legends’ Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) concluded in London, with the event becoming its most popular edition ever.

According to Esports Charts, the tournament recorded a peak viewership of just under 2.3m, making it the most-watched edition of MSI to date.

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In comparison to last year’s MSI, which is now the second most popular edition, this year’s event recorded a marginally better peak viewership – 2.3m compared to 2.2m. However, average viewership for the League of Legends competition climbed from 588,000 in 2022 to almost 800,000.

This year, MSI adopted a double elimination format for the first time, as well as featuring more teams from the ecosystem’s ‘major’ regions: Europe, North America, China and Korea.

Interestingly, the grand final between two Chinese organisations, Bilibili Gaming and JD Gaming, was not in the top five most-watched matches, according to Esports Charts. The final attracted around 1.1m peak viewers, while the most-watched match was between T1 and JDG in the bracket stage.

However, it must be noted that Esports Charts does not include data from Chinese streaming platforms. As such, the figure might not tell the whole story considering the fact that the grand final was played between two Chinese teams.

MSI is traditionally the second most popular League of Legends tournament, after the World Championship. The 2023 edition took place in England for the first time ever and notably featured the inclusion of co-streaming for the first time ever. Streamers such as Ibai and YoDa were amongst those who co-streamed the event, with the duo even streaming directly from the Copperbox Arena, a first for Riot Games.

Even excluding the Chinese numbers, the latest edition of the MSI has shown improvements across the board. It must also be noted that the MSI took place at around the same time as the last CS:GO Major tournament in history, the Paris Major.

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.