2023 LCS Summer Split opening day records under 100,000 peak viewers

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(ESI Illustration) Image credit: LCS

The LCS, Riot Games’ North American League of Legends franchise competition, has recorded under 100,000 peak viewers on its 2023 Summer Split opening day, a record low for the tournament.

According to esports data platform Esports Charts, the most popular matchup between Cloud 9 and Golden Guardians garnered a peak viewership of 82,874. In comparison, the 2022 Summer Split’s opening match-up recorded around 118,000 peak viewers.

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This is the first time that the LCS Summer Split has recorded lower than 100,000 viewers on its opening day. The competition’s average viewership for the opening day was 64,727.

Earlier this year, Riot Games underwent significant broadcast changes that resulted in the LCS moving away from its traditional Saturday/Sunday schedule to weekday broadcasts.

Moreover, the LCS Summer Split was also delayed due to the league’s players voting on a walkout following the game developers’ changes to its tier-two system. Following the delay, the LCS will broadcast this split’s matches on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

The drop in opening-day viewership follows an overall trend seen this year from the LCS since its broadcast change. 2023’s LCS Spring Split recorded 271,376 peak viewers and an average viewership of 109,759 across its 135-hour air time. This is a drop from last year’s 387,072 and 123,411 peak and average viewership figures, respectively. 

Between splits, a lot of changes are also seemingly happening within the LCS franchises. North American esports organisation TSM announced that it will be planning to relocate to another tier-one region, moreover, CLG has been replaced by NRG following the latter acquisition of the former. 

Multiple LCS franchises have also pulled out of the ecosystem’s tier-two scene for the most recent NACL split, with only three organisations (Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses and FlyQuest) still having an Academy roster. 

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.