LEC Summer Split 2023 opening week viewership shows slight decline

LEC Summer Split 2023
Photo credit: Michal Konkol, Riot Games

The League of Legends EMEA Championship (LEC), Europe’s top-flight League of Legends competition, has recorded a peak viewership of around 340,000 for its 2023 Summer Split opening week.

The opening week, which concluded this Monday, also saw over 3m hours watched and over 170,000 average viewers, according to esports data platform Esports Charts. For comparison, LEC Summer 2022 had around 190,000 average viewers in its opening week.

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The split is the first Summer Split in the LEC new format, which saw the introduction of three separate splits (Winter, Spring and Summer). The changes in the league’s format also mean that the LEC has three stages: regular season (best-of-one), group stage (best-of-three) and the playoffs (best-of-five).

For its opening week, the LEC ran around 17 hours of broadcast programming.

Of course, the LEC viewership will increase as the split goes forward, particularly during the playoffs stage. There is also some good news that can be found in the opening week viewership: the match between KOI and MAD Lions saw around 343,000 viewers, which is not a bad number when compared to the first week of LEC Spring 2023, which peaked at around 348,000 viewers.

The LEC is continuing to reap the benefits of regional broadcasts and co-streaming, with the Summer Split opening week garnering a peak viewership of 118,089 on Spanish-speaking platforms. Notably, the LEC has co-streaming partnerships with Spanish esports organisations Team Heretics and KOI.

The decline in viewership is also not endemic to the LEC. North America’s main League of Legends league, the LCS, saw a much more dramatic decline in numbers amid turmoil between organisations and Riot Games and the fact that the league was postponed from its initial date.

The LCS saw under 100,000 peak viewers during its opening day, a historic low for the league that is played in Riot’s home market. This figure did rise to 106,138 by the end of the gameweek.

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.