The RLCS 22-23 World Championship has broken Rocket League’s previous peak viewership record by a large margin after reaching a high of 468,292 peak concurrent viewers, according to Esports Charts data.
The event, which was played over two weeks and concluded on August 13th, nonetheless failed to surpass last season’s average concurrent viewership (average minute audience) figure.
The Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) is game developer Psyonix’s global esports circuit. The 2022-23 season had an overall prize pool of $6m (~£5.2m), with the World Championship alone distributing $2.1m (~£1.65m) of that.
This year’s World Championship, which took place in Düsseldorf, Germany this year, beat out Rocket League’s previous record (368,721 peak viewers) by about 100,000 viewers. The event saw its peak viewership figure reached in a semi-final matchup between French goliaths Team Vitality and Karmine Corp.
Both teams sport French rosters, a country where Rocket League enjoys a strong player- and fan-base. Unlike the grand finals, the semi-final match was also co-streamed by popular French streamer and Karmine Corp co-owner Kameto. The grand finals, which featured Team Vitality and another French roster in Team BDS, saw a peak of 425,196 viewers.
The importance of the French audience was reflected in the event’s language share. French-language streams peaked at 203,175 viewers, relatively not far behind English-language streams at 291,646 peak viewers.
Nonetheless, the event saw a slight dip in average viewership compared to last season’s World Championship. The 2022-23 World Championship saw 154,302 average viewers whereas this year’s World Championship recorded 147,858 average viewers. Both events maintained similar hours watched (9.5m vs 10m hours) and total air times (64 vs 66 hours).
Notably, North American teams performed poorly in the tournament, with no teams from NA (one of the biggest markets for Rocket League) making it past the quarterfinals. Other important regions including MENA and South America also failed to send teams past the quarterfinals.
Murty Shah, Esports Product and Operations Lead at Psyonix, said on Twitter (now X) following the conclusion of the event: “Our team, one that’s full of so many talented people, is on a mission to prove out the idea that Rocket League is the perfect esport.
“The vision is to go from city to city, putting on the best LANs we can, to showcase our beautiful game. This Worlds was the culmination of that vision. To make something I only dreamt about for so many years come to life on this scale has truly been the privilege of a lifetime.
While the RLCS season is officially over, the Rocket League portion of Saudi esports festival Gamers8 is taking place later this month. There is rumoured to be a long break ahead of the next RLCS season.