The League of Legends EMEA Championship (LEC) 2023 Season Finals concluded with a peak viewership of 654,942 during the grand final between G2 Esports and Fnatic.
According to esports data platform Esports Charts, this was the league’s highest viewership for the entire year. However, it was down nearly 11% (10.59%) from last season’s highest-viewed event, LEC Summer 2022, which garnered 732,573.
It’s worth noting that the Season Finals also recorded its highest average viewership of the 2023 LEC season, garnering 244,547 across its near 36-hour air-time.
According to information available through Esports Charts, the league’s Winter, Spring, and Summer splits garnered peak viewerships of around 556,000, 572,000 and 344,000, respectively, before the roadshow Grand Final in Montpellier.
The final’s peak will in part be down to the matchup between G2 and Fnatic — the region’s two most historic teams — who faced off in a grand final for the first time since 2020. G2 Esports walked out victorious, claiming EMEA’s first seed at the League of Legends World Championship.
Total hours watched for the entire LEC 2023 season increased from 67m to 72m compared to last year. However, there was also an increase in air time during the same period (278 hours in 2022 to 321 hours in 2023) due to the change in format.
LEC’s change from two splits in 2022 to three splits plus the Season Finals in 2023 may have played a part in the decreased viewership. However, the LEC is not the only league facing downward-trending viewership figures.
North America’s LCS Summer Split showed a drop in peak viewership from 370,000 in 2022 to 224,000 this year. Hours watched also decreased by roughly 25% from 2022 (36m hours) to 2023 (27m hours) without any significant format changes. Brazil’s CBLOL has also seen a drop in viewership this year.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the health of League of Legends esports, however, with the likes of Korea’s LCK continuing to thrive. The league reached a new all-time peak viewership high of 1.53m in its recent Summer Split, having previously set the record during its prior Spring Split.