The League of Legends EMEA Championship (LEC) kicked off its 2024 season, with Winter Split viewership numbers recording a significant increase.
During the competition’s first two days, three individual matches saw more than 600,000 people tuning in simultaneously, according to esports data platform Esports Charts. This has already beaten the previous record of 555,521 recorded in the 2023 Winter Split playoff finals between MAD Lions and G2 Esports.
The first match to break the 600,000 barrier was the clash between French organisation Karmine Corp and London-based Fnatic on day one: a total of 617,991 tuned in to watch the game. On the following day, the record was broken once again, as G2 Esports and Karmine Corp hit 644,501 peak viewership, marking a 14% growth compared to last year’s best record.
Karmine Corp, who joined the LEC this year, proved to be a great addition to the competition, given its large and passionate fan base. KCorp’s co-owner, Kamel ‘Kameto’ Kebir, was also a contributing factor, having co-streamed the organisation’s matches. At one point, his stream recorded 174,907 viewers on Twitch, according to StreamCharts.
Co-streamers are gaining increasing popularity among esports fans, and Kameto is not the only one to have a positive impact on the LEC viewership numbers. Content creator and MAD Lions KOI’s co-owner Ibai ‘ibai’ Llanos also garnered over 168,000 viewers during LEC co-streaming. The match between his team and German organisation SK Gaming recorded the second-highest viewership numbers, peaking at 619,787.
Ibai’s esports organisation KOI is currently in the midst of being acquired by OverActive Media, the parent company of MAD Lions, which led to the team’s rebranding heading into 2024.
The involvement of the two organisations, their two owners, and most importantly, their community, are one of the reasons behind such rapid growth. These regional communities have further elevated the viewing experience of the LEC and increased overall viewer engagement. As a result, French-speaking platforms recorded a higher total peak viewership over the weekend than English platforms, garnering 254,981 and 237,121 viewers respectively.
With the LEC usually recording higher viewership during playoffs and high-stakes matches, there are still opportunities for these figures to grow even higher in the upcoming weeks.