Riot's League of Legends World Championship draws to a close tomorrow and already it has drawn some huge viewer numbers online.
Newzoo reports that a single match on the tournament's first day gained over 1m concurrent viewers on Twitch alone. Since the beginning of the event there have been nearly 100m hours logged by Twitch viewers on LoL channels. During non-Championship time these same channels would typically attract around 25m hours.
It is estimated that global viewing hours for the tournament across all streaming channels will pass 250m. Last year's event was watched for around 179m hours, with 27m viewers tuning in to the final.
The League of Legends World Championship has always been immensely popular, as it pioneered the free-to-play eSports scene in the West,” Newzoo said. However, we can no longer look at single events as illustrative of growth.
More indicative of the eSports explosion is the number and frequency of big events. For example, the weekend of this past August 22nd/23rd marked another milestone in eSports history, when four events across the globe (ESL One Cologne, LCS Europe Finals, LCS North America Finals, and OGN Hearthstone Masters in Korea) drew more than 100k stadium attendees and entertained more than 50m unique enthusiasts worldwide.
Growth in number, frequency, and regional spread of large events per year per country will be the key indicators of future growth.”