League of Legends Season 2 World Championships Sets eSports Viewing Record
by Alan LaFleur October 22, 2012 @ 03:10pm
In a post on the League of Legends website by Dustin 'RedBeard' Beck, Riot Games' VP of eSports, he gives exact numbers on how many people actually tuned in:
- Over 8,000 of you traveled from all corners of the globe to cheer on Azubu Frost and the Taipei Assassins in person
- More than 8,282,000 unique viewers tuned in for the World Finals via TV and stream worldwide (including 2,402,225 TV viewers in Korea and China)
- At peak, over 1,154,000 people were watching online alone (not counting any TV numbers) during the World Finals
- Over the course of both the World Playoffs and Finals, people watched 24,230,688 hours of League of Legends
Personally, I believe the championships would get over a million concurrent viewers just because of all the international competition in one tournament. However, the numbers that we have seen are staggering and has raised the bar for all other eSports.
What is the difference between Riot and other developers that has led to this moment of record breaking numbers? They have built the perfect storm of a game to make this happen. Think about traditional sport and what you need to play. Football needs a ball, an open field, and something to mark out of bounds territories. With baseball you need a glove, a ball, and a bat. Sport is supposed to be easily accessible and Riot has made the most easily accessible game in the history of Gaming. There are other free games, but they don't make the type of money Riot makes on this "free" game.
Destiny talking about the state of StarCraft 2
So with all that said, the game with the all-encompassing fan base of casual players, hardcore players, and all the ones in between released numbers that have crushed all other numbers to date.
Another thing about League of Legends as an eSport is that, you probably won't see League of Legends 2 any time in the near future. Why? Players have a lot of time and money invested into the game, moving to League of Legends 2 would tick people off. This is a good thing because last time I checked there is no American Football 2. Every time a eSport gets into sequels of games, the eSport gets fractured in the community, it is a big problem. I take solace in the fact that we won't see that in League of Legends. In fact, League of Legends can only get better because as long as people are playing and supporting the game by buying skins and champions, Riot can continue to pump more and more resources into development (come on replay system!).
Moral of the story is that a successful eSport is much more than the hardcore base. The 8.2 million views during the World Championship proves that.
Banner Image from artubr on Flickr