The League of Legends World Championship is the annual professional League of Legends world championship tournament hosted by Riot Games and is the culmination of each season. Teams compete for the champion title, the 70-pound Summoner’s Cup, and a multi-million-dollar championship prize.
During the 2022 World Championship finals, League of Legends broke its earlier concurrent viewership record. The match between the second and fourth seeds in the South Korean region, T1 and DRX, went to a fifth and decisive round. Needless to say, World 2022 ended on an exciting note. League of Legends fans rewarded the competition by watching the event at an unprecedented level.
Competitive League of Legends has a long history that can be detrimental to its growth and one of its most significant boons. Part of this is the South Korean teams’ continued dominance in League of Legends esports. As a result of their frequent appearances in international competitions, League of Legends fans are well acquainted with several key players. Faker, perhaps League of Legends’ biggest star, and Deft, who has always struggled in international competition, met in this year’s championship and created one of the year’s biggest storylines.
Many League of Legends esports fans expected T1 to win the all-Korean LCK winter Worlds 2022 final 3-1, but DRX defeated them 3-2 in a thrilling best-of-five series.
The fourth seed LCK underdogs, who began their journey in the Play-Ins (where they exchanged their cash for the incorrect currency), added another shocking upset to their run. They advanced to the Knockout Stage after defeating Worlds 2021 champions Edward Gaming 3-2 in the quarterfinals and LCK Summer champion Gen.G 3-1 in the semifinals.
The anime arc concluded with former Mapo High School classmates Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu on opposing sides of the Rift. They made their debuts at the same time in 2013 but almost 10 years later, Faker had three championship titles to his name while the other had none.
According to Esports Charts, the League of Legends 2022 World Championship was watched by at least 5.1 million concurrent viewers across streaming platforms. The peak occurred during the second of five T1 vs. DRX matches. Viewers were spread across several channels, including co-streamer Ibai, who drew 481,000 viewers on her own. Riot’s Twitch channel reached 990,000 viewers, while the League of Legends esports channel in South Korea reached 692,000.
While the 5.1 million viewers worldwide set League of Legends’ 2022 World Championship apart from almost all other esports events, it is not the most-watched event of all time. The 2021 Free Fire World Series had a peak of 5.4 million concurrent viewers. Nonetheless, after Dota 2’s The International 2022 viewership dropped by a million to 1.75 million in 2022, Riot and League of Legends fans will be relieved to see that excitement for the MOBA continues to grow.
As previously stated, the Worlds finals had some excellent storylines that likely contributed to viewership. However, with the second game of five being the most watched, it’s understandable that the storylines were less of a focus than fans were simply excited to watch. Viewership was most likely affected only by time zone differences, as the finals were held in San Francisco and ran late.
League of Legends remains one of the most popular video games in the world, with tens of millions of active players still playing the game. Staying viewership on streaming platforms like Twitch is a major factor in its continued success. The record-breaking performance of its World Championship shows just how successful League of Legends remains.
League of Legends is available now on PC.