The LOL esports scene has been growing rapidly throughout the last few years, and recent World Championship finals have shown just how big it can get. The 2014 World Championship was held in South Korea and had many viewers tuning in to watch the LOL World Finals. It was estimated that over 24 million people tuned into the finals, with an average concurrent viewership of over 4.2 million viewers. This is compared to last year’s Season 3 World Championships, where 27 Million unique viewers tuned in, each watching for at least two hours on average.
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Growth on LOL Esports :-
Even we all can say that this growth can be attributed to the massive popularity of LOL Esports. Since its release in 2009, League has garnered over 70 million active monthly players, with 27 Million playing every day. Each player is estimated to have logged on roughly 80 minutes a day for an average of around 30 hours per month, making it hard not to forget this game that has taken over PC gaming.
The World Championship has also been a major contributor to the popularity of the League. The Season 2 LOL Esports World Championships were held in Culver City, California and yielded above 32 Million unique viewers tuning in for an average of around 3 hours on each viewer, the highest viewed esports event at that time. The latest world finals were held 4 years later in Korea, coincidently the birthplace of esports. This time around, Korea played a major role in viewership, with 11 Million Korean viewers tuning in. Compared to America’s 1 Million and China’s 6 Million, this shows how loyal fans are to watching LOL being played at its highest level.
Few more reason why we saw sudden growth in LOL Esports :-
Another reason for League’s growing popularity was the introduction of a single team being able to have a massive impact on viewership. In 2014, Team SoloMid managed to beat their previous record for the highest watched LOL esports event with 8.29 Million people tuning in instead of last year’s 7 million viewers watching the Season 3 World Championships as TSM lost early on in the finals. This shows that having a single team in the finals that people have a strong affinity with is enough to increase viewership for an event.
It can be concluded from this that LOL has been growing at a steady rate over recent years and is only going to get bigger as they attract more fans in Asia and America, with huge impacts being made by European teams in the latter stages of each world championship.
It is also the only LOL esport to have a competitive scene for each major region, making it an accessible game for esports fans. While other esports games have a few large tournaments a year and a select group of teams competes to win these titles, League players from every region can play every week against other people from their own region to try and win their local League. This gives League players a sense of achievement over other esports game players.
Talking about the esport player base:-
Since the game has such a large player base, it is much easier for popular pro team players to influence others to play the game. Since they are seen as role models by so many fans, these professional gamers have large influence over even casual players. In an interview with Trevor “Quickshot” Henry, a caster who has been in the League esports scene since Season 1, he stated that from being at events from the past couple of years, it feels as though this is a golden age for esports and League especially. This growth can be seen by looking at the LOL Championship Series (LCS) and the events that were hosted in stadium-like venues such as Madison Square Garden, Staples Center and even Korea’s World Cup Stadium. As this popularity continues to grow, so do the opportunities for aspiring gamers who wish to become professionals at their craft.
Few points on the revenue which is generated from LOL Esports:-
The revenue generated from all these people playing has increased in a major way in the past few years. In 2014 the LOL Esports World Championships made 41 Million dollars in revenues from ticket sales and television deals alone. This number is going to continue rising as viewership numbers continue to rise. While there are many other esports games that make a ton of money from their respective players.