LEC’s 2023 Season: A New Format and A New Chapter

LEC’s 2023 Season

What a ride it has been for the LEC 2023 season! The League of Legends EMEA Championship, previously known simply as the European Championship, has evolved significantly this year. Not only did the LEC switch up its name, but it also introduced a Winter Split to the mix, making it a three-split season. Oh, and let’s not forget the epic return of live LAN Finals. To say this season was a game-changer would be an understatement.

A Milestone Year: LEC Turns 10

2023 isn’t just another year for the LEC; it’s a milestone. The league celebrates its 10th year, and what better way to commemorate the occasion than with a fresh, revamped format? While the addition of a third Winter Split was the talk of the town, the cherry on top had to be the live LAN Finals event. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane: the last time LEC had a dedicated regional finals event was way back in 2019. Oh, how time flies!

G2 Esports: The Goliath Keeps Winning

You can’t talk about the LEC without mentioning G2 Esports. These champs not only bagged the first title of the revamped Finals event but also further solidified their place as the most successful team in LEC history. Spoiler: it’s their 12th regional title. No biggie, right?

The Viewers Have Spoken

This year’s Finals saw a peak concurrent viewership of 654,000. The Grand Finals showdown between G2 and Fnatic seemed to be the magnet for most viewers. Now, it’s worth noting that this event recorded an average viewership of 244,500. That might seem pretty average compared to the data we’ve gathered over the last four years.

Past Events’ Average Viewerships

  • LEC Spring 2021: 300K
  • LEC Summer 2020: 310K

However, these numbers are a bit tricky to interpret, mainly because there’s no previous finals event for a direct comparison.

Event / Prize Pool / DatePeak ViewersPeak MatchAirtime
LEC Summer 2020 $218 080 – 12 Jun 2020 – 06 Sep 20201 002 178G2 vs FNC136h 20m
LEC Summer 2021 $240 980  11 Jun 2021 – 30 Aug 2021842 967G2 vs FNC136h 30m
LEC Summer 2019 $221 000 07 Jun 2019 – 08 Sep 2019841 147G2 vs FNC123h 45m
LEC Spring 2021 $240 980  22 Jan 2021-11 Apr 2021831 198MAD vs RGE143h 5m
LEC Spring 2020 $217 500  24 Jan 2020 – 19 Apr 2020817 397G2 vs FNC138h 35m
LEC Summer 2022 $215 000  17 Jun 2022 – 11 Sep 2022732 573G2 vs RGE143h 35m
LEC Spring 2022 $229 248  14 Jan 2022 – 10 Apr 2022723 061G2 vs RGE134h 50m
LEC Finals 2023 $175 000  19Aug 2023 – 10 Sep 2023654 942G2 vs FNC35h 50m

The Numbers Game: Hours Watched & More

Here’s where it gets juicy. In total, 8.7 million hours were spent watching the Finals across the weekends. Fnatic emerged as the fan-favorite team, racking up 5.7 million hours of that watch time. But hey, they had the advantage of playing four games, compared to G2’s three in the Winner’s Bracket.

Seasonal Viewership Over the Years

  • 2021: High on all metrics (Hours Watched, Peak Viewers, Average Viewers)
  • 2020: Second only to 2021
  • 2023: Increase in watch time by 7.5% (with a 15.6% increase in broadcast time)

While the LEC has generally seen a viewership decline since the peak year of 2021, the new format did bring a bump in watch time for the 2023 season. But, it also caused the average concurrent viewers to decline for both the Summer and Spring Splits.

Charts Leagues_comparison

A Look at Peak Viewership Over the Years

  • LEC Finals 2023: Ranked 8th overall
  • LEC Spring 2021: An improvement over Spring 2020
  • LEC Summer 2020: Holds the record with over 1M Peak Viewers

It’s too soon to gauge if these format changes will spell long-term success for the LEC. With the addition of Middle East and African teams in the league, there’s potential for growth. But as of the 2023 Finals, no teams from these new regions made an appearance.

In Summary

So, did the new format work? Well, it certainly made for a more entertaining season, with more opportunities for watch time. Yet, it also led to a dilution of viewership in the pre-existing splits. Regardless, it’s a fresh start and offers a new dynamic that will undoubtedly evolve as fans adjust to the changes.

Stay tuned for more in-depth statistics and analyses on the LEC’s 2023 season. Trust me; we’ve only scratched the surface!

General Sport Observer Marc Defaou
reviewed by: Marc Defaou (Sport Expert)

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