2020 LEC Spring debut fails to match last year's viewership

Marta J. January 26, 2020

Compared to the last year, the 2020 LEC Spring Split had a significantly lower number of viewers on its opening day.

The second season of the rebranded League of Legends European Championship is not on the best track with viewership growth. While Fnatic was the team bringing in the most views both last year and this year’s first day of the season, the 2019 match peaked notably higher.

According to data provided by Esports Charts, the first day of the 2020 LEC Spring Split peaked at over 115,000 fewer viewers than last year, 70,000 less average viewers, and almost a million fewer hours watched.

LEC 2019 vs 2020

In 2019, it was Fnatic’s match against SK Gaming that was the most interesting to fans, and it was the first match of the season. This year, it was Fnatic against Origen, the last match of the first day.

2020 LEC failed to reach last year’s hype, stands as strong as the LCS

There’s a number of possible reasons for the drop in viewership. The first and most obvious one was that the hype created last year resulted from the new franchising model. Fans were excited to see how the European league would do while separated from the LCS, there were new teams in the league with new branding, and more, which resulted in an inflation of viewership.

Riot Games decided to separate the 2020 LCS Spring Split from the developers’ main Twitch channel that counts over four million followers, while the new LEC channel counts a bit over 500,000 total followers after the conclusion of the first week. That’s a noteworthy decrease in the number of notifications Twitch sent to fans that the league is live.

The opening of the LEC didn’t, however, fall behind the 2020 LCS Spring Split. Though the LCS opened with the clash of the best two teams in the region, it only achieved a 2% higher viewership. The match between Team Liquid and Cloud9 peaked only 6,700 viewers more than G2 Esports’ first match against MAD Lions.