Melany M. January 11, 2019
2018 was a big year for League of Legends, and the numbers bear that out.
The year’s international play began with the Mid-Season Invitational in Berlin, where 14 regional champions fought for the first international title of the year.
More than 60 million unique viewers watched the final between the LCK’s Kingzone DragonX and the LPL’s Royal Never Give Up. The success of the event would carry forward through the remainder of the year.
Rift Rivals, the series of regional tournaments in which regions battle for bragging rights, attracted a large audience ready to support their regions. Over 50 million viewers watched Rift Rivals across the world, as 42 teams took part in 93 games.
The biggest story of 2018 came late in the year as a Chinese team was crowned as world champion for the first time in the history of competitive League of Legends. Invictus Gaming raised the Summoner’s Cup before millions of fans watching from all around the world.
99.6 million viewers tuned in during the historic final. The series featuring Invictus Gaming and Fnatic was broadcast in 19 languages across 30 different viewing platforms. At its peak, the match drew 44 million concurrent viewers. 144 players representing more than 30 unique nationalities attended the Worlds Championship in South Korea.
It was there that Riot Games premiered the official “Pop/Stars” music video by themed k-pop group K/DA. The digital girl group was a great success and by the end of the year the single had been streamed over 242 million times. The official song of the event, “Rise,” was streamed over 140 million times.
The competitive scene around League of Legends has seen tremendous growth over the years. This growth attracted major investments to the game, and the popular MOBA shows no signs of slowing any time soon.