MSI 2021 final between RNG and DWG KIA sets new viewer record

Christian Vejvad • May 23, 21:23

The five-game nailbiter between Royal Never Give Up and DWG KIA in the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational broke a viewership record. 

A whopping 1.8 million viewers tuned into the MSI final concurrently, breaking the MSI peak viewership record from 2019. During the 2019 final between G2 Esports and Team Liquid, 1.7 million viewers tuned in at the peak but that record has now been broken. The record was matched during the third game between RNG and DWG KIA, and slowly grew as the match went on. This does not include Chinese viewership tallies, though these were likely particularly high as well due to the presence of LPL champions Royal Never Give Up.

Despite having no Western team in this year’s grand final, viewers were hungry for good League of Legends in a LAN environment. The majority of the viewers were Korean because of DWG KIA playing on stage, while the English peak was at 492.000. As per usual, most viewers were found on Twitch where the peak was at 1 million, with the rest tuning in on YouTube. 

The event was played in a studio in Iceland and there was no audience throughout the whole tournament. This made for less hype during the games, but viewers still tuned in despite the lack of a cheering crowd. 

The numbers from the semifinals indicated that the final would break previous MSI records. The match between DWG KIA and MAD Lions peaked at close to 1.5 million. In general, DWG KIA has drawn in a lot of viewers, competing in four of the five most-watched matches of the event. 

DWG KIA might not have won the trophy that they had hoped for, but they are still major fan favorites moving into the second half of the season. 

MSI 2021 had one of the closest finals in history

Even though the viewer record was bound to be broken during this year’s MSI final, the game itself will also go down in history. For the second time in MSI history, the final went the distance with all five games. This only happened once before, which was at the first MSI event in 2015 in a series between EDward Gaming and SK Telecom T1

The series was an important chapter in the Korea vs. China rivalry, with the Chinese side getting the better of SKT and setting the stage for LPL dominance at the Mid-Season Invitational. Historically, China has been the best region at MSI despite Korea’s tradition of dominance at Worlds. With a total of three MSI trophies for the LPL, MSI is starting to look like an event where it’s expected that the Chinese representatives will go all the way. 

The next international LoL event will be the 2021 World Championship, which will be played in Shenzhen, China, on November 6

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