Written by contributing intern Dominic Schatzan.
The 2021 League of Legends World Championship has set a new bar for viewership, recording an all-time high number of viewers during the final match of the tournament. Riot Games released a statement about the audience. Riot claims that over 73 million viewers watched the grand finals between EDward Gaming and DWG KIA, a 60 percent increase when compared to last year’s tournament.
Some metrics projected the viewership numbers to be around 4 million viewers, but those metrics did not include Chinese audiences. EDward Gaming is a member of China’s League of Legends Pro League and the Chinese LOL fandom has shown up in massive numbers for the grand finals, according to Riot’s analytics.
What makes the viewership number all the more impressive is the fact that the tournament was fully remote. Despite a lack of fans in attendance, the tournament was still able to go off in person; that format managed to gain 46 million peak viewers during the final.
The 2022 League World Championship is set to return to North America. This marks 6 years after the last time NA hosted the tournament. Host cities will include New York City, Mexico City, San Francisco, and Toronto. The 2022 season kicks off in January.