2020 has been a peculiar year for LoL tournaments and all other eSports events. The cancellation of public events threatened numerous sectors, industries, and even entire economies. Despite their increased flexibility, eSports also suffered immense losses and had to go back to online competitions.
The most significant difference between playing online vs. participating in tournaments is the physical component. Battling opponents in offline matches in enormous venues in front of hundreds of fans helps players gain prominence and popularize the game and its events.
The lockdown devastated numerous eSports disciplines, but League of Legends has proven its endurance nonetheless. Here are the whats, whys, and hows of LoL tournaments.
League of Legends Tournaments Grow In Popularity Despite The Lockdown
Throughout 2020, League of Legends featured the most Hours Watched across streaming platforms. According to Esports Charts’ analysis, CS:GO and Dota 2 kept up with LoL in Q2 but heavily declined near the end of Q3.
Conversely, LoL was by far the most popular category of the three in the same period. Even after Worlds 2020, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive couldn’t keep up with LoL despite recording an impressive Hours Watched growth.
Additionally, when comparing the three globally popular eSports gaming behemoths, COVID19 seems to have affected LoL tournaments the least. Numerous regional leagues had no choice but to go online, including the LCS and LEC. However, the number of viewers attending the broadcasts increased rather than decreasing.
The 2020 Worlds took place offline in the fall, and the event saw the viewer number peaking regardless. Hours Watched across various online streaming platforms shows that LoL surpassed Dota 2 by 2.2 times and CS:GO by 1.6 times.
LoL Tournaments: Defying The Pandemic
Considering the last two Worlds and the previous two spring and summer LEC and LCK splits reveals an exciting (and somewhat unexpected) conclusion. Despite countless projections that suggested viewership will decrease due to the COVID19 pandemic, the average number of viewers across broadcasts actually went up.
If Hours Watched are anything to go by, it’s evident that the LoL eSports scene grew immensely between 2019 (approximately 477 million viewers) and 2020 (close to 579 million).
For comparison’s sake, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments also recorded increased viewer counts (though nowhere near as many as LoL tournaments). On the other hand, Dota 2 recorded 15 million Hours Watched less in 2020 compared to 2019.
Overall, LoL fans lost no interest in eSports following the pandemic countermeasures and lockdown. If anything, the new situation increased the online eSports tournaments’ appeal, causing a surge in LoL tournaments’ viewership.
Moreover, numerous streamers on Twitch and other platforms additionally popularize various eSports, including League of Legends. In the case of LoL, Tyler1 is the most prominent and popular streamer on the platform. In 2020 alone, Tyler1’s Hours Watched exceeded those of the LCS and LEC leagues by more than two times!