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Over the weekend, fans watched DRX overcome the odds to win the League of Legends Worlds 2022 championship and set viewership records.
The South Korean team defeated T1 Esports three games to two, becoming the first team to win the title from play-ins. The gameplay was nail-biting. The rivalry between DRX’s Deft and T1’s Faker stretches back to high school and 10 years of professional play. It’s no wonder why fans tuned in and broke viewership records.
According to Esports Charts, peak viewership reached nearly 5.15 million for the finals. This is a new record for League of Legends esports, surpassing Worlds 2021’s 4 million peak viewers. This is the second highest peak viewership recorded for an esports event, only behind the Free Fire World Series 2021 at 5.4 million.
Co-streaming undoubtedly drove part of the viewership increase. Ibai’s Spanish stream peaked at 482K outperforming Riot’s official Spanish broadcasts from LVPes and LLA.
The opening ceremony effectively got fans to tune into the broadcast before the matches began. Jackson Wang and Lil Nas X’s performance peaked at 3.2 million concurrent viewers.
However, peak viewership — the maximum number of concurrent viewers — is only one way to measure a broadcast’s performance. Worlds 2022 averaged 987K viewers through out the tournament’s nearly 144 total hours of airtime. While the average viewership is comparable to some recent regular season U.S. sports matches, the length and League of Legends’s global reach are not.
Total audience is not a perfect comparison due to how long Worlds is compared to traditional sports championships. However, it does help us compare the reach of these events. Peak viewership is a snapshot in time so Worlds 2022’s total audience will be larger than the 5.15 million maximum. We will have to wait for Riot’s confirmation, but these early indications suggest that League of Legends Worlds 2022 is on track to break more records.
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