The rivalry between the North American and European professional League of Legends leagues is as old as time with both sides trying to one-up the other in any way possible. However, looking at the viewership numbers of Week 1 of League of Legends Championship (LCS) and League of Legends European Championship (LEC), it seems like North American LoL scene found another thing to rub in LEC's nose.
The cross-Atlantic rivalry between LEC and LCS started way back in 2011 with the first season of League of Legends competitive scene and it seems like we will never hear the end of it. While the EU likes to remind the NA about how they're more successful on the international stage, LCS fans don't shy away from reminding LEC fans about how North America as a region defeated Europe in All-Stars 2013, when the prominent NA ADC Yiliang "Peter" "Doublelift" Peng famously secured a pentakill.
There have been countless moments featuring the two regions that added oil on the burning rivalry, and now it seems like LCS have one more thing to add to their list of why the North American region is better compared to Europe.
LEC and LCS kicked off their 2020 Spring Splits earlier this weekend, giving the LoL fans the first glimpse of how they favourite teams and players will perform this season and while both regions saw immense success in viewership numbers, it was the North American series which attracted far more viewers compared t their cross-Atlantic counterparts.
According to statistics provided by SullyGnome, LCS had viewership peak of 214,124, while LEC had a peak viewership of 126,681, meaning the North American League of Legends series had a 69% higher viewership peak in Week 1.
That being said, it's worth noting LEC was streamed for 20 hours longer, which does reduce the peak viewership, as there is less game time and more transitions. Whether that affected the peak numbers and to which degree remains to be seen, but considering LCS still has two more fixtures left to be played, we might see a decrease in its numbers as well.
The first game in LEC, which took place on Friday, January 24 and featured G2 Esports take on MAD Lions peaked at 102,285 viewers, while LCS first fixture of the season, which was played a day later between Team Liquid and Cloud9 peaked at 172,466 viewers. The match between TL and C9 was also the most-watched game of the day in LCS, while LEC most-watched match of day one was the clash between Fnatic and Origen, peaking at 107,262 viewers.
The most-watched match of the first week of LEC 2020 Spring Split was G2 versus SK Gaming on Saturday, January 25, while the most-watched LCS match to date was Team SoloMid versus Immortals, which was played at 13:00 PST and saw Immortals produce an upset win in a 60+ minute match, which kept everyone on the edge of their seats.
Whether the trend will continue is anyone's guess, but there is no denying the North American series are historically far more popular in terms of viewership numbers compared to European league and while LEC teams might see better success in international tournaments, LCS still have the higher viewership numbers going for them in this never-ending rivalry that is EU versus NA.
Written by KrajnikT
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.
He has previously worked as a news and betting-related articles writer in the "traditional" sports scene but later opted to turn his attention to esports, where he managed to combine his love for video games and the growing esports industry with his work.
Krajnik has started his journey as an esports writer by covering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, which he also played since its launch, but later broaden his skill-set to include other major esports titles including Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty.