LCS Spring 2023 final draws lowest viewership in league history

lcs stage as viewership declinesChris Betancourt/Riot Games

The LCS Spring final between Cloud9 and Golden Guardians was the least-watched grand final in the history of the league.

Sunday’s title decider drew an online peak viewership of only 271,376 people, according to statistics website Esports Charts. This makes it the least popular LCS final and the only one in the league’s history that couldn’t even crack the 300,000 mark in peak viewership.

The Spring split as a whole had a total of 14.8 million hours watched, down 22 percent from the 19 million hours watched in LCS Summer 2022, which had already posted some of the league’s worst viewership stats.

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Saturday’s lower bracket final, between Golden Guardians and FlyQuest, and the grand final were the only two matches that surpassed the 200,000 mark in peak viewership during the Spring split, which averaged 109,759 viewers – the lowest tally since Esports Charts began tracking viewership for LCS tournaments, in 2017.

The LCS Spring is in line to be outpaced by Brazil’s CBLOL, whose Spring Split is averaging 109,670 viewers. Ahead of Saturday’s grand final, between LOUD and paiN, the league’s peak viewership stands at 239,684 viewers.

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Heading into the Spring split, one of the biggest talking points was the change of match days from Saturdays and Sundays to Thursdays and Fridays. The impact of this decision ended up being less significant than many had predicted: the average viewership was down less than 6,000 when compared to Summer 2022.

One of the biggest issues of this split was that popular teams like 100 Thieves, Team Liquid and TSM all struggled. (Of those three teams, only 100 Thieves reached the playoffs.). At the same time, the LCS Finals took place during Easter weekend, which many believe impacted viewership.

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The LCS’ viewership struggles come amid sweeping changes in the league’s landscape, with CLG having been acquired by NRG and TSM reportedly looking to sell their spot. And there are rumors that other organizations are also considering exiting the league.

Last week, former League of Legends caster Christopher ‘MonteCristo’ Mykles said that the LCS is considering emulating the LEC’s format in an effort to give the league a jolt of electricity and get viewers to tune back in. Contacted by Dexerto, the LCS said that “no decision has been made” regarding the format for 2024.

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LCS final viewership over the years

EventTeamsPeak Viewership
Spring 2023Cloud9 vs Golden Guardians271,376
Summer 2022Cloud9 vs 100 Thieves370,178
Spring 2022Evil Geniuses vs 100 Thieves387,072
Summer 2021100 Thieves vs Team Liquid364,328
Spring 2021Cloud9 vs Team Liquid415,731
Summer 2020TSM vs FlyQuest545,571
Spring 2020Cloud9 vs FlyQuest379,426
Summer 2019Team Liquid vs Cloud9494,765
Spring 2019Team Liquid vs TSM599,813
Summer 2018Team Liquid vs Cloud9422,310
Spring 2018Team Liquid vs 100 Thieves520,211
Summer 2017TSM vs Immortals451,796
Spring 2017TSM vs Cloud9642,535

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