Esports World Cup: Viewership On Day 1 Has Been… | RiftFeed

Esports World Cup: Viewership On Day 1 Has Been Surprisingly High

Esports 05-07-2024 16:00

Many esports fans believe that the Esports World Cup is sportwashing the industry, but it seems that any attempts at a boycott haven't worked, with extremely high viewership numbers on the first day. 

Bin blg
Esports World Cup: BLG vs T1 was the most viewed game on day 1. | © Riot Games

The Esports World Cup kicked off on July 3, in Riyadh, and League of Legends is one of the first games to be competing at this huge event. While LoL "only" has a prize pool of $1 million, it's still a huge event, with the top teams from the LEC, LCS, LCK and LPL taking part in this tournament. 

The first day was on July 4, featuring two quarter-finals matches to determine who moves onto the semi-finals. While there has been a huge debate regarding this event and the sportswashing happening, many also chimed in to say they would boycott and not watch it... well, it seems that not everyone is of the same mindset, with pretty decent viewership numbers according to esportscharts

Esports World Cup: Viewership Higher Than Regional Events

The Esports World Cup's first day of League of Legends can be counted as a huge success. The first match of the day was between BiliBili Gaming and T1, two of the most popular teams from their respective regions, with both having large fan bases. The second match was between Team Liquid and Fnatic, two more teams with dedicated fans. 

What is Sportswashing?
Sportswashing refers to the practice where governments or corporations sponsor major sporting events or teams to divert attention from their questionable actions or improve their public image. It's a strategic move to overshadow negative perceptions or human rights abuses by associating with globally celebrated sports.

T1 and BLG, managed to reach a peak viewership of 775.000 viewers according to esports charts, which also takes viewership of AfreecaTV, a korean streaming service, into account. Unfortunately, the Chinese viewer numbers are not part of their calculations, but we can imagine the total viewership easily reaching over 1 million with Chinese viewers included. 

Faker Worlds 2023 finals match
Faker could win his first World Cup title as well. | © Riot Games

On the other hand, the second match of the day between Team Liquid and Fnatic had a peak of 315.000. Now in comparison this might not seem like much to the first game, but then when you compare it to their regional leagues there is a large difference. 

The LCS Spring had a peak viewership of 246.000 during the grand finals between FlyQuest and Team Liquid. The Average LEC viewership is around the 400.000 mark, which goes to show that this one international match between the two teams garnered more than the peak LCS Spring viewership and just under the average LEC viewership as well. 

In 2024 Riot is adding in a third international tournament and the viewership of the Esports World Cup does show that fans want to see more international competition. Are you watching the EWC 2024? 

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Sabrina Ahn

Sabrina Ahn is the League of Legends and Riftfeed Lead. During her time at Concordia University in 2014 she fell in love with League of Legends and esports and has been playing LoL since then – how she hasn't lost...