After a thrilling play-in stage for the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational, we now find ourselves in the bracket stage, and with the new format, the viewership is looking stronger than ever!
This year, LoL Esports is trying out a whole new design for their annual Mid-Season invitational. The new (and improved?) format has no single-round robins, and from the bracket stage onwards, we get to enjoy the best-of-five series from beginning to end in a double-elimination style.
The new format seems to have had some success regarding the fans, as in the first match of the bracket stage, we are already seeing record-high numbers.
Yesterday, we witnessed the first match of the MSI 2023 bracket stage when LCK's Gen.G faced off against G2 Esports in a thrilling best-of-five series. According to Esports Charts, the series peaked at 1.37M viewers, which, if we compare it to last year's MSI, would have already been the third most watched match. Including finals and semis.
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This is exciting news for LoL Esports since we only find ourselves at the beginning of the bracket stage, meaning, if the trend continues, we are looking at quite an improvement from last year in terms of viewers.
It isn't easy to pinpoint precisely why the viewership is up already, but we predict the new format, filled with best-of-five series, has something to do with it.
Additionally, the first game of the bracket stage was one with two top-rated teams against each other. G2 Esports has been a fan favorite in Europe for a long time, and although Gen.G might not be the most popular team in Korea, their fanbase is vast, especially after beating T1 in the LCK Spring Split finals.
LoL Esports has also been more open to co-streamers this year, which also helps to up the numbers. LEC caster Caedrel decided to drop casting the MSI and co-stream the whole event instead. During yesterday's match, Caedrel peaked at over 50k viewers on his Twitch.
Europe's first-seed team will meet LCK's fan favorite, T1, in a best-of-five series today, and with the most popular team in the LCK being on the stage, we assume there will be lots of viewers for this series as well. After that, the series winners will meet Gen.G fighting for a spot in the semi-finals. You can check out the LoL Esports live stream here: