The LCS and LEC are often compared in the competitive League of Legends scene. This frequent matchup usually revolves around the achievements of powerhouse teams in their respective regional and international competitions. While the argument on superiority between European teams like G2 Esports and Fnatic, along with North American teams like Cloud9 and Team Liquid is constantly contested, viewership is not something up for debate.
LEC now boasts over double the average viewership of the LCS
The LCS currently sits at 142,099 average viewers, a peak of 241,472 viewers, and almost 6.9 million hours watched. On the other hand, the LEC has accumulated a total of 296,743 average viewers (208.8%), a peak of 582,469 viewers (241.2%), and more than 19.2 million hours watched (278.2%) – according to analytics firm Esports Charts.
While the European region has also led viewership numbers in past splits, the gap between the two wasn’t as significant before. The Spring 2020 season saw the LEC at 221,549 average viewers, only about 26% higher than the LCS at 175,538 viewers. The most popular game during that period for the North American region was the Spring 2020 Playoffs Finals between Cloud9 and FlyQuest. This match saw a peak of 387,299 viewers tune in, just over two times less than the LEC equivalent.
Some members in the community attributed the peak viewership difference to the fact that fan-favorite Team Liquid had a lackluster performance. The team was not even able to make it to Spring Playoffs. In addition, the ongoing situation involving the COVID-19 pandemic had briefly suspended league play in mid-March and later led to matches being transitioned to a completely online format.
Nevertheless, the already trailing viewership numbers seemed to take even more of a toll with the recently implemented schedule. In previous years, European residents were able to watch several LCS matches – even with the timezone difference. However, the LCS stream now begins in the late evening (10 pm / 12 am) for those in Europe, whereas North American residents can spectate LEC matches in the early morning (8 am PST / 11 am EST) instead.