2023 was a rollercoaster for League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) fans, but 2024 might present even more significant challenges, particularly in terms of viewership.
Declining Viewership: A Growing Concern
The LCS has witnessed a worrying trend over the past three years. Viewership peaked at 415,000 in the 2021 Spring Split but plummeted to just 223,000 in the summer of 2023, as reported by Esports Charts. This dramatic decrease has raised concerns among fans about the league’s future.
Reduction in Participating Teams
In a surprising move, the LCS will see a reduction in the number of teams in 2024. Golden Guardians and Evil Geniuses have exited the league, and Riot Games has decided not to seek replacements. This leaves the LCS with only eight teams for the 2024 Spring Split.
Potential Impact on Viewership
With fewer teams, there’s a real concern about the potential decline in fan interest and viewership. The league’s decision to host games from Wednesday to Friday, instead of the weekend, could further alienate fans, particularly those in different time zones like the East Coast and overseas.
Rebuilding Phase: The Exodus of Superstars
The league is also grappling with the loss of several key players. Notable names like Pyosik, Summit, and Prince have departed, leaving a void in star power. Additionally, players like Golden Guardians’ top laner Licorice find themselves without a team, adding to the league’s challenges.
Avoiding a Historical Low
As LCS approaches 2024, it faces the daunting task of avoiding a record low in viewership. The league must navigate these significant changes and rebuild its audience. Fans and supporters will play a crucial role in this journey, as the LCS aims to revitalize its appeal and retain its place in the competitive esports landscape.
A Turbulent Year Ahead for LCS
For LCS to bounce back in 2024, it will require strategic adjustments, engaging content, and perhaps, a reconnection with its core fanbase. The league’s ability to adapt and innovate will be key in overcoming these challenges and ensuring a successful year ahead.