Throughout the course of 2020, live events took a drastic turn across not only the esports industry, but also the world. In esports, a thriving scene with the potential to fill stadiums and draw even more attention within the streaming universe was quickly thrown into turmoil at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But those crowds and viewers all remained true hearted in the online stratosphere throughout 2020, despite the rapidly shifting nature of the scene because of extraneous circumstances. The year saw record-breaking viewership numbers posted across the board in regard to some of its largest games. Titles like League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty, and others all grew their audiences extensively in a year where the battle to do so was certainly strenuous.
Even despite an unparalleled and ultimately threatening year in the greater landscape of esports and its events, the industry rebounded in immense fashion and at a fast pace. Here are some of the biggest events in esports of 2020 that exhibit the scene’s growth to the fullest extent.
Regarding the viewership, this year’s League of Legends World Championship was an absolute success on all levels. With over 139,000,000 hours watched from start to finish, this year’s iteration of Worlds was the most-viewed tournament of all time, according to the viewership statistics website: Esports Charts. The innovative numbers posted by Worlds 2020 beat out marks previously posted by the 2019 Fortnite World Cup, The International 2019, as well as last year’s League World Championship.
It should also come with little astonishment that the most viewed match of the tournament was its grand final between Suning and DAMWON Gaming. The match, which finished off an unrivaled year of League esports, saw over 3,882,000 viewers tune in, the second most of any League match in history, only behind last year’s semi final match up between SK Telecom T1 and G2 Esports.
A year that showcased so many uncertainty, League of Legends continued to perform well in every point. In the final tournament—the first to feature a limited live attendance of fans since the start of the pandemic—Worlds 2020 displayed just how far the game had come throughout the course of the year.
LCK Regional Finals 2020 – Esports
Generally, League of Legends sees its highest viewership numbers come from international events such as the World Championship and the Mid-Season Invitational. This past summer, however, the LCK, Korea’s domestic league for the game, saw shocking viewership stats that were comparable to many other games’ biggest events.
The three days of competition saw matches that averaged over 500,000 views throughout their period while the final qualifying match between T1 and Gen.G saw a peak viewer count of just over 1,000,000, stated by Esports Charts. T1 was definitely the star of the 2020 LCK Regional Finals. Both of its matches throughout the tournament came in just around 1,000,000 views while the team’s grand final match, which it ultimately lost, went down as the second most viewed regional match of the 2020 League season. Only just behind another T1 match up with Gen.G during the spring finals.
Even smaller, more regional-focused tournaments tended to bring in huge amounts of views this year, as leagues such as the LCK, LEC, and LCS all performed well. If anything, the continued growth of the game showed that the League was still able to function at a high level and retain its main audience throughout the uncertainty and turbulence of the 2020 season.