League of Legends events rival Super Bowl, Oscars on Reddit
The League of Legends World Championships earned more views on Reddit's community hub than the Super Bowl, Game 7 of the NBA Finals, or release of Grand Theft Auto V.
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The World Championships came to a close earlier this month with South Korea's SK Telecom T1 winning the championship over Royal Club, earning them the title of best League of Legends team in the world, and $1 million along with it.
Although no official viewer numbers have been released yet by Riot Games, VP of eSports Dustin Beck tweeted during Game 1 of the broadcast that there was an estimated 2 million concurrent viewers watching internationally online through Twitch, YouTube, and AzubuTV in the West, along with streaming services in South Korea and China. Beck added in conservative estimates of an additional 4 million watching on TV in an unspecified number of countries.
GameSpot has obtained social media statistics around the World Championships for Twitter and Reddit.
Starting on September 15 and ending with the final game at the Staples Center on October 4, the official League of Legends Championships '#Worlds' hashtag was tweeted 347,924 times and trended 40 times in the United States, according to Nate Smitha, marketing analyst at Simply Measured, a social media analytics and reporting platform. During the finals #Worlds was tweeted 72,580 times including 20,000 tweets per hour at one point, and 5,189 mentions for "Faker," star player of champions SK Telecom T1.
Social site Reddit, known as the "The front page of the Internet," had over 5 million views for the League of Legends community hub for both the kickoff and finals of the World Championships, according to Reddit General Manager Erik Martin, with 5,799,177 views on September 15, and 5,445,956 views on October 4. The League of Legends subreddit drew more visitors for the kickoff and finals than subreddits for the series finale of Breaking Bad (4.7M views), The Super Bowl (930k views), Game 7 of the 2012-2013 NBA Finals (1.2M views), and release of Grand Theft Auto V (1M views). The final day of the Dota 2 International 3 Championships came close, with 4,052,519 in the Dota 2 subreddit.
"League Of Legends is a huge force," Martin told Gamespot. "Spikes from LoL events on Reddit rival The Super Bowl, Oscars, and even national elections. What's even more amazing is that most people have never heard of it. People also used to dismiss MMA and Nascar and even basketball back in the day. They'll come around."
Martin says that he's now begun to mention League of Legends presentations on Reddit to determine how well the group knows about the site.
"As a quick gauge of how familiar the audience is with Reddit, I used to ask for a show of hands of who had customized their subreddits, or who knew what TL;DR meant, or "cake day" (I don't like this, but it's an effective gauge). These days I ask 'Who here has heard of League of Legends'?, and that tells me all I need to know.”
"We aren't focused on numbers to measure whether we're succeeding with our eSports efforts," Beck told GameSpot before the finals at Staples Center. "We're mostly concerned about providing a great experience for fans. Audience numbers are certainly one metric to help understand whether we're doing that, and to that end we're really happy that fans continue to watch in increasing numbers. We're just as excited to read feedback from players that helps us improve, and to see an incredible outpouring of community support, like the hundreds of viewing parties that are happening around the world for tonight's games."