The first European Masters event of the year concluded with unprecedented success - a viewership record that severely exceeds any other event within the series.
EU Masters has been swiftly growing since its launch in 2018; however, this year has been historical for the series. Even though it is a tier-2 competition mostly for semi-professional League of Legends teams, it is getting closer to the popularity of its premier siblings - LEC and LCS.
The EU Masters viewership boost
The recent European Masters Spring 2021 featured 16 of the top European teams from the regional leagues battling for a chunk of the €150,000 prize pool.
During 86 hours of Air Time, the tournament attracted 88K Average Viewers, who brought over 7.6M Hours Watched, setting a new record in all three monitored categories.
The event gathered the most attention on the final day during the grand final match between Karmine Corp and BT Excel. Over 377K concurrent viewers tuned in to an intense series of back-and-forth games between the two squads.
As illustrated, a significant portion of the viewership record was brought in by the French-speaking audience. The French stream reached 300K viewers at its peak, making the broadcast of One Trick Production the most popular French esports stream.
This is not a surprising development, considering the incredible growth that the New La Ligue Française (LFL) has seen in recent months. In fact, the latest season of the LFL league was also record-breaking. The French league peaked at almost 195K viewers, which was twice as much as EU Masters Summer 2020.
In the end, Karmine Corp claimed the champions title, along with the title of the most popular team in the competition. The games played by the French squad were watched by 188K viewers on average.
Right behind was the second-placed BT Excel with 145K Average Viewers and UCAM Esports Club with 108K Average Viewers.
Looking at the statistics from previous editions of the tournament, we can see quite a dramatic increase in viewership. Compared to Summer 2020, which gathered 93K PV, 47K AV and 3.8M HW, that’s a 305% increase in Peak Viewers, 87% increase in Average Viewers and 100% increase in Hours Watched between the seasons.
Will the success of EU Masters continue?
These numbers demonstrate that the European League of Legends scene is thriving outside of the LEC. The growing trend has been present from the beginning and is likely to continue in the future, given the still growing popularity of the game not only on The Old Continent but globally.
That said, the competition’s future growth might not continue at such a cosmic speed. The viewership record is partially a result of the current hype around the Karmine Corp, which also contributes to the sudden growth of the LFL.
The presented statistics show that the overwhelming majority of viewers come precisely to watch the matches of the French star team. Without this ‘hype advantage’, the viewership spike would be probably lower. One way or the other, the growth of regional LoL competition is apparent in other European countries too, and we can expect the same from the main tournament.
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