LCS’ 2021 Spring Split opener sees decreased viewership compared to 2020

But it's not all that bad.

Image via Riot Games

The 2021 LCS Spring Split officially kicked off last weekend. And while viewership was down slightly from the same weekend last year, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation. 

With just more than 20 hours of airtime on the main LCS Twitch channel this past weekend, the LCS averaged 71,419 viewers, according to stats pulled from Twitch tracking website SullyGnome. That’s down from 106,083 viewers last year.

Meanwhile, the three days of action totaled 1.43 million hours watched, down from 1.44 million hours watched for the opening weekend last year. Those totals from last year came despite less airtime and two matches that were played on a Monday as opposed to Friday.

So are people not as interested in the LCS this year? Not exactly. A dip in viewership for week one compared to last year was almost inevitable because of January’s Lock In tournament

Serving as a preseason tournament of sorts, live coverage of the Lock In averaged more than 100,000 viewers and spanned multiple weeks. 

Compared to last year’s Spring Split opening weekend, the Lock In tournament performed well with five of its eight live broadcasts averaging more than 100,000 viewers.

A year-over-year dip in week one viewership for the 2021 LCS Spring Split was predictable because the league’s inaugural Lock In tournament ate up a lot of the hype that you’d expect to see coming into a Spring Split’s opener.

As the league starts to get further into its Spring Split, we’ll truly be able to analyze how much the LCS has been able to grow by looking at how weeks in the middle and end of the split compare to last year.

The 2021 LCS Spring Split will resume on Friday, Feb. 12.

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