The LCS’ viewership decline on Twitch has extended to a fifth-straight week with the league closing in on its 2021 Spring Split playoffs.
With just one week left in the regular season, live coverage of the league on its main Twitch channel has had lower averages year-over-year every single week so far.
This past weekend, the main LCS channel on Twitch averaged 62,942 viewers across 19 hours of live coverage, according to stats acquired by SullyGnome. Last year, week five averaged 65,954 across 13.7 hours of airtime.
The difference in airtime means that this year’s week five total hours watched of 1.23 million was higher than last year’s 903,570. But the increased amount of airtime this year was due to more games being played.
Early on in the season, viewership totals being lower year-over-year didn’t initially seem like much of an issue because of the preseason Lock In tournament that stole a lot of the league’s early-season hype. But this late in the season, it appears as though the Lock In may be a contributing factor in sucking the life out of the entire Spring Split.
Additionally, this year’s condensed schedule could be playing a factor in overloading fans. Last year, the Spring Split was spread across nine weeks. But this season, the same number of games are being played in just six.
With so many matches taking place in a condensed time frame each weekend, it makes sense that the typical viewer isn’t consuming everything the league has to offer.
It’s clear that the 2021 Spring Split regular season overall will be down from last year. But with help from viewership that the Lock In tournament provided, the league’s live viewership from January to March could still potentially be as good or better than it was in 2020.
That will largely hinge on how much more viewership the Lock In had relative to the three extra weeks of regular season action the league had last season.
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