LCS still ‘number two league’ when it comes to key category in League esports, Riot says

Look out world, here comes North America.

Evil Geniuses win LCS 2022 Spring title at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Photo via ESPAT Media for Riot Games

Various rumors and grievances have circulated around the North American League of Legends scene, including the growing sentiment the LCS is being pushed to the wayside in favor of other leagues and esports around the Riot Games ecosystem.

But company leadership has recently responded to these claims, stating the support hasn’t waned for the Los Angeles-based league at all.

In fact, Riot’s president of esports John Needham revealed in a Jan. 17 interview that over $250 million has been invested into the league, and as a result, they wish to see more growth in the future. He also said the LCS is the “number two league” in the company’s esports ecosystem when it comes to revenue, which is a green flag for many people in the industry.

Related: Riot leadership promises commitment to LCS after rising doubts from fans

The red flag, however, lies in the LCS viewership, which has seen a steady decline over the past few years. Needham said the league is now number four in terms of viewership across various leagues—and sometimes even dipping to fifth-best some weekends.

During the 2022 Summer Split, for example, the LCK and LEC had double the average concurrent viewership numbers than the LCS, and thanks to the fervent support of its fanbase, Brazil’s CBLOL came in with the third-highest average concurrent viewership.

The LCS, on the other hand, only had an average of just under 81 thousand viewers, which is around four thousand less than Brazil’s top league. This year, the LCS will be boasting a ton of new storylines and first-time participants, but will also be debuting a new broadcast schedule with the league playing on Thursday and Friday at 4pm CT.

Catch the start of the 2023 Spring Split when the LCS begins on Jan. 26.


Tyler Esguerra
Lead League of Legends writer for Dot Esports. Forever an LCS supporter, AD carry main, with more than five years in the industry. Sometimes I like clicking heads in Call of Duty or VALORANT. Creator of the Critical Strike Podcast.