LCS Twitch viewership still struggling in week 4 of 2021 Spring Split

Is the schedule to blame?

Image via Riot Games

The LCS’ viewership decline on Twitch has continued for a fourth-straight week. The league once again posted lower averages for live coverage in the fourth week of the 2021 Spring Split.

Early in the split, there were changes to the LCS format that could be considered potential factors in the league’s declining viewership on Twitch. As the weeks have passed, though, those changes to the format seem to be less of a factor, suggesting that the league isn’t doing as well overall on Twitch. 

In week four, live coverage on the LCS’ main channel averaged 63,830 viewers, reaching 1.26 million hours watched over 19.7 hours of airtime. Those figures are down from 70,179 average viewers last year, according to stats acquired from SullyGnome.

While coverage this week was higher than the 933,379 hours watched last year, there were more games played this year.

Last year, the league had four games that were played on Saturdays and Sundays and another two games on Monday. That totaled 10 games for the week. 

This year, the league is producing significantly more games a week with five games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

While the move from two Monday games to five Friday matches is still paying dividends in both total hours watched and average viewership, Saturday and Sunday numbers continue to struggle.

Initially, it could be argued that much of the league’s early-season hype was stolen from the highly successful Lock In tournament in January. But if that was the case, the Lock In may have taken an entire season’s worth of appeal from some fans.

Despite monstrous growth from Twitch as a platform over the past year and the success of the LEC on Twitch, the LCS is struggling to match its average viewership numbers from last year.

Part of that is due to the volume of matches being played every weekend, but it’s difficult to believe that could force viewership stagnation year-over-year when the platform as a whole grew nearly 70 percent in 2020.

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