The League of Legends World Championship (Worlds 2017) was hosted in China this year, a country that accounts for a large portion of the global player-base. In that light, the attendance and viewership for the prestigious tournament was already expected by many to receive a significant boost.
While reporting its earnings for the third quarter, parent company Tencent Holdings Limited revealed that the overall unique viewers for Worlds 2017 “more than doubled” year-over-year. It also confirmed (via Dot Esports) that unique viewers for the grand final between SK Telecom T1 and Samsung Galaxy totaled over 60 million.
The world championship finals from last year, also between SK Telcom T1 and Samsung Galaxy, generated 43 million unique viewers in comparison. That is an increment of 17 million due to the change in location.
However, there is no way to confirm the total number of unique viewers for the entirety of Worlds 2017, at least for the time being. We only know that there were 396 million “total cumulative daily unique impressions” from last year. Riot Games did not share the overall unique viewers back then. Perhaps we might get those numbers once it officially breaks down Worlds 2017 in the coming weeks.
In addition to enjoying a great esports reception, the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) has “broadly increased” year-over-year for League of Legends. Disregarding the increase in player-base, it is interesting that the average player is now spending more in the game than before. This, perhaps, relates to the quality of skins that Riot Games has been pumping recently.
Worlds 2017 is being labelled as “one of the most-watched live sports events of any kind this year in China.” It saw Samsung Galaxy finally end the winning streak of SK Telecom T1 and prove that even players like Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok are human.