League of Legends esports is growing more than ever. The two major Western leagues are growing, with the 2019 LEC Summer finals peaking at 841K viewers during the Grand Finals between G2 Esports and Fnatic, while the LCS finals between Cloud9 and Team Liquid peaked at 494K viewers.
Based on a comparison of results between both leagues, Esports Charts has conducted a data analysis to rank which teams are the most popular among fans, with the ranking being based on the average viewership for team matches. With the use of the Inven Global Data Lab, we are complementing the research with each team's social media performance.
The LEC’s most popular team is Fnatic, with over 262K average viewers per match. The victory comes from a fierce battle with G2 Esports, as they fell behind with less than 8 thousand viewers, attracting 256K average viewers. The main difference comes from the total hours watched, in which Fnatic reached the 16 million mark, where G2 closed at 13 million. Origen takes the third place, with 212K average viewers and a total of 10 million hours watched.
Through the use of the Inven Global Esports Data Lab, we are able to track the social growth of each team. Fnatic remains in the first position, totaling 1.3 million followers on Twitter, 2.5 million followers on Facebook, 1 million on instagram and 579K subscribers on YouTube, totaling 5.6 million followers across platforms, while Origen amounts 741K followers on Twitter, 145K followers on Facebook, 70K on Instagram and 7K subscribers on Youtube, getting just shy of 1 million followers cross platform. G2 Esports gathers 658K fans on Twitter, 297K Facebook followers, 710K instagram followers and 335K YouTube subscribers, reaching the two million mark.
The LCS all-stars have Team Liquid leading in popularity, with an average of 244 thousand average viewers, watched for 13 million 284 thousand hours. Team SoloMid comes in second, with only 4 thousand less average viewers than Liquid, with 240 thousand average viewers, however, TSM has performed better when it comes to hours watched, with 13 million 626 thousand hours watched. Cloud9 comes in last, reaching 213 thousand average viewers and 11 million hours watched.
The gold medalists of Team Liquid came first in viewership but last in following, with 208K fans following their LoL dedicated Twitter, on Facebook, the team amounts 798K fans, followed by 800K on instagram and 327K YouTube subscribers, totaling 2.3 million followers. TSM currently has hit the 2 million mark on Twitter, 531K on Facebook, 2.8 million on Instagram and 2.21 million subscribers on YouTube, totaling 7.5 million cross platform followers. Cloud9, known for its engagement with fans has 886K Twitter followers, 618K Facebook followers, 575K Instagram followers and 421K YouTube subscribers, totaling 2.5 million fans.
Summarizing both regions, the LEC comes crushing, with seven out of ten teams represented in the top team chart. Team Liquid, TSM and Cloud9 respectively take third, fourth and fifth place. According to the data analysis, Fnatic is the most popular team in western League of Legends esports, despite the team’s underperformance in the year of 2019. With a lot of eyes turned to G2 Esports since the World Championships, we are now left to wonder if they will be making the leap to first place in the 2020 season.
Analyzing social media data has become easier throughout the years, however, metrics are still difficult to interpret. As some of these teams have following outside the LoL Esports realm due to the other esports titles they participate in, it is difficult to measure exactly how many of these fans consume League of Legends content. Social media following can also be easily mistaken for popularity, when several other metrics have to be taken in account, like engagement, click conversion and impressions.