SK Telecom’s victory over Splyce in the quarter-finals of League of Legends Worlds 2019 has broken the record for the highest peak audience for an esports broadcast.
At one point during the fixture, according to escharts.com, 2,504,751 people were simultaneously watching the action. This broke the previous record set by the final round of the Fortnite World Cup Solos event earlier this year, which saw 2,334,826 viewers tune in at once. This record might seem impressive, but it’s unlikely to stand for long with the semi-finals and grand final just around the corner.
SK Telecom are arguably the most famous name in global League of Legends, with the three-time Worlds winners commanding a huge following in Korea. They also have legendary player Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok on their roster, who is one of the most followed LoL players in the world. This, combined with Splyce being the surprise package of Worlds so far after making it out of their group despite qualifying via the Play-Ins, meant that there was a lot of interest in this matchup in particular.
SK Telecom now face more European opposition in G2 Esports in the semi-finals. G2’s quarter-final against DAMWON Gaming also crossed the two million viewer mark, with a peak audience of just over 2.1 million.
There’s a very good chance that this fixture could see the viewership record fall again due to the two organisation’s massive followings, as well as being the last teams remaining in the competition from their respective regions.
The popularity of the quarter-finals is also a good indicator of how many people will watch this years final. There is potential for it to smash through the 3 million viewer barrier, especially with one of G2 or SK Telecom guaranteed to be there.