League of Legends

Pro Leagues Reach New Fans on TV Through Esports

  • NASCAR finds 1.7 million new fans through Pro Invitational Series on Fox. About 75% of eMLS Tournament Special viewers had not watched a real MLS game in 2020.
  • With esports verticals established, pro leagues also relied on star power to draw eyeballs.

Updated with additional NBA2K League viewership metrics. A recurring response to the absence of live sports by leagues during the coronavirus pandemic has seen organizations team up with media partners to put esports on television. While early discussions for the likes of NASCAR, MLS, and the NBA centered around how to fill programming holes with established esports verticals, what ensued was a crossover effect: esports leagues and professional sports themselves were introduced to new audiences quarantined at home. The eNASCAR […]

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ESPN Ad Sales Lag Without Live Sports As ESPN+ Subscribers Grow

  • Network ad revenue declined 8% in the second quarter, with Q3 numbers showing similar trends.
  • Parent Walt Disney Co. reported a 37% decline in net income due to shuttered theme parks.

ESPN+ witnessed strong subscriber gains amid the coronavirus pandemic, which impacted the OTT service for only a couple of weeks in Walt Disney’s fiscal second quarter.   As of March 28, the streaming service had 7.9 million subscribers, nearly four times as many as last year. ESPN+ launched in April 2018. The figure also represents a 4% increase in users from ESPN+’s previous peak, reported by Disney in February. The average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for ESPN+, however, decreased 17% […]

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theScore’s Esports Menu Expands With Live Shows

  • The company tested its live content strategy with a charity esports event May 1.
  • theScore has set new records for Youtube views in two straight months, headlined by 28 million views in April.

Toronto-based theScore is best known for its sports news and betting apps. But it has quickly developed a strong following on YouTube for esports – surpassing 1 million subscribers last November.  Now, the company is adding to its esports repertoire by introducing live-streamed shows and community events to gaming fans.  theScore’s esports vertical, launched in 2015, has undergone multiple iterations, according to Aubrey Levy, who oversees esports strategy as the company’s vice president of content. What began as just providing […]

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esports

Esports Viewership Grows During Hiatus

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends leagues have had record viewership
  • YouTube traffic for theScore's esports channel is up 33% from last year.

With no live action on the field, fans are seeking out anything reminiscent of sports or with a hint of competition. From The Last Dance to the NFL Draft, traditional sports are getting their share of viewers, but so too are several esports. Both the professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends leagues have had record-breaking numbers in recent weeks, according to The Verge. Some notable CS:GO Season 11 numbers: 489,120 concurrent viewers across all platforms 113.2% increase in […]

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Esports Team Gen.G Rolls Out New Minecraft Event Around Penn Relays

  • Organization launches “Digital Penn Relays” in response to track & field event’s cancellation.
  • Partnership with UPenn adds to Gen.G’s collegiate casual gaming strategy.

Esports team Gen.G has announced a new partnership with the University of Pennsylvania to create the Digital Penn Relays – an online competition launched in response to the track & field event’s cancellation this month. Amateur athletes, school alums, and fans of the 125-year-old event will create avatars to compete against each other on customized Minecraft courses developed in partnership with Super League Gaming.  The one-day broadcast will stream on The Penn Relays’ Twitch channel on April 24. Toyota and […]

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ESPN to Air League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split Playoffs

  • Agreement with Riot Games helps to fill a void in ESPN live sports linear programming.
  • League of Legends Championship Series spring split will air on ESPN2 for the first time.

ESPN has announced an agreement with Riot Games to broadcast the League of Legends Championship Series spring split playoffs on ESPN2 and the ESPN app.  LCS is North America’s professional League of Legends esports competition. The league’s spring split playoffs, which began April 3 and will conclude on April 19, has its winner qualify to play in the Mid-Season Invitational. The MSI annually pits the winners of spring splits from all 12 League of Legends leagues around the world before […]

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Riot Games Postpones Mid-Season Invitational Over Coronavirus

  • MSI welcomes League of Legends teams from 12 different leagues around the world each spring.
  • League of Legends summer splits will begin in May to accommodate schedule changes.

Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, is postponing its Mid-Season Invitational until July amid the global outbreak of COVID-19. The international tournament pits the winners of spring splits from all 12 League of Legends leagues around the world each year. The 2020 tournament will be played over two weeks, beginning on July 3. The location of the event has not been determined.  “We need to remain flexible given how much the COVID-19 situation has impacted international travel and […]

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League of Legends Borrows NFL Primetime Strategy Amid New Format

  • Two marque matches are featured on Monday nights for the first time this season.
  • LCS format changes meant to boost quality of teams entering the World Championships later this year.

The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is weeks into its spring split of the 2020 season, following a restructuring of the North American league’s format that simplified the qualification process for the World Championships at the end of the year. The LCS also added a Monday night broadcast to feature marquee matchups in primetime. The strategy takes a page from more traditional sports leagues like the NFL, which aired its first Monday Night Football telecast in 1970. Other LCS […]

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Esports Chess League Taps Streaming and Quick Pace for Growth

  • Pro Chess League features 24 teams, half-hour games, and financial industry sponsors.
  • Top chess streamers earn $100,000 annually while working to expand audiences.

Two decades after being recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee, chess is still fighting to overcome a staid reputation for lengthy matches marked only by whispered commentary and the occasional clock punch. The Pro Chess League is looking to change that narrative by moving the game forward into the digital age by speeding up pace of play and streaming on Twitch to appeal to wider audiences. Chess.com, a website with more than 33 million active users, has […]

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eMLS-2020

eMLS Expands Schedule And Player Roster To Crack Crowded Esports Market

  • eMLS, MLS’s esports effort, is now in its third season.
  • Its last event on Dec. 1 drew a league-record 1.1 million views on Twitch.

While the 2020 MLS season is still weeks away, the league is hoping its esports arm will quench fan’s thirst for soccer. On Jan. 10, eMLS kicked off its 2020 campaign with its League Series One event in Philadelphia. It not only drew 1.1 million views on Twitch, but was eMLS’s most-viewed single stream broadcast to date on the platform.  The event marked a significant increase in views from its premier event in 2018 and 2019, the eMLS Cup tournament, […]

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