The 2019 Mid-Season Invitational has created one of the most exciting — and longest awaited — narratives in professional League of Legends: the rise of western teams against the hegemony of LCK and LPL. Tomorrow, May 17, MSI 2019 will end in an all-western grand final, as G2 Esports take on Team Liquid.
The rise of the West has also come with great attention from LoL esports fans. Yesterday’s semifinal between Invictus Gaming and Team Liquid peaked at 1.35M viewers (excluding Chinese viewers). But even the biggest upset in MSI history couldn’t top G2’s victory over SK Telecom T1 in today’s five-game thriller. With a Caps pentakill on Akali, Wunder’s now-signature Pyke, and a backdoor to save the series, the game attracted 1.68M peak concurrent viewers, according to ES Charts.
These are very high numbers, especially considering what LoL events usually attract. In comparison, Worlds 2018 drew 1.96M — less than 200K concurrent viewers more — during the grand final between iG and Fnatic. Last year’s MSI was about 50% below in terms of peak viewership and got just shy of 995K at the RNG vs. Kingzone DragonX grand final.
The highest peak viewership record for League of Legends so far (not counting Chinese viewers) is the 2.02M of Worlds 2017. With the two best western teams playing tomorrow, it’s very likely this record gets beaten.