Competitive Gaming and the Spectator

Over 11 million people concurrently watched the League of Legends World Championship last year, and LoL is only one game among many. DotA 2, StarCraft 2, Heroes of the Storm, and Counter-Strike all garner consistently high viewership, and fighting games like Street Fighter and Super Smash Bros. are steadily growing thanks to their strong grassroots communities.

But what about engagement? Looking further into the viewership statistics for LoL Worlds 2014, the average time watched per-viewer was only 67 minutes. Considering that the broadcast was over five hours long, it seems that most people aren’t paying very close attention to what’s happening. But this relative lack of engagement isn’t surprising, because League of Legends is a terrible spectator game.