League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), the North American premiere competition, saw massively increased numbers in viewership during the 2020 edition of the playoffs but some stats seem a bit skewed.
Riot Games posted a bit of info that suggests LCS viewership saw massive growth in just one year, such as the fact that the total hours watched in the 2020 playoffs was almost 35 million. Compared to the same event from 2019, this is an almost 72 per cent increase which is an extremely impressive number.
However, there are three crucial details that these stats are now showing. The first one is that Summer Playoffs in 2019 had only six best-of-five matchups in total as the lower bracket didn't exist then. Riot introduced the double-elimination format that was partially responsible for the playoffs having more than twice the matches compared to last year.
The other part of the high number of matches is the fact that eight teams made it to playoffs, compared to six in 2019. Combined with the double-elimination format, this amounted to 13 series of best-of-five matchups. On the level of individual games, there were 26 in 2019 and 48 in 2020.
Third, and possibly most important factor that caused huge viewership numbers is TSM's per aspera ad astra run through the gauntled. They were knocked out by Golden Guardians in the first round but then beat everyone to become the Summer Champions. This run amounted to six BO5 matchups or 25 games in total. Given the team's immense fandom, it is hard to ignore their impact on the viewership.
Summer Finals testifies to TSM's contribution to the numbers where average minute audience was 484,992 which is 27.47 per cent growth from Summer 2019.