The final prize pool might not be the biggest in video games any more, but there's no doubting that League of Legends certainly has the biggest audience.
36 million: that's the amount of unique viewers who tuned in to this year's League of Legends grand finals between Koo Tigers and SK Telecom. 36 million.
In a post on their eSports page, Riot today finally announced the viewer figures from this year's LCS finals, a five week long event that spanned multiple countries. Because of the extended length, it's not much of a surprise that the total hours viewed nearly doubled last year, up from 194 million hours to 360 million hours.
"Total cumulative daily unique impressions (the amount of unique viewers that tuned in every day via online and television channels) reached 334 million over the four weeks (from 288 million in 2014)," Riot wrote.
The average concurrent users — the amount of individual people watching at any one time — for the five weeks was 4.2 million, while the highest peak concurrents for the grand finals was 14 million.
To put that in comparison, the most watched television show in Australia since 2001 was 6 million, followed by the 4.04 million in 2005 who tuned in to watch Lleyton Hewitt in the Australian Open grand final. 2.62 million tuned in for the second State of Origin game this year, while 2.43 million tuned in for the first Origin game.
Sure, it's a little unfair to compare an Australian-only audience with something that can be broadcast around the world, but it helps provide perspective on how much appeal League of Legends has these days. There was a time when people considered MOBAs unwatchable. And while some people still hold that view, the market for those who are interested is growing massively.