LoL Gains
Photo Credit: Kienan Lafferty

League of Legends returns to Top Ranks on Twitch

Today, as I went to open up my Twitch app, I was thinking, “Oh great, I’m pretty sure everyone is playing Fortnite again,” while being groggy to see my friends’ messages asking me if I want to play the battle royale game with them. As the Twitch program popped up, to my surprise, League of Legends is back on the 1st block for Top Games. Jinx’s face never looked so appropriate for this scenario. I was thinking, “It’s either some old League player came back to the game for a long time or there’s an eSport event happening right now,” and alas, it was not just one, but two eSports events: LCK (League Championship Korea and LJL (League of Legends Japan League).

As I am writing this, LCK Finals isn’t finished at the moment but it has a steady rate of 89,192 based on the channel of LCK1 alone. The fight is between KING-ZONE DragonX versus Afreeca Freecs – one of this year’s most anticipated battles in League eSports in Korea. Currently, KZ is in the lead by 2-1 vs AFS. Whoever wins this game is definitely going to be one of the most looked-after League eSports team on Mid-Season Invitations Worlds 2018, which will be held on France and Germany this May, and on the highly-anticipated Worlds Championship 2018, hosted in South Korea—the same location where Worlds 2014 was done.

EDIT: As of just now, at 8:00 pm HK Time, KZ has won as the LCK Grand Champions. They will now move on to MSI 2018.

As much as NA LCS was a surprise and a joy for many to see a new kind of Finals between Team Liquid vs 100 Thieves (TL being the winner from last week of April 8, 2018), and the downfall of constant top teams like Team SoloMid and Cloud 9, LCK has been a journey that was blissfully seen in the eSports this year. Earlier in the league, many thought it would not be a surprise to see either the ever-reigning SKTelecom, lead by the powerful midlaner Faker, or the champions of Worlds 2017, KSV (No really, it’s just KSV. No meaning behind it. Also formerly known as SSG or Samsung Galaxy), the team that defeated the 3-time Worlds defending champion SKT, with Crown being the lead midlaner. But after this year’s LCK, how the tables have turned—both godly teams have crumbled under the newest challengers in the league.

Last March 31, South Korea has witnessed a vendetta of a match between archrivals SKT and KSV. SKT won that day with 3-1, making Faker taste Crown his own medicine of defeat and fret. However, that victory was short-lived after they were stunned at the takeover of kt Rolster, who brought down SKT with a 3-1 match on April 4. Yet, even that was not for long after kt Rolster was defeated by the current Finals-standing team, Afreeca Freecs, on April 8, 2018. Today, on April 14, AFS is now facing off with KZ.

Meanwhile, in the world of LJL, DetonationFocusMe vs Pentagram went on a very intense match-up for the winner of this year’s Spring Season of League Japan. However, in the end, Pentagram won on a clean sweep of 3-0 vs DFM. DFM, despite the 0 win, did give a very challenging game against PNG. The matches took extremely long, forcing PNG to devise various strategies from baiting the baron, backdoor attempts to sneaky ganks which always ended up 1 for 1 every team clash. PNG will represent the top team for Japan this upcoming MSI in Europe.

Now let’s return back to the overall viewer ratings of two games: LoL and Fortnite.

Constantly, whenever big-name Twitch streamers come around, Fortnite is always at the top spot. Leading the charge is the battle royale’s favorite, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. He alone racks up plenty of viewers all over the world, raking from at least 30,000 viewers scaling up to 312,000. Combine that with the simultaneous casting of Shroud playing the same game, Summit1G, DrDisrespect, Myth, and you got yourself a huge number for the top spot on Games in Twitch.

Fortnite has been the only one to consistently dethrone League of Legends when it comes to viewer ratings. Before all the battle royale craze, LoL has always been the dominant name on the leaderboard. Withal, when PUBG came out and the term “battle royale” became an official genre, League has always been at the 2nd place. Sure, it becomes at #1 plenty of times, but it does not stay there for long.

It happened before too back in May to December 2016 when Overwatch was the most hyped up multiplayer game that year. The only time League of Legends was at 1st is when there is a live telecast for eSports or when BoxBox, a community-favorite in the MOBA game, would cosplay as his favorite champion, Riven—in which it makes tons of his fans and the rest of the audience go crazy. Nowadays, Overwatch is at a pretty low number, ranging from being #5 to at least #10.

Now that Fortnite is at hand, it’s just like 2 years ago, during the Overwatch hype. We may see a decline in Fortnite if ever Epic Games have stopped being rational with their updates and the fans being tired of it.