Following the conclusion of the Play-In stage at Worlds 2023 this past Sunday, both Team BDS and GAM Esports have officially secured their spots in the main event of the World Championship. These two exceptional teams have earned their place in the Swiss Stage of the main event.
The 2023 World Championship main event kicks off on Thursday, October 19th. Team BDS, GAM Esports, and LOUD have emerged as some of the most renowned teams in this stage. However, after GAM Esports’ impressive 2-0 victory against LOUD, GAM moved on to the group stage, while LOUD had to say goodbye to the tournament.
The Qualification Match between Team BDS and PSG Talon proved to be the most-watched match of the Play-In stage, boasting a substantial lead in viewership. This match amassed over 2 million hours of watch time, surpassing the second-most-watched match, which was the Qualification Match between GAM Esports and Team Whales. While LOUD and GAM Esports enjoyed significant support from their enthusiastic regional audience, Team BDS gained popularity due to the international attention they attracted, particularly from the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) regions.
Data from escharts.com, a website specializing in esports information and statistics, reveals that matches featuring GAM Esports and LOUD each garnered over a million views.
Fan Support for Teams in the Play-In Stage of the 2023 World Championship
GAM Esports became the first team to secure a spot in the main event by defeating the Vietnamese team, Team Whales, in the initial Qualification Match on Sunday. This match resonated incredibly with Vietnamese audiences and emerged as the second most-watched match during the Play-In stage among Vietnamese viewers, accumulating over 300,000 more hours of watch time than any other match.
To emphasize the passionate fan support from Vietnam, it’s worth noting that the only match in Worlds 2022 with a higher average viewership figure in Vietnam was the Grand Final between T1 and DRX. In 2023, the trend of strong support from a team’s home country reached new heights.
Throughout Worlds 2023, Vietnamese teams in the Play-In stage recorded double the average viewership in Vietnam compared to other teams. In 2022, this gap was much smaller as Vietnamese fans favored their local teams but still contributed significantly to the average viewership figures of other teams.
In the Play-In stage of the 2023 World Championship, LOUD recorded over 42% more viewers than the second-best-performing team in terms of average viewership in the Portuguese language. With LOUD’s elimination from Worlds 2023, it seems that Portuguese viewership for the World Championship has once again peaked during the Play-In stage.
Most-Watched Teams of the Play-In Stage by Language
The Qualification Match between PSG Talon and Team BDS demonstrated a strong regional focus in Vietnamese and Portuguese broadcasts. Matches featuring their respective regional teams consistently secured the top three positions in terms of viewership during the Play-In stage. Interestingly, the highly-watched PSG vs. BDS match ranked only fourth in both languages in terms of watch time..
As per statistics from escharts.com, GAM Esports emerged as the second most-watched team in the Play-In stage.
In Worlds 2023, the Vietnamese language has experienced significant growth and has become one of the most popular languages during the Play-In stage. As viewership of League of Legends continues to surge in Vietnam, it appears to be following a trajectory similar to that of the Portuguese language. As Worlds 2023 unfolds, we’ll closely monitor Vietnamese viewership, particularly in matches not involving GAM Esports, as it may reveal the extent to which regional viewership is driven by national pride.
With both Team BDS and GAM Esports securing their places in the main event, Worlds 2023 holds the potential to become an esports viewership powerhouse. Supported by fans from the EMEA region and Vietnam, Worlds 2023 may continue to break records in terms of live viewership. However, the performance of GAM Esports in the main event may be a crucial factor for Vietnamese viewership, given the language’s increasing prevalence and its parallel with the trajectory of the Portuguese language in viewership statistics.
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