Is League of Legends Dying?

Is this the end of the line for League of Legends?

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There are few titles in the gaming industry more prolific than League of Legends. Since 2009, this immensely popular MOBA game has been a highly visible and exciting staple within the world of esports. As it rose from the offshoots of a DOTA team, League of Legends grew like wildfire. However, we’re here today to ask one simple question: is League of Legends dying?

It has been more than ten years since League of Legends was released in full – a long ten years. In that time, professional players have come and gone, tournaments have been held, and updates have been made. Although, while a mobile variant was released in 2020, the base game will never receive a sequel, according to developers Riot Games.

So, where does that leave League of Legends?

Is League of Legends dying?

The End of the Line

Theoretically, there’s no need for League of Legends to even have a sequel created. It’s a non-exhaustive title that has remained in something of a status quo for more than a decade. While there are quality of life improvements, new maps, and new champions to explore, the base game itself doesn’t need to be changed.

Does this impact the question, is League of Legends dying? Initially, you might think that it would, as almost every video game franchise in the world goes through something of a lifecycle. There’s the first release, a follow-up period for the title, and then a sequel or another iteration will be announced and subsequently released.

That isn’t the case with League of Legends.

However, that hasn’t stopped the active player count from getting larger with each passing year. In 2011, it was estimated some 11.5 million players took to the stage in League of Legends every month. By 2014, that figure had climbed to 65 million. And then, by 2021, it was estimated that around 115 million gamers were actively playing League of Legends every month.

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Image Credit LeagueFeed

Is League of Legends dying? At face value, those figures seem to suggest it isn’t.

League of Legends Popularity Over Time

  • In 2011, League of Legends had a monthly active user of 15 million.
  • In 2016, a year when many thought that League has reached its peak, had 100 million active users.
  • In 2023, that number has increased to an estimated 180 million users.

It seems like although there are rumors of the game decreasing in interest but the facts are always showcasing a different reality. People sometimes forget that as old players quit, new blood will always come into the mix. And with new champions being released and new content being created, such as the hit Netflix series Arcane, the younger audience will always be drawn in.

Is League of Legends Dying in Korea?

Now, that might seem like a fairly random question. However, there is some method to the madness here, as typically, Korea is one of the most popular countries in the world where League of Legends players are concerned. In fact, some of the best League of Legends players of all time originate from Korea.

Therefore, it stands as a great response to the all-important question: is League of Legends dead? Statistically, even today, Korean players have earned more than any other nationality in League of Legends esports tournaments. In 2018, mainstream Korean television channels famously began broadcasting League of Legends events. Furthermore, reports show that in the iconic Korean PC Bangs that litter the country, League of Legends is by far the most popular game played.

To put it simply, Korea has always been a forerunner in the esports industry, both as a competing nation and a developing nation. It has often led the charge with many platforms, and League of Legends is right up there as one of the greatest. Therefore, no, League of Legends is not dying in Korea – nor anywhere else, as far as we know.

The Situation in North America: Is League dying in NA?

Despite what most people think, League is actually maintaining a steady player base of 180 million monthly players and many of whom are from NA. The LCS Summer 2022 has also attracted up to 370 179 peak viewers, a small increase compared to 2021 peak viewership of 364 328.

The most popular NA streamer Tyler1 is still currently streaming League 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, averaging around 15-18k concurrent viewers. And other retired League streamers, such as Imaqtpie and Yassuo, have made their return to streaming League for season 13.

As we can see the game is still generating a lot of popularity in NA and League of Legends has always maintained a top 3 spot on Twitch categories.

Is League dying in the Philippines?

The general sentiment is that League of Legends has been decreasing in popularity in the Philippines. The reason is that when the pandemic began, PC bangs across the country had to shut down and most Filipino households do not have a computer.

Ever since then, the queue times for ranked have been up to 15 minutes long on an afternoon. Another reason is that Riot Games is refusing to merge servers with other servers, causing a snowball effect on its player base. The long queue times are making it undesirable for players to grind League.

Is League of Legends Wild Rift Dying?

It’s only fair that we address the latest development out of Riot Games where League of Legends is concerned. Is League of Legends dying? No – but what about the mobile variant, which by nature is going to be less successful than the desktop version?

In late-2021, Riot Games announced the Horizon Cup, a brand new tournament focused specifically on Wild Rift. This prestigious event would be held in Singapore, boasting a $500,000 grand prize – one of the biggest in League of Legends.

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Image Credit: Riot

While Wild Rift would never be as popular as League of Legends, Riot Games refused to let it die. In a swift and proactive motion, the developers secured a huge burst of excitement for the mobile MOBA platform. Although, while the event was set to be an international tournament, it wasn’t penned as a World Championship for Wild Rift.

What About League of Legends Esports?

There are many who will tell you that League of Legends is esports. It’s one of the most popular esports platforms, and it boasts some of the highest viewership figures across the industry. In almost every aspect, from League of Legends betting to the streaming numbers on Twitch, LoL dominates the market.

If you’re asking, is LoL dying, look no further than the vibrant, diverse, and highly populated esports scene. In 2019, according to Esports Charts, the League of Legends World Championship racked up around 1.04 million average viewers. However, in 2020, this number grew to 1.11 million, which increased to nearly 1.3 million in 2021. And you may not believe this but, during the finals of Worlds 2022 T1 vs DRX, viewership peaked at 5.1 million with the help of several casters from the community, most notably Sykkuno and Ibai. This number is also expected to grow in 2023.

With each passing year, more hours are watched, more bets are placed, and more money is made available for prize pools. These days, a staggering number of esports fans tune in to watch League of Legends competitors battle it out on the biggest stages in gaming.
As the growing subscriber, follower, and viewer counts show, League of Legends certainly isn’t dying.

The Future of the Franchise

If you’re asking, if League of Legends is dying in 2023, there’s a one-word answer.

No.

In fact, as time goes on, League of Legends will likely get stronger, especially as more attention and money is poured across the esports industry as a whole. The entire landscape is set to undergo massive growth, and League of Legends is one of the platforms that will drive that growth.

After all, aside from DOTA 2, there really isn’t any competition for League of Legends. It’s at the top of its game, and the tournaments and competitors are some of the best in the world. With that in mind, perhaps it’s now time to turn your attention to a little LoL Worlds betting.

What better way is there to celebrate this revelation than by placing a few bets on the ever-strong League of Legends?

Grant Taylor-Hill Avatar
Written by
Grant Taylor-Hill

Grant is a lifelong, multi-platform gamer with a passion for journalism and more than ten years' experience in the industry. He'll try any game once, and when he's not playing them, he's watching them, being as he is an avid esports fan.

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