Riot Games is planning to update its esports broadcasts to broaden viewership and better serve fans of their games.
The Riot esports staff recently identified three key areas that needed to be improved for 2023 and beyond:
- When watching live games, fans should not frequently be forced to choose between one match in favor of another one. The schedule should allow you to watch more of the action without making difficult tradeoffs.
- The amount of content served up daily should more closely match your appetite. Watching should be fun and exciting. Binge-watching is not sustainable for most fans.
- Content should be delivered at times when it’s convenient for fans
Key Learnings for Riot Esports Broadcasts
- Most fans tend to follow their favorite game regardless of region. Through surveys, Riot discovered that 9% of NA League of Legends Esports fans report that they follow VCT Americas. In addition, they also found that more than half of LCS fans watch the LEC during live matches. Moreover, these fans were 4 times more likely to watch the LEC than the VCT EMEA. However, this isn’t universal for fans in every region. Therefore, to create a better global experience Riot needed to prioritize minimizing overlaps of matches from the same game.
- The top two priorities for most fans are to watch their favorite team and to see the biggest matchups of the week. When surveyed, fans expressed that they were just as interested in watching a big match in their favorite league compared to matches with their favorite team. Significantly, many fans follow multiple leagues and are interested in watching the most anticipated matches. Therefore, Riot needed to create a scheduling system that would allow them to shift games to optimize viewing times across regions.
- Binge-watching every weekend and every league isn’t sustainable. Riot’s Esports Broadcasts found that consistently long viewing sessions are hard on viewers: 45% of viewers surveyed reported that they felt exhausted after watching a full day of League of Legends Esports. Riot decided to reserve binging your favorite sport for key moments of the year and better pace the remainder of the live competitions.
- Weekdays are an underserved opportunity. Research has shown that the demand for League of Legends Esports and game content is split evenly between weekdays and weekends. Furthermore, whether it’s getting ready for a night of playing until we lose (can’t end on a loss…) or watching a favorite stream while studying, viewing esports has become part of a weekday routine for many players. Big events will still be anchored around weekends. However, the viewing behaviors seen in the VCT, LCK, and LPL showed that there was an appetite for content on other days as well.
- Picking what to watch can be a chore. Research shows that the average person makes 35,000 decisions a day. Deciding what matches to watch shouldn’t be one of them. By scheduling the games correctly, you only have to choose “to watch” not “what to watch.” This will simplify the viewing process for Riot’s esports broadcasts.
Broadcast Schedule Updates
Accordingly, fans should now see updates on regional schedules across Riot esports broadcasts. Here is a first look at some of the latest schedules:
League of Legends Esports
LCS – Thursday and Friday starting at 12:00 PM PT
LEC – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday starting at 6:00 PM CET
CBLoL – Saturday & Sunday starting at 1pm BRT
LPL – Monday-Friday starting at 5pm CST and Saturday & Sunday starting at 3pm CST
LCK – New Start Times
- Match 2 on weekdays will shift 30 minutes earlier from 8:00 PM (KST) to 7:30 PM (KST)
- On the weekends, Match 1 will be moved from 5:00 PM (KST) to 3:00PM (KST), and Match 2 will be moved from 8:00 PM (KST) to 5:30 PM (KST)
VALORANT Champions Tour
VCT Americas – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday starting at 12:00 PM PT
VCT EMEA – Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday starting at 6:00 PM CET
VCT Pacific – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday starting at 6:00 PM KST Riot is hopeful that these updates will create flexibility to explore broadcast formats, increase cross-regional storytelling, and make it easier for co-streamers.
Ultimately, the goal is to make it easier to be a fan, follow your favorite competition, and discover new content about the sports and teams you love