The LCS’ new Monday Night League (MNL) stream ended on a disappointing note with a low count of peak viewers. Riot Games marketed the new show as an exciting feature after a weekend of LCS matches. So far, there have only been two MNL shows, with yesterday’s statistics reporting a peak of only 73,001 viewers.

According to Twitch Tracker, the show has streamed for 2.8 hours with an average of 45,570 concurrent viewers. It compares to last week’s MNL premiere, which brought in a peak of just over 106,000 viewers. There are a few factors to blame for the big dip in numbers.

Marketing and advertising

Riot Games produces most of the MNL marketing via social media content. LCS hosts advertise the show by posting witty banter, graphics, and captivating one-liners on Twitter. However, the multiple League of Legends official Instagram accounts have no MNL content posted at all. Twitter shouldn’t be the only platform they’re using if they want to appeal to wider audiences.

Visibility for the Academy

Unfortunately, this is a similar issue they ran into for the unpopular All-Stars event. Fans know the LCS to be a weekend event and many viewers have no interest in tuning in on a weekday for games. This is especially because groups being featured on MNL are lesser-known Academy teams. Some effort in visibility for these teams could have helped viewership sky-rocket. More interviews, videos, and inclusion of Academy players during actual LCS game breaks may have piqued the viewers’ interests.

The timing wasn’t great

Timing was another issue that Riot Games ran into. Yesterday, they held MNL at the same time as the nationally televised Iowas Caucus. Although MNL is marketed to be an exciting feature, the important political event seemed to grab plenty of attention during the time slot. They may see this as a factor for low viewership on Monday, though we can only tell if we see numbers shoot up next week.

European viewers also found the timing awkward. Riot Games holds MNL at night in North America, which means European fans would have to stay up until 2 a.m. or so, depending on their country. As mentioned before, this seems to be a recurring scheduling issue that also affected viewership for All-Stars.

Total unique viewership count

Overall, the first MNL show did well with follower and viewership count. They attracted over 750,000 unique viewers while yesterday’s statistics state only 118,000. To justify the unpopularity, MNL is meant to broadcast the Academy teams, and extremely high viewership count isn’t expected. If Riot Games wants to continue with the show, some major changes need to be done.

Carly Soba
Digital artist, bunny mom, and avid League of Legends fan. I write about all sorts of things, mostly esports business deals, investments, and game coverage. I'm passionate about helping professional women succeed in the esports industry. Catch me on Twitter: @carlysoba

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