Users and usage
According to statements from Riot Games, the game had a steadily growing audience throughout the years. It quickly became a hit within the gaming community soon after its introduction, and doubled the number of MAU each year between 2011 and 2013. After that, LoL experienced slower periods of player base growth, nevertheless, the most recent data from 2016 shows that League of Legends had 100 million monthly active users, which is a long way from the 15 million first reported in 2011. What is more, fan gender distribution statistics indicate that it is one of the games that are enjoyed by both women and men almost equally. Globally, based on observations of server activity, LoL seems to attract the highest share of players in Western Europe and Korea, with 24.9 and 23.5 percent of all worldwide players originating in these two regions, respectively. The North America server activity accounted for 10.8 percent of the total League of Legends players in 2017.
Because of its multiplayer format, League of Legends easily transitioned from at-home entertainment to international sport. Each year hundreds of professional tournaments take place around the world and culminate in one major event called the World Championship. In 2016, the annual League of Legends eSports championship final, which took place in Los Angeles, attracted 43 million total viewers worldwide, with 14.7 million watching the championship at peak time. That same event recorded the largest prize pool in the history of LoL World Championships so far. The total sum reached 5.7 million U.S. dollars, out of which over two million went to the winner – SK Telecom T1 team from South Korea. But it isn’t only professional players that have a chance to profit from LoL. The game is also a popular way to make extra money among general eSports enthusiast who can simply bet on the outcomes of tournaments. In fact, League of Legends held the highest share of the total amount wagered among other eSports games in 2016, followed by Counter-Strike and DOTA 2. This only proves that the game still has a bright future ahead of it.