A lot of games have come and gone, but LoL is still going strong after ten solid years on top of the charts.
Plenty of things can happen in a decade.
You can graduate from school, start a career, get promoted, meet someone special, get married, have kids, buy two cars, visit ten countries and even get a PhD. Ten years is a long time for life stuff, but when you’re talking about video games, oh boy, ten years seems like a lifetime! Games are supposed to have a shelf life. You buy it, play it solo for a while, play some multiplayer, and either sell it or let it collect dust.
That’s it, game over, man.
Let’s be realistic. When was the last time you picked up an old video game and played it with the same enthusiasm you did when you first got it? Be honest. Was it yesterday? A week ago? Last year? Never? Don’t worry about it! Games lose their luster in time, and players lose interest if there’s no new content. It’s all part of the process.
Except if the game in question is League of Legends (LoL).
If you’re here because you want to know if League of Legends is still relevant in 2020, we got you covered. This article aims to explore LoL’s growth over the years by looking at statistics involving active player count. We’ll also talk about why people still play the game after all these years and crunch some numbers on the LoL’s ongoing popularity.
So, are you ready to dive deeper into what makes League of Legends special?
Let’s do this!
Why Do People Play League of Legends After All These Years?
League of Legends has been one of the top PC games by player count for a decade now. The game’s longevity is nothing to scoff about, mainly in part due to the stiff competition coming from newer games such as Fortnite, PUBG, and others juxtaposed with LoL’s ten-year existence. Not all video games age well, especially in the crowded Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre.
After a decade in the trenches, LoL’s staying power puts the game in a literal “league” of its own.
LoL has a following that is second to none, with the 2019 World Championship Finals setting the record for most Average Minute Audience (AMA) at 21.8 million. Last year’s World Championships also had an average peak viewership of 44 million, more than 100 million viewers, and over one billion hours of game content watched by fans. The 2018 World Championships also had 99.6 million unique viewers. Even the LoL worlds of the past years saw record crowds in the hundreds of millions.
LoL viewership numbers can rival any major professional sporting event, like the Super Bowl or the NBA Finals.
Riot Games also promised everyone a gaming experience the original DOTA lacked, with tons of premium content and zero-tolerance for cheaters and players who wanted to “pay to win.” With regular updates, balance fixes, new champions, and dynamic gameplay, LoL appealed to the MOBA player base, from casual gamers to hardcore teams, which brings us to our next topic: player count.
League of Legends Player Count History.
To better understand the popularity of League of Legends and why the game still resonates in 2020, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Since LoL’s release in 2009, the game has grown exponentially to become one of the most played PC games worldwide, maybe even all time.
2011 – 11.5 Million Players.
Riot Games released an official press release after two years in the gaming industry. The statement showed some impressive numbers for a 2-year old game.
- Registered Users: 5 million.
- Daily Players: 2 million.
- Monthly Players: 5 million.
- Peak Concurrent players: 3 million.
2012 – 32 Million Players.
After a year, Riot released another official statement regarding active player count. It’s safe to say that the publisher’s numbers were nothing short of spectacular at the time and a massive jump from 2011 figures.
- Registered Users: 70 million.
- Daily Players: 12 million.
- Monthly Players: 30 million.
- Peak Concurrent players: 3 million.
2014 – 67 Million Players.
Although Riot Games announced LoL had five million concurrent players in 2013, they skipped the formalities of revealing the actual player count. However, the publisher released its official player count via a statement in 2014, and by all accounts, League of Legends was still growing its user base.
- Registered Users: NR.
- Daily Players: 27 million.
- Monthly Players: 67 million.
- Peak Concurrent players: 8 million.
2016 – 100 Million Players.
Again, Riot skipped a year and didn’t release any figures for 2015. It was looking like the company wasn’t going to release any data for 2016 until a Polygon interview broke the ice. Co-founders Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill revealed that LoL had cracked the 100 million CCU (concurrent players) count. No other official figures were released.
2017 and Beyond.
Riot Games didn’t release any other update on LoL’s active player count after 2016, so anything online is speculation and guesstimates made by users and followers of the game. The last valid update, according to Eurogamer, was September 2019, when the publisher revealed that LoL still had a worldwide peak concurrent player count of eight million per day during their 10th-anniversary celebration. Unfortunately, Riot didn’t release any numbers on total active players.
How Many People Are Playing League of Legends in 2020?
Without any official League of Legends player count updates from Riot, it’s safe to say that based on the game’s growth history and past upward trajectory, we could be looking at more than 100 million League of Legends players in 2020. Our estimates on LoL active player count could be anywhere from 102 – 112 million, but these numbers are pure speculation at this point. All other available metrics, such as Google Trends, are useless to pinpoint the exact amount of concurrent players. Unless Riot Games releases their official figures, everything is guesswork, at best.
Here’s an overly simplistic view: assuming the 8 million peak players per day are the same ones playing LoL every month, we can multiply the number by 12 months, giving us 96 million, but this would still be highly inaccurate. There will be variations on player count during peak hours and non-peak hours, player drop offs, and other factors. Plus, the game is still increasing in popularity based on Reddit Metrics and Twitch viewership graphs, making any estimate over 100 million active players a safe bet.
The Bottom Line: League of Legends is Still the PC Video Game to Beat in 2020.
League of Legends has plenty of good things going for it this 2020: a solid publisher in Riot Games, loyal users, a growing fan base, Esports going mainstream, and the World Championships. LoL will continue to be one of the top games worldwide, played by millions of people daily. There’s no doubt about it. We’re even looking past 2020 to the next decade and the further evolution of the game that has captured the hearts and minds of gamers all over the world.
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