The regular season events take place in the LEC Studio in Berlin, and broadcast on Twitch and amplified by co-streamers. Then, for the Season finals, the LEC descends on a European city for some live action in an arena. Last year, the LEC Finals generated $5 million for host city Malmö in Sweden, with this year’s finals heading to Montpellier in France.
With plenty of brand partners ranging from Mastercard to KitKat, the LEC has been seen as a happy hunting ground for brands to position themselves in front of a specific audience. Here’s how the LEC enables to put brands at the heart of the gaming and esports community.
An enthralling environment with supreme talent
The LEC sees the best 10 League of Legends team in the EMEA region do battle in a season lasting three weeks. During the regular season, viewership numbers regularly exceed 200,000 for the regular season, with specific games generating over 1.7 million unique visitors.
The 234,000 average minute audience generated from the Gen Y & Gen Z demographic in the LEC is more than double than what tennis grand slams accumulate within these generations.
The live finals last year generated over 730,000 peak viewers, which made it one of the biggest esports events in 2022.
Despite the LEC being based in Europe, it still has a global reach with the competition viewed in over 200 countriesand distributed live in 15 languages.
Sitting alongside the biggest game in EMEA
League of Legends is one of the mostly played games in the world, the - biggest PC game in both Europe and North America - with LoL esports the most popular esport in the EMEA region.
Over 300 million players have downloaded the game, with 8 million players playing concurrently every day.
With that sort of backing, you can clearly see how much the LEC resonates with its audience, with the vast majority of the fan base having an incredibly strong relationship with the game – which has been around for close to 14 years.
The 2022 Summer Finals in Malmo, Sweden generated $5 million for the local economy, showcasing the spending power of Gen Y & Gen Z.
Positions brands organically in front of an incredibly engaged audience
The biggest challenge for brands to enter the esports and gaming space is to do so in an organic manner.
It may be straightforward for brands such as a Red Bull which has the brand resonance to integrate with various communities, but the LEC has managed to embrace brands such as KitKat, Santander and MasterCard with great effect.
In the case of KitKat, the Nestle brand has executed on a number of activations with LEC, ranging from its own TV advert, to a special League of Legends inspired range of chocolate, as well as most effectively, sponsoring the “breaks” amidst the action.
The success that KitKat has had with LEC has led to the brand to diving deeper in gaming, launching its own Twitter channel and going on to collaborate with Sony for PlayStation 5 activations.
Flexibility and range of brand placements
The LEC provides a great testing ground for brands to enter esports thanks to the wide range of placements and activations on offer.
From sponsoring segments, to in-game advertising to industry exclusivity and licensing – there are so many opportunities for brands to be showcased, as well as to only be visible in certain regions.
Also, with three seasons and a live finals - it is common for brands to test out brand resonance before scaling up their commitments.
Plus, many brands see the success of the LEC and want to do more, and thanks to the global structure of League of Legends esports, global brands like KitKat, Logitech and Santander were able to scale their partnerships into territories such as Brazil, LATAM or Asia.
An incredibly engaged audience
Without a question, one of the most appealing parts of the esports and gaming world is its close relationship with the community. While gamers can be quick to criticise, they are also quick to praise well-executed collaborations.
This phenomena has propelled KitKat to the forefront of success, making it the chocolate brand of choice among its target demographic and securing its position as the LEC's second most recognisable sponsor, trailing only the renowned Red Bull.
KitKat has clearly discovered the winning combination to captivate the hearts and tastebuds of gamers worldwide in the ever-changing scene of esports.