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Online Trends

Published September 14th 2018

An In-Depth Social Data Analysis of the Lengthily Titled European League of Legends Championship Series 2018 Final

Brandwatch's Natascha Sturm unearths an array of insights from last weekend's European League of Legends championships.

Last weekend (8-9 September) marked the final of the European League of Legends Championship Series (EU LCS).

League of Legends is a multiplayer online video game where, as a team of five, your mission is to destroy the base of your opponents. It’s also an eSports game, played on stage in front of a live audience as well as millions of viewers at home. The eSports scene is ever growing, with prizes for big tournaments reaching up to $179 million.

The EU LCS is the largest League of Legends event in Europe and is the venue for groups battling for the coveted EU LCS title and a spot in the world championships that take place between October and November.

Today I’m joining the React team to break down the social data around last weekend’s EU LCS, looking into the emotions, the individual teams and team members and the demographics of those discussing the finalists.

Minute-by-minute

eSports is fast-moving, as with any sporting event, so looking at mentions by minute, not hour, can provide the best insights.

In this instance, we analyzed the conversations around the EU LCS from when the event officially started to stream up until a few hours after it ended.

The first game was pretty breath-taking with the “underdog” team, Schalke 04, taking the first win of the best of five series. They absolutely demolished Fnatic.

However, for the second game Fnatic swapped in sOAZ, who has a calmer playstyle than his teammate Bwipo, and helped them take game two, evening out the scores.

The biggest moment was, of course, when Fnatic took the title.

Not only were my emotions high, but throughout this series we saw an increase of online happiness by 435%. Every time Fnatic won a game in the series, happiness spiked. They were the true favorite.

The social MVPs

Whatever your industry, it’s important to know who the biggest influencers are. With eSports it’s the same, although there are many players to keep an eye on.

It’s especially interesting when the real-life MVP and the MVP as decided by people on social media tell a different story (although that didn’t necessarily happen here).

As a sponsor, looking at how individual teams perform on social as well as in the game is one way to decide on whether you think they’re appropriate for your brand to get behind.

Diving into individual player mentions can give even more context, especially when it comes to due diligence around their behavior.

The players Rekkles and Caps held the highest share of voice within the Fnatic team, each with their own reasons:

  • Rekkles had the most after winning the team the 3rd game, putting Fnatic in the lead.
  • Caps is perceived as a clumsy individual. A noticable part of the conversation was caused by him almost dropping the EU LCS trophy after they were crowned.

As we can see, Broxah and Bwipo are relatively the most happily talked about players. The plays of both team members were perceived the least angry on social and the audience did not “rage” about them when a mistake was made.

But the data on the 2nd place team, Schalke 04, shows that the audience was most angry with Nukeduck and Upset – this was in relation to them outplaying the fan-favorite Fnatic team.

 

Getting to know the audience

Each team has a different audience and we decided to take a look at the finalist teams’ Twitter followers.

Expectantly, both audiences for Fnatic and Schalke 04 are invested in games and sports. That said, they are prioritized differently, much like the other interests listed here.

The Finals of the EU LCS were held in Madrid, though neither of the teams have a massive presence in Spain.

Schalke 04 have the higher presence in Germany (26%), as they are a German organization, compared to Fnatic which has the highest presence in the US (23%).

Learnings from the data

eSports does not fall under the category “one size fits all.”

To maximise your brand visibility as a team, or as a sponsored brand, it is essential to investigate what the target audience is interested in and to notice differentiating factors, breaking them down by location, for example. Fnatic, a global brand, is an excellent example of how to unite fans across borders.

As with each team, players are also unique and their audiences have slight differences with several unique influencers within them.

Whether you’re a sponsor or a team, taking a data-driven approach to engaging with and researching audiences means you’ll be best set up for reaching more people.

If you’d like more information on this data please email react@brandwatch.com

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