How was LoL Esports in 2021? A Year in Review
2021 was another big year for League of Legends esports, with continued growth in both viewership and the game’s player base.
Biggest roster move of the year
The biggest roster move would undoubtedly be Perkz not only leaving G2 Esports, but joining a team in Europe’s longtime rival region, North America’s Cloud 9. Perkz had been a golden boy of G2 Esports and all of Europe, known for his mechanics, vast game knowledge and adaptability. Perkz’s roster move to C9 for the 2021 season also saw him reclaim a starting position in the mid lane.
Cloud 9 gained immediate success at the start of 2021, placing first in the 2021 LCS Spring and the 2021 LCS Spring Showdown.
League of Legends Esports is growing strong once again as the 2021 League of Legends World Championships set a new LoL peak viewership record. According to Esports Charts, this year’s world championships peaked at just shy of 4.02 million viewers. Twitch viewers accounted for nearly 3 million, while Youtube accounted for just over 1 million. Overall, this sets the 2021 League of Legends World Championships as the second most popular esports event (in terms of peak viewership) in the world!
LoL 2021 Pre season meta changes
With the introduction of objective bounties, the meta will shift greatly. This change will largely favor scaling champions, as despite early weaknesses and gold deficits, objective bounties allow scaling champions to close the gap. Previously, the meta allowed highly skilled players to solo carry games with a strong early lead and roams to aid other laners. However, the introduction of objective bounties has effectively reduced the impact of a strong individual performance in lane.
For example, an early lead in lane going 5-0 would not only build up your personal bounty, but likely give an objective bounty to the entire enemy team. It has also forced those who are ahead to stop roaming, or risk enemies destroying their towers and gaining an equal or greater amount of gold compared to a successful roam. Objective bounties have also changed the meta by allowing junglers to gank other lanes and claim tower bounties. These tower bounties then share gold to the entire team, giving jungler to help teammates they are not directly aiding through ganks, leaving little opportunity for counterplay.
League of Legends World Championships
Royal Never Give Up have once again missed their chance at LoL Worlds, getting unfortunately knocked out in the quarterfinals 2-3 against Edward Gaming, a rival LPL team.
Despite not gaining a direct qualification from Groups and having to fight through the Play-ins stage, Cloud 9 were there to save North America’s reputation once again, being the only NA team to qualify to the Knockout quarterfinals stage. While they were knocked out in the quarterfinals this year, their qualification has consistently proven Cloud 9’s strength as a top team year on year.
T1 were almost able to make a comeback and claim yet another world Championship. The team had topped Group B, placing above Edward Gaming. However, while 2021 was a major improvement, it was yet again not their comeback year. T1 narrowly lost to their longtime domestic rivals, Damwon Gaming, in the semi-finals 2-3.
The finals between EDward Gaming and DAMWON Gaming came as little surprise, as while they had strong competition, they were both the respective champions of their regions. The fight between the two was close once again, with all 5 games played, eventually leading to EDward Gaming’s favour 3-2.