League of Legends has 32 million active players, is now "as big as StarCraft" in Korea
Riot Games announced new stats on their playerbase today, revealing some huge numbers that dwarf every game out there, even the aging juggernaut, World of Warcraft.
Among the most impressive is certainly the 32 million active players a month, which is astronomical compared to similar games. Other statistical gems: 12 million play daily, 70 million are registered, and the "typical" peak concurrency is 3 million players, or about five times the total players in the top 100 games on Steam combined last Friday.
The full infographic has a lot of oddball stats as well, revealing a 90% male player base and estimating your frequency of witnessing a penta-kill to be one in every 150 games.
The last time Riot released numbers was November 2011, when LoL had 11 million active players, 32.5 million registered, and a peak concurrency of 1.3 million, among many other stats.
At this weekend's tournament, I had a chance to ask Korea's top League of Legends team just how big the game is in their home country. Korea is famous for embracing Starcraft on a national level, putting it on TV, cereal boxes, shoes, and high school career paths. Korea is widely regarded as the biggest and oldest capital of esports. Professional gamers are some of the most famous and adored celebrities in the country, inspiring boy band-like fan followings.
But Starcraft now has a challenger to its Korean throne. After their win against TSM on Friday, Azubu Frost's captain, RapidStar, told me that "League of Legends is as big as Starcraft now [in Korea]" and that while Starcraft's popularity has probably plateaued, LoL is "still new and still growing and only going to get better."
A professional LoL player is far from an unbiased source, but Riot's numbers certainly seem to back up RapidStar's claim.
Josh Augustine spends more time playing MMOs and MOBAs than most people spend sleeping. He’s written about them for PC Gamer as an intern, editor, and freelancer. He’s currently a game designer at Sony Online Entertainment and would love to talk with you on Twitter.