Sergi Mesonero, co-founder of the Spanish LVP, shares his opinion on why the Spanish esports league is so successful following Esports News UK's big feature on the LVP.
We asked Sergi for official viewer figures and he got back to us to clarify them, as well as sharing some more of his views below.
How popular is League of Legends in Spain?
"In 2016 we had over 3.5 million cumulative uniques in our national competition, including our national finals and La Copa," Sergi explains.
"If we isolate the finals, our June LoL finals at Gamergy had over 175,000 uniques and our December finals over 264,000 uniques.
"Our average uniques per streaming - only regular season, excluding finals, La Copa and other special streamings - was 44,832 and the time watched over 34,700 hours per program.
"In 2017 we are growing quite a lot. Our current average uniques per streaming is 63,753 and the time watched is over 60,000 hours.
Gamergy attendance reached over 30,000 in our three previous editions.
"Since the very beginning our obsession has been to explain the story of a competitive scene from the "bottom" to the "top".
What about Call of Duty?
"In 2016 we had over 900,000 cumulative uniques in our national competition (including our national finals).
"Our average uniques per streaming (only regular season, excluding finals and other special streamings) was 14,061 and the time watched over 3,000 hours per program.
"In 2017 we are also growing a lot with CoD. Our current average uniques per streaming is 17,783 and the time watched over 8,200."
The first Spanish League of Legends champions
Why is it so popular?
"Possibly it's not just one thing, but in my opinion it's a question of storytelling. We've been running amateur LoL tournaments since 2011 and our regular LoL league with weekly matches has been running since 2012 (our first national champions include Araneae and Samux! See picture above).
"Since the very beginning our obsession has been to explain the story of a competitive scene from the "bottom" to the "top". That's why we've had amateur tournaments which have connected in some way or another to a "pro" competition almost since year one and also why we've broadcast and created content following the competition daily.
"This constant process has created a strong community and loyal following. This solidified even more in 2015 when Riot included the LVP as the Spanish national partner, with a slot at the CS qualifier.
"As we also broadcast in Spanish Riot's official competitions, directly or indirectly we can explain now a story that goes from the casual tournaments, to the semi-pro and national pro level up to the international level. There aren't many organizations that have done the same."
"The British market has the potential to be a powerhouse. It's a very rich country and with a big population."
What lessons can other countries learn from Spain?
"Every market is quite different, so what has worked in Spain might not work in the UK.
"The British market has the potential to be a powerhouse. It's a very rich country and with a big population, in European terms. The language is a double-edge sword, though: it's the world's esports language by default, but on the other hand there's already a ton of international esports content in English (this was definitely not the case in Spain).
"Anyway, the demand for localized competitions and content, geographically bound and culturally relevant, will grow faster than the current demand for worldwide top-only competition, which is an increasingly saturated market.
"That's why we are placing our bets in the development of regional and national-level scenes. Storytelling, relatability and being aspirational are the three main ways to build one."
What are the origins of the LVP?
"Myself and other co-founders share a similar professional background in the audiovisual industry. Mainly in the production, distribution and exhibition of non-commercial cinema. But we also shared a passion for video games in all its forms.
"In the mid-2000s we decided that we wanted to put our professional expertise at the service of our passion. We were also following competitive gaming: Counter-Strike, some Warcraft/Starcraft, but mostly Halo 2 & 3 (those glorious MLG days)...
"We decided that we wanted to bring to Spain the experience of professional gaming: those tournaments in the US and South Korea that at that time looked awesome, although in retrospect they look like prehistory now, haha."