ESPN will broadcast and stream 'League of Legends' spring playoffs

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
G2 Esports support Mihael Mehle ''Mikyx'' is pictured as he plays the League of Legends (LOL) World Championship Finals in Paris, France, November 10, 2019. REUTERS/Johanna Geron

ESPN’s 12-hour esports marathon was just the start of its return to live competitive gaming. The broadcaster and Riot Games have reached a deal that will stream the League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split Playoffs live on ESPN2 or the ESPN app, starting with a match between 100 Thieves and TSM today (April 8th) available online at 4PM Eastern. You’ll also have on-demand access to events immediately after they’ve finished.

You can expect follow-up matches at the same time on April 11th, April 12th and April 18th. The final match for the North American championship is due on April 19th, although there isn’t a set time for it at this stage.

The network has a growing presence in esports coverage, and isn’t new to League of Legends coverage. Until now, though, you had to subscribe to ESPN+ if you wanted to watch pro LoL games live. This theoretically brings the series to a wider audience. Not that ESPN is necessarily doing this purely to promote esports. With virtually all conventional sports shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, esports is one of the few live programming options left.