Overwatch League draws millions of eyes in first week

Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard has revealed that an audience of over 10 million tuned into the first week of the world’s first major global city-based professional eSports league.

“Since we announced Overwatch League at BlizzCon 2016, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the day when the global competitive Overwatch community could come together under one banner,” said Nate Nanzer, Overwatch League commissioner.

“Opening week was that coming-out party—for the fans, both in-person at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and tuned in by the millions all over the world, and for the players, whose love for the game came through crystal clear.”

According to Twitch, the Overwatch League’s exclusive worldwide third-party digital broadcast partner, opening day drew an impressive average audience per minute of 408,000, and 280,000 for the week. They say a total of more than 10 million viewers tuned in over the four-day period via Twitch, MLG, and Chinese streaming partners ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC, and Panda TV.

“We had high expectations for the inaugural broadcast of the Overwatch League on Twitch, given our platform’s passionate fanbase for Overwatch,” said Kevin Lin, COO of Twitch.

"They really put on an amazing show and fans showed up en masse to support and celebrate Overwatch. Based on the response from the community, Overwatch League is off to a great start and we look forward to watching how the season progresses. This league demonstrates the power and potential of esports, and we’re thrilled to continue expanding our partnership with Blizzard.”

The inaugural season of the Overwatch League will run until June, with the playoffs and finals scheduled for July.


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Fergus Halliday
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