Blizzard recently announced that the first week of Overwatch League drew more 10 million viewers.
For people who are unaware of it, Blizzard’s new esports organization for its hit team based shooter is called Overwatch League. Blizzard has always been a little involved with esports and the Overwatch League is the one where they went totally into it, treating is as a sport equal to any other. It has teams based on cities in the company’s new competitive gaming facility in Los Angeles, and they offer their players a regular salary. Overwatch League has showed about 12 matches in their first week on Twitch. At their best the Overwatch League had more 425,000 concurrent viewers, which to say is a great peak to achieve in just one week. The ten million number includes only devices turned into the various streams, which could mean even more people could have watched the matches.
“More than 10 million viewers tuned in over the four-day period via Twitch, MLG, and Chinese streaming partners.” Activision go on to say that “on Twitch and MLG alone, the peak concurrent online audience of 437,000 hit during the highly anticipated day-one matchup between Dallas Fuel and Seoul Dynasty. In addition, tickets to Blizzard Arena Los Angeles were sold out for the entirety of opening week.
We’re thrilled by the overwhelming response to the Overwatch League’s opening week of play,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Major League Gaming (MLG). “But this is only the beginning. With more than 35 million Overwatch® players, the Overwatch League has the potential to become one of the most-watched leagues—of any kind—in the world.” claimed a press release from Activision.
For a course of opening week, 10 million viewers with an average of concurrency of 280,000 viewers is actually impressive for a debut event. Thought the first week has turned out to be amazing, we are really more intrigued about how these numbers turn out to be over the next few weeks, and actually throughout the league’s first season.
Having 4 nights every week to watch Overwatch might be a little bit of overkill of tiredness for the viewers. This might not be the only factor, even the quality of matches could degrade sometimes and that is something that even Blizzard or the Overwatch League cannot control for sure. Two of the matches that aired on the League’s opening night ended with a score 4-0, which obviously isn’t the type of match that makes you sit on the edge of your seat. Many viewers stop watching after a 2-0 or 3-0 score only. This does make keeping viewers watching a difficult job. If such things keep happening Overwatch can lose its viewers as quickly as its gained them.
But for now, Overwatch League is doing the best that they could have done.