Overwatch League attracts over 10 million views in its first week

Olivia Harris 18 January 2018 NEWS

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The first week of new Twitch distribution deal drove an average 408,000 viewers per minute on day one.

Last week, the Overwatch League began its four-day-a-week broadcast at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, with 12 teams competing in the world’s first major city-based professional esports league. Overwatch and esports fans were evidently raring to go as the league managed to hit 10 million pairs of eyeballs in its first week.

Twitch acquired the broadcasting rights to the Overwatch League just days before the season began, and is now sitting high and mighty with an unprecedented influx of viewers to their site four days a week. On day one of the Overwatch League, Twitch managed to nab an impressive 408,000 viewers per minute on average, with a 280,000 per minute average over the next three days. This contributed to a total of 10 million viewers tuning in over the four-day event through the broadcasting sites Twitch and MLG.com.

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.

In China, streaming partners ZhanQi, NetEase cc and Panda TV all contributed to the overall total. Over on Twitch and MLG, the peak hit a whopping 437,000 viewers during the heated match of Dallas Fuel and Seoul Dynasty, the two teams set to win the league.

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.

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In addition to the large total of views online, the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles was sold out for all four days of the 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.

Fans can tune in to catch all the action live on Twitch, mlg.com, the MLG app, overwatchleague.com or from the Blizzard Battle.net desktop app. For the full schedule and match times, head over to overwatchleague.com, which will automatically surface the match dates and times in your time zone without you having to do the maths.

The first season of the Overwatch League will be running until June, with the semi-final playoffs and finals already scheduled for July. All of the inaugural matches will be taking place at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, Burbank. This Arena has been customised for Blizzard, with esports in mind.

Tickets are still available for purchase over at overwatchleague.com and it is best to get in quick with days selling out fast.

For more on the Overwatch League head over to our esports hub for our extensive match recaps and results. Alternatively, you can follow the latest Overwatch news over at our complete guide to the good game.

Check out our play-by-play recap from last weekend's Overwatch League matchups.

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