The Overwatch League is Blizzard's biggest Overwatch e-sports event and it seems that its first week resulted in some impressive numbers. The first day saw an average audience per minute of 408,000 and 280,000 for the week. Over 10 million viewers tuned in to watch the Overwatch League via Twitch, MLG, ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC, and Panda TV. According to Blizzard, Twitch and MLG alone saw 437,000 viewers during Dallas Fuel and Seoul Dynasty match.
“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.”
“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.”
“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 e-sports, and we’re thrilled to continue expanding our partnership with Blizzard.”
With Overwatch consistently being tweaked by its developers for greater accessibility, more maps, and more heroes, it will be interesting to see how professional players adapt to a game that gets a number of checks and balances to ensure a fair competition.
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