Overwatch League opening day numbers have been released. It has begun. Fans have waited for months in anticipation of this historic event. We’ve seen billboards popup in cities with a team and advertisements on social media apps. Blizzard has put a lot of effort into promoting the inaugural season of the league.
During media day on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, Blizzard and Twitch announced a partnership deal that would give streaming rights for the first two seasons of the Overwatch League to Twitch. This is something that viewers had been asking for and wondering about since before the preseason started in early December.
According to the Graph posted to Twitter by the Twitch Mod @_Ravager, viewership peaked at 468,183 cumulatively across the English (392,119), Korean (64,534), and French (11,530) channels. Though he hasn’t responded, we can assume that, since Ravager is a Twitch mod, these numbers only represent Twitch viewership thus leaving out the viewers from other streaming locations such as the official Overwatch League Website.
The Overwatch League streams its games at times that are not ideal for European and Korean viewers, so we may see a rise in viewers from VODs. We will only be able to track the VOD views on Twitch, as overwatchleague.com does not display view number on their videos.
The first day of the inaugural season held steady viewership numbers that towered above other popular games on Twitch such as League of Legends and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. If the league can keep viewer numbers high throughout each week of the season, this may be one of the biggest success stories in the history of esports.