The viewership numbers for the Overwatch League finals are in and they’re nothing but good news for Blizzard and their red-hot Overwatch franchise that’s taken the world of esports by storm.
This past weekend the London Spitfire shutout the Philadelphia Fusion in the first ever Overwatch League grand finals and the estimated global average concurrent for the event reached over 860,000 viewers. The numbers include both broadcasts across TV and streaming platforms worldwide.
Making up the numbers was the primary broadcast on Twitch, as well as MLG, Panda TV, NetEase CC, in China on ZhanQi TV, several networks under the ESPN umbrella, ABC and Disney XD. In what may come as a surprise, only 289,175 of the audience came from the United States, with 45% of that total being in the 18-34 demographic (arguably the most sought after demographic). The worldwide 18-34 audience demographic tallied in at 605,013.
“Having cross-platform success, especially among the coveted 18-34 demographic, showcases the Overwatch League’s strong fanbase. Marketers seeking to capitalize on the growth of esports among the mainstream population should take note of the league’s multi-platform approach to broadening reach,” said Nicole Pike, managing director of Nielsen Esports.
“Overwatch League started as one of the most ambitious projects in esports history,” said Twitch cofounder Kevin Lin. “We worked together with Blizzard on many new innovative experiences, including a Cheering rewards program, the All-Access Pass, exclusive Twitch chat emotes, a feature-packed interactive Extensions overlay, and more. Seeing our efforts draw an impressive and passionate audience on Twitch for the Grand Finals reflects a promising future for the league.”
Blizzard secured one of the largest Twitch deals in the esports industry, worth a reported $90M over two years.
The viewership results of their first season and grand finals are nothing if not encouraging and Overwatch League shows no signs of slowing down. Quite the opposite, as according to Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues CEO Pete Vlastelica, the league aims to add six new teams across Asia-Oceania, Europe and North America by next season.
The city of Atlanta has been confirmed as the first new franchise to be joining the league next season.