As the first major global professional esports league with competition organized by cities, the launch of the Overwatch League is one of the most hotly anticipated moments in esports. On the Overwatch League's first day (of Stage 1 - Week 1), the Twitch stream peaked at 415,000 concurrent viewers.
In the first day of the Overwatch League where the Seoul Dynasty took on the Dallas Fuel, over 400,000 people tuned in to watch!
The long-awaited Overwatch League kicked off and started their regular season today with three games of Blizzard's premier esport. This treatment does not include transmission rights, but technological development and commercialization. "I'm not going to say we aren't going to make an attempt to negotiate a television broadcast deal, but you have to be efficient with your resources", Lionsgate's president of interactive ventures, games and digital strategy, Peter Levin, an investor in the Overwatch League's Los Angeles Valiant, told the HUFFINGTON POST. People from all over the globe can now watch the matches between their favorite teams as they unfold from Twitch.
Blizzard has deployed a new patch to Overwatch, but this isn't your usual bug fixes and balance tweaks (although those are there too). LA Valiant made quick work of Shock in Dorado, the first map of the game. A separate League Token system is used for those purchases and players will be able to choose the exact skins they want, no RNG involved.
The full schedule can be found at the very informative Overwatch League website and provides details, matchups and times for all six weeks of the season. The league hopes its city-based team structure, which is typical for traditional sports leagues, will encourage fan engagement and drive growth. After which the much-hyped Shangai Dragons took on the LA Gladiators and the Gladiators also ran out 4-0 victors showing that Los Angeles may indeed be the new centre of the esports universe.
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Thankfully, the final match of the night between Dallas Fuel and Seoul Dynasty was a lot more exciting.
You would've thought the only Chinese team in the league would've picked up the excellent Miraculous Youngster roster, but they didn't.
It aims to follow the model of traditional North American professional sports leagues by using a set of permanent teams and regular season play, comparable to the National Basketball Association or NFL.
January 11th will see Spitfire Vs. Mayhem, Fusion Vs. Outlaws, and Uprising Vs. Excelsior. With Blizzard's pedigree for success and Overwatch's accessible, colourful gameplay I can't see it being anything but brilliant.