Blizzard’s pro gaming Overwatch League finally kicked off a week ago today, and quickly accrued a good deal of viewers – in fact, the first week of play witnessed over 10 million esports fans spectating the matches.
Games took place on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday last week, and the 10 million viewing figure includes all streaming services and everyone who watched around the globe, from Twitch viewers, to international partners such as Panda TV (a Chinese rival to Twitch), as reported by Gamespot (opens in new tab).
This is the number of devices streaming the games, mind you, so the actual viewer tally was likely a fair bit higher, given that in some cases, multiple people would probably have been watching the action on one device.
The most-watched game was the match between Dallas Fuel and Seoul Dynasty on the first day of the league, which hit 437,000 peak concurrent streams on Twitch and Activision’s MLG. Seoul Dynasty emerged victorious 2-1.
In fact, with the week two matches underway today, Seoul Dynasty has bagged another victory, and is currently top of the league standings (opens in new tab) with an undefeated 3-0 record.
There’s good news for British Overwatch fans as well, as the UK franchise, London Spitfire, is in joint second place with a 2-0 record, tied with Los Angeles Valiant and New York Excelsior.
At the other end of the table, Dallas Fuel are 0-2, and both Florida Mayhem and Shanghai Dragons have gone 0-3 – these are the three teams which are still yet to win a match.
It’s early days yet, though, with 20 weeks’ worth of matches to be played running up to June – each team will take part in 40 matches – with the play-offs and grand final to be held throughout July.
Meanwhile, London Spitfire is reportedly talking to Tottenham Hotspur about the possibility of making the football club’s new stadium their home, where they will play their fixtures in the second season of the Overwatch League.
As the Daily Mail (opens in new tab) reports, Spurs’ new stadium will include a dedicated theatre for hosting esports tournaments, and that could be where London Spitfire entertain the viewing masses next year. That said, Spitfire is apparently in talks with multiple football teams, and owners of other venues in London, so those plans may change.
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