This week Twitch announced they had secured the rights to stream the professional Overwatch League for two years.
According to Sports Business Daily, this is the largest exclusive deal in eSports history with Twitch paying $90 million for the rights in a two year deal. The majority of the seasons will be shown on Twitch and that will include the regular-season, playoff, and championship Overwatch League matches. Twitch is also partnering directly with Blizzard to develop rewards for fans such as in-game items or Overwatch-themed emotes.
There are some concerns that the deal happened so close to the start of the first league season. Some people may not have known the league was starting so soon, so views could take a hit. But lets be honest, Overwatch is a monstrously popular title. It consistently ranks in the top ten for most popular games on Twitch. Odds are that Twitch will be pushing the League hard by featuring at anywhere and everywhere across their site and social media accounts. Frankly, I’m more concerned about the viability of the league due to the actions of Blizzard than Twitch.
With Twitch investing a huge amount of cash over two years they will be hoping that gamers stay hooked on Overwatch. With PUBG and Fortnite dominating gamer interest right now, it’s clear that it’s only a matter of time before another FPS comes along to knock Overwatch further down the ladder of success. The question remains as to what future actions Blizzard takes with their franchise that could hamper success of professional Overwatch play.