YouTube gets streaming rights to Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Hearthstone esports
Activision Blizzard and Google have just inked a new deal this week which is sure to shake up things on the Esports scene. The particulars of the deal are a bit of a mystery, but the core point is pretty big. As of the next season of pro play, Call of Duty, Overwatch and Hearthstone will all be streamed directly via YouTube Gaming for their various leagues. These deals will see all three games moving away from Twitch, which is sure to anger some.
The Overwatch League is a particularly interesting quirk within this deal. Blizzard has previously negotiated with Twitch to stream this same Overwatch League a while back. Overwatch and Hearthstone in particular are pretty interesting acquisitions as part of this deal as well. Apparently Twitch paid $90 million for the rights to stream the Overwatch League, I have to wonder what Google forked over in this big deal. One thing is for certain, there’s going to be a lot of money made off of these three Esport scenes.
The change over to YouTube has been praised by many involved. Ryan Wyatt, the head of gaming at YouTube, made a statement today: “With more than 200 million gamers a day watching more than 50 billion hours of gaming content per year, YouTube provides gamers and their passionate fans with the most popular video gaming platform in the world.
Both the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League are the quintessential examples of world-class esports content. As a former Call of Duty esports commentator myself, I couldn’t be more excited for Activision Blizzard to choose YouTube as its exclusive home for the digital live streaming of both leagues. This partnership further demonstrates our dedication to having a world-class live streaming product for gaming.”
CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports, Pete Vlastelica, also released their own words, saying: “This is an exciting year for Activision Blizzard Esports as we head into the inaugural season of Call of Duty League and our first ever season of homestands for Overwatch League all around the world. It’s our mission to deliver high-quality, competitive entertainment that our fans can follow globally, live or on-demand, and to celebrate our players as the superstars that they are. This partnership will help us deliver on that promise at new levels, by combining our passionate communities of fans and players with YouTube’s powerful content platform and exciting history of supporting next-generation entertainment.”
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