Blizzard has struck a deal with to stream every match of the first two seasons of the #Overwatch League. The only exclusions are Blizzard’s own site and streaming in China. Twitch will be providing coverage of regular season, playoff and championship matches in English, Korean and French. While organizations like ESL also run their e-sports content on Twitch, this will be the first time a city-based e-sports league will be broadcast on the service.

Why Twitch

The decision to go with Twitch as an #Exclusive streaming partner is not surprising. Armin Zerza, COO of Blizzard Entertainment, commented in a press release how most of the fans are already watching Overwatch content on Twitch, so it makes sense for both companies to partner together and to grow the fan base.

Twitch is estimated to be the 41st most visited site in the world according to Alexa, with streams reaching hundreds of thousands of viewers at a time.

Blizzard has attempted to broadcast e-sports on TV before, with programming like Heroes of the Dorm on ESPN 2. Heroes of the Dorm is a collegiate e-sports tournament for the Blizzard Entertainment game “Heroes of the Storm”. The broadcasts provided some legitimacy to the e-sports scene, such as leading to the creation of ESPN e-sports coverage, but the viewership was never as high as on Twitch. The deal seems to be paying off. In a press release, Blizzard reported that over 10 million fans tuned in to watch opening week coverage. The peak of this was over 430,000 fans watching the first Dallas Fuel vs. Seoul Dynasty match.

How to support your favorite team

Twitch will also be working with Blizzard to create exclusive “Cheermotes” for the league.

Cheermotes are animated gifs that can be put in the chat box of a Twitch stream by using “bits”. Bits are a virtual currency on Twitch that allows fans to give money to their favorite streamer/programs directly through the Twitch platform. The estimated price of the Cheermotes are $0.01, $1, $10, $50, and $100 increments. There is no word on how Blizzard or Twitch will handle the revenue generated by the use of Cheermotes. Currently, the Overwatch League Cheermotes are still in development.

The skins for each of the teams are available now. These skins can be purchased using a second currency within Overwatch. This is an interesting decision by Blizzard, considering the controversy over their lootbox system. There is also a merchandise store with jerseys, hats and other items for each team. You can follow the Overwatch League on Twitch and get notifications for every match.