Overwatch League Stage Two proving unpopular on Twitch
The competition isn’t garnering the public support the league expected
In the first quarter of season, the Overwatch League (OWL) enjoyed strong growth in viewership on Twitch. However, with Stage Two completing its second week, things haven’t been so good. The league has seen two straight weeks of viewership on Twitch declining compared to the same timeframe last year.
Last year, the main OWL channel, combined with the Korean and French channels, combined for a total of 3.37 million hours viewed. This year, across the main channel and four alternate channels, the number has dropped to just 3.22 million. This included a decrease in average concurrent viewers (CCV), which fell to 103,000 from 137,000 last year; however, part of this can be attributed to the league’s expansion from 12 teams last season to 20 this season.
On the main OWL channel, viewership for content, including re-runs and peripheral coverage, reached 3.2 million hours in week one. It also averaged 41,000 CCV, down from the 55,000 CCV during the same period last year. The 3.2 million hours watched is a decrease from the 3.3 million enjoyed last year.
Peak viewership dropped across both weeks compared to last year’s figures. It reached 177,000 on the main Twitch channel last year, but managed to find just 115,000 this year. The peak viewership on Sunday was boosted by the appearance of two expansion teams – Atlanta Reign and Washington Justice – who participated in a four-map contest. Reign ultimately took the victory.
The declines may not necessarily be an indication of a decline in popularity. OWL also broadcasts on its official website and matches are streamed on several internationally-available sites. Blizzard also an agreement to broadcast some matches on Disney platforms, including Disney XD, ABC and ESPN.