IRVINE, Calif.—January 9, 2018—Today the Overwatch League™ and social video service Twitch announced a historic esports media-rights partnership, ensuring that every match of the world’s first major global city-based esports league will be readily available to fans across the globe. The first match of the Overwatch League’s inaugural season goes live on Twitch this Wednesday, January 10, on Twitch.tv/overwatchleague.
Fans of professional Overwatch have been eagerly anticipating a seamless Overwatch League viewing experience. This two-year deal, which encompasses the entirety of the league’s first two seasons, makes that a reality. With the exception of China, Twitch will be the exclusive worldwide third-party digital provider for Overwatch League regular-season, playoffs, and championship matches, with streams in English, Korean, and French.
The Overwatch League and Twitch also are developing innovative rewards for fans, which will bestow the league’s most steadfast viewers with Overwatch League in-game items. More details about content and additional rewards for the biggest fans, including some content that will be exclusive for a period of time, as well as Cheering with Overwatch League Cheermotes, will be announced as they become available.
“Our fans love to engage with content on Twitch, and we wanted to drive significant viewership of the Overwatch League in its inaugural season and beyond,” said Armin Zerza, COO of Blizzard Entertainment. “That’s why this historic and ground-breaking partnership is perfectly suited for Activision Blizzard, for Twitch, and—most importantly—for our growing global fanbase.”
"The Overwatch League is making a major impact on esports by reshaping the industry with city-based teams," said Kevin Lin, COO of Twitch. "Given Overwatch's consistent reign as a top-viewed game by our community, we look forward to offering their pioneering style of league play to a large and passionate fanbase that will be able to bond over not only their favorite plays, but hometown pride.”
The first season of the Overwatch League will run until June, with playoffs and finals scheduled for July. For the inaugural season, all games will take place at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, a state-of-the-art live-event venue in Burbank, California, custom-renovated for Blizzard Entertainment esports events. Fans can purchase tickets to attend matches, which will be played each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. A full schedule and information about ticket sales can be found at OverwatchLeague.com, and all matches can be viewed live at Twitch.tv/overwatchleague (English-language channel), Twitch.tv/overwatchleague_kr (Korean-language channel), and Twitch.tv/overwatchleague_fr (French-language channel).
About the Overwatch League™
The Overwatch League™ is the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams across Asia, Europe, and North America. Overwatch® was created by globally acclaimed publisher Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision Blizzard—Nasdaq: ATVI), whose iconic franchises have helped lay the foundations and push the boundaries of professional esports over the last 15 years. The latest addition to Blizzard’s stable of twenty-one #1 games, Overwatch was built from the ground up for online competition, with memorable characters and fast-paced action designed for the most engaging gameplay and spectator experiences. To learn more about the Overwatch League, visit https://overwatchleague.com/.
Twitch is the world’s leading social video service and community for gamers. Each day, millions of community members gather to watch, talk, and chat about shared interests. Twitch’s video service is the backbone of both live and on-demand distribution for all types of content, including the entire video game ecosystem, the creative arts, vlogging (IRL), and more. Twitch also runs TwitchCon, the annual convention for celebrating the Twitch community. For more information about Twitch, visit our Press Center, Twitter feed (#Twitch), and Blog.
© 2018 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. OVERWATCH, OVERWATCH LEAGUE, BLIZZARD and BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT are trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the dates, events and features of the Overwatch League, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.