More than ten million people tuned into Overwatch League's first week

More than ten million people tuned into Overwatch League's first week

It would seem that Blizzard's Overwatch League is off to a good start, with more than ten million people tuning in to the pro-gaming event.

That's according to the publishing giant itself, who claims that the opening day brought in an average audience of 408,000 people, with the rest of the week dipping to 280,000.

That ten million figure includes international figures, such as users who watched via Chinese platforms including ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC, and Panda TV. Previously, Twitch had revealed a peak concurrent figure of 415,000 users for the opening day, way above the streaming platform's expectations. Blizzard has said that on MLG and Twitch alone, Day One reached a peak of 437,000 viewers.

“Since we announced Overwatch League at BlizzCon 2016, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the day when the global competitive Overwatch community could come together under one banner,” said Nate Nanzer, Overwatch League commissioner. “Opening week was that coming-out party—for the fans, both in-person at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and tuned in by the millions all over the world, and for the players, whose love for the game came through crystal clear.”

Twitch COO Kevin Lin added: “We had high expectations for the inaugural broadcast of the Overwatch League on Twitch, given our platform’s passionate fanbase for Overwatch. They really put on an amazing show and fans showed up en masse to support and celebrate Overwatch. Based on the response from the community, Overwatch League is off to a great start and we look forward to watching how the season progresses. This league demonstrates the power and potential of esports, and we’re thrilled to continue expanding our partnership with Blizzard.”

Meanwhile, MLG president and CEO Pete Vlastelica said: “We’re thrilled by the overwhelming response to the Overwatch League’s opening week of play. But this is only the beginning. With more than 35 million Overwatch players, the Overwatch League has the potential to become one of the most-watched leagues—of any kind—in the world.”

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.