The online game streaming platform, Twitch, and Blizzard Entertainment, developers of the popular game Overwatch, have struck a last-minute deal that will help esports become more mainstream around the globe.The $90 million, two-year deal between the two companies gives Twitch exclusive worldwide rights to all Overwatch League matches, which will be available to watch in English, Korean, and French.
Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games research at IHS Markit, stated:
"Blizzard has cut it fine by announcing Twitch as its streaming partner for the Overwatch League just a day before the start of the competition in Los Angeles. There is no doubt that the delay in confirming the distribution deal will have impacted negotiations by teams for sponsorships and will give Twitch very little time to build awareness before the first match, which suggests the opening matches may have relatively low viewing numbers. "
Armin Zerza, chief operating officer of Blizzard Entertainment, also had a few words about the deal:
"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."
With Twitch being the largest video game streaming platform in the world, this is no doubt a great move by both companies to spread awareness of the game and the league, and making this available for fans and viewers.
Missing from the deal is China, who is currently home to the most prominent esports viewing audience. However, Harding-Rolls predicts there will be a separate announcement about media partnerships in the country coming soon.