How Did Overwatch League Viewership Perform In Week 1?

TNL Take: It's only Week 1. It's only Week 1. It's only Week 1.

Repeat as necessary.

With so much money and hype riding on Overwatch League, how exactly did Week 1 perform from a viewership perspective?

Again, this doesn't take into account a slew of other Overwatch League monetization options like merchandise or in-game team skins but viewership only using the following methodology:

  • Twitch English stream for comparison
  • 2 Twitch viewership data sources (TwitchTracker and Waypoint Media)
  • Average Concurrent Viewership not Peak/Max
Overwatch League Week 1 Twitch Viewership (Chart: The Next Level)

Overwatch League Week 1 Twitch Viewership (Chart: The Next Level)

Again, it's only Week 1 so don't build a complex financial model on 4 data points but some potential insight:

  • Day 1: Saw some significant viewership with 300K+ concurrent viewers however will be difficult to maintain those numbers across the regular season
  • Day 4: With increased competition from other esports events and the NFL Playoffs, the average concurrent viewership had dropped to half of Day 1
  • With another few weeks of data, we'll be able to see if OWL can maintain their 150,000 concurrent viewership for the rest of the way - which would be good for the inaugural season

What gets really interesting is when you layer the next major esports event against Overwatch League.

  • Day 3: With the start of ELEAGUE's Boston event, there may have been some migration of viewers from Overwatch to Counter-Strike
  • ELEAGUE performed well head-to-head considering the numerous hours that they were live

This is very early and will good to gauge other esports events for comparison as OWL moves through its season.

Week 2 will have an even bigger test for Overwatch League however with the start of the other franchised league - North America League of Legends this weekend.