The Overwatch League had its opening day on January 10, hosting the new esports endeavor’s first three matches. At its peak, the Twitch stream topped out at 425,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch, according to Blizzard.
But the Overwatch’s League debut wasn’t the largest event in esports history. Dota 2’s International 2017 tournament peaked at 5 million concurrent viewers, for example. But the Overwatch League is a newer endeavor. Dota 2 has had years to build its esports audience.
That is a strong start for the new league. Blizzard has been promoting it for over a year at events like its BlizzCon. Anyone who plays the team-based shooter on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or PC has received in-game notifications about the league. The success of the promotion can help Overwatch reach a larger audience. The shooter already has over 35 million players.
Overwatch League is a unique entity in the esports world. Run by Blizzard itself, its teams are based in cities around the world, and players have a regular salary. All of the teams compete in a new Blizzard esports facility in Los Angeles.