At The Last Minute, Blizzard Strikes Overwatch League Deal With Twitch

Jan 10, 2018, 00:33
At The Last Minute, Blizzard Strikes Overwatch League Deal With Twitch

A last-minute deal has been struck between the makers of video game Overwatch and streaming site Twitch a day before matches kick off in a newly created league.

Like all the other Overwatch events we've seen over the years, the Overwatch League will have skins, allowing spectators to distinguish between one team from another. The Overwatch League in-game menu isn't just for staring at the shiny new skins - players can watch the games via this menu when they're live. It's an exciting time for esports, as Blizzard vies to prove that city-based teams that are constructed similar to physical sports are just as viable for the future of esports. One hundred League tokens cost $5; that means one Overwatch League skins costs the same. Blizzard has given each player 100 League Tokens for free to unlock one skin, but the rest are available to purchase using real-world cash.

Activision Blizzard said the deal was great "for our growing global fan base".

The two partners are also working on finding ways to part fans from their money with different features and rewards that will give perks to fans like in-game items and exclusives, the company said.

More details about insider content and additional rewards for the biggest fans, as well as Cheering with Overwatch League Cheermotes, will be announced as they become available.

The agreement names Twitch as the exclusive third-party digital provider for OWL regular season, playoff and championship matches worldwide, excluding China, for the next two years. The first match goes live on January 10 at 4PM PST when the San Francisco Shock meet the Los Angeles Valiant.

The $90M figure may not include other aspects of the Twitch-Blizzard relationship not attributable to the Overwatch League, sources said. "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. All games in the first season will be held at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, with broadcast languages in English, French, and Korean.

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