Overwatch League Continues Downward Viewership Trend Ahead Of Overwatch 2 Launch

Overwatch once had a robust fan following when the game launched in 2016. This carried over to the Overwatch League which peaked at 437,006 viewers during 2018 according to . However, its viewership has declined significantly over time, especially with the rise of games like Valorant. Overwatch sparked renewed interest among gamers with the imminent launch of Overwatch 2 on 4th October with Twitch viewership skyrocketing after the beta launch. In a similar vein, the Overwatch League viewership is at an all-time low despite slight interest in Kickoff Clash.

Overwatch League continues downward viewership trend

According to Esports Charts, Kickoff Clash saw a peak viewership of 121K, but this didn’t carry over to the Overwatch League 2022 Summer Showdown which saw just 51K peak viewers. Previous year’s Summer Showdown saw a peak viewership of 70K. For the Overwatch League 2022 Countdown Cup to break last year’s records, they’ll need to beat a peak of 71K viewers. The qualifiers are set to kick off on 19th October.

Despite the hype create around Overwatch 2, the Kickoff Clash 2022 couldn’t compete with May Melee 2021 which saw 69K concurrent viewers. So while it is a small solace for OWL fans, it doesn’t bode well for the upcoming Playoffs. The League’s West teams seem to be more popular than their East counterparts. According to Esports Charts the Los Angeles Gladiators, San Francisco Shock and New York Excelsior are the top three when it comes to average viewers.

Can Overwatch save it’s League?

Even if the game regains popularity after PvE launches next year, the game has lost significant interest among fans due to a number of factors. Although Overwatch 2 will be a free-to-play game, it has lost a number of dedicated fans due to polarizing changes like a change to the established 5v5 meta, the introduction of battlepasses, and the announcement that new heroes will be locked behind a grind. In turn, the Overwatch League has lost several top players to newer games like Valorant. The absence of big esports organisations in Overwatch Contenders has also been a blow to funneling new talent into the game. The final nail in the coffin, the many lawsuits against Activision Blizzard has led to a loss of goodwill among players. If Overwatch 2 is to revive the Overwatch League, some drastic changes have to be made and fast.

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