The current landscape of competitive gaming AKA ‘esports’ continues to grow and evolve into a globally-watched platform alike traditional sports leagues such as the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), and even the Major Soccer League (MSL) as viewership continues to grow in popularity. Witnessing the record breaking success of the Fortnite World Cup being a stepping stone for high interest in events centered around competitive video games.
However, that monumental achievement was toppled later in 2019 as the quarter-finals for the annual League of Legends World Championship racked in a whopping 2.5 million concurrent viewers during the match between Splyce and SK Telecom T1. And even that milestone was overtaken by following matches for the World Championship. Now entering a new decade, gaming continues to be reshaped as esports still climbs the ladder of live events.
According to a new announcement made by Activision Blizzard, the publisher reveals the company’s finalizing partnership with YouTube to livestream upcoming events exclusively on Google’s platform. Gaming leagues like the Overwatch League and the recently inaugurated Call of Duty League are some that will be included through this new agreement.
Google Cloud will serve as the preferred provider for Activision Blizzard’s game hosting infrastructure and YouTube as its exclusive streaming partner worldwide, excluding China, for live broadcasts of its popular esports leagues and events.
Commencing this new deal between Activision and Google, the introducing event for Call of Duty debuted on YouTube this past Friday rather than Twitch as we would have expected. The same is also said to be expected for the upcoming Overwatch League for 2020 next month on February 8th.
Head of Gaming for Google Cloud Sunil Rayan tells to have worked with Activision previously which ultimately formed this partnership. “We’ve worked closely with Activision Blizzard for the past few years across mobile titles to boost its analytics capabilities and overall player experience. We are excited to now expand our relationship and help power one of the largest and most renowned game developers in the world.”
“We’re excited to partner with Google to drive the next generation of gaming innovation for the industry. Google Cloud’s best-in-class infrastructure gives us the confidence to deliver great entertainment to our fans around the world,” Activision Chief Information Officer Jacques Erasmus shares on the new collaboration.
Including events like Heartstone Esports and other Activision-formed leagues, YouTube will now stand as the official platform for all livestreamed esports events. Looking that a majority of viewers still use Twitch as their primary platform for live gaming entertainment alongside smaller domains like Mixer or Stream.me, it will be interesting to see if this new partnership will sway viewership in the coming future.
What platform do you regularly use to watch livestreams?