Blizzard have proudly announced that their co-op shooter baby Overwatch has managed to attract as much as 10.8 million viewers during the Overwatch League Finals, when London Spitfire undid Philadelphia Fusion's gameplan with a 2:0 victory.
Note that the competition was viewed across the globe, not only the usual suspects like Twitch, MLG and ESPN, whose coverage of Overwatch League began with the playoffs. You know, back when NY Excelsior was still considered the prime favourite for the title.
OWL Finals were watched in China as well via ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC and Panda TV, which is sure to have contributed greatly to these figures. South Korea's MBC network relayed the event too, another significant contribution considering the status Overwatch enjoys in the country.
Blizzard estimated that OWL Finals' global average minute audience across the two days to be at 861,205. When it comes to the targeted demographic of 18-34, average minute audience was 605,013. Note that once you factor in re-runs and such, this figure is said to exceed one million.
Interestingly enough, only 289,175 of this figure went on the US Twitch and ESPN broadcasts, which further confirms Overwatch has got quite an international following. It seems that the company's insistence on tying teams to geo-regions is paying off, even if teams like London Spitfire don't even have a single Englishman in them.
Now this is most certainly big news for Blizzard, who've already started setting some global esports milestones. For instance, OWL Finals were the first competitive gaming event to be aired on ESPN, during prime time no less. Seeing as how the contract between ESPN and Blizzard covers Season 2 of the Overwatch League, we're likely to see at least a few more.
Seeing all this means you can be sure we'll be watching the Overwatch League for years to come, since Blizzard is sure to push it even harder now. With New York Excelsior unexpectedly crashing out in this year's OWL semifinals, there will certainly be no shortage of drama in the field.