Esports

Ex-Overwatch League caster MonteCristo blasts OWL's low viewership

by Bill Cooney
Robert Paul/Blizzard Entertainment

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Former Overwatch League Caster Christopher 'MonteCristo' Mykles threw a bit of shade at his former employer on April 12 when he took a shot at the League's comparatively small audience on YouTube.

Monte moved on from the OWL following the 2019 season, and has since joined on with the broadcast talent of Flashpoint Season 1 – the new Counter-Strike organization-owned league headed by Cloud9 and Immortals.

The Overwatch League also made the move from broadcasting all of their matches on Twitch to showing them exclusively on YouTube for the 2020 season, which has potentially contributed to a drop in viewership.

Overwatch League
Blizzard Entertainment
2020 is the first year the OWL has broadcast exclusively on YouTube.

Unlike on Twitch, viewers who watch OWL matches on YouTube can no longer automatically earn Tokens, in-game currency that's used to purchase skins, which could be a contributing factor to why they're seeing less average viewers than they did on Twitch, a fact Monte couldn't help but point out.

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"One of the best skills you can hone in your career," Monte posted, along with images of both leagues viewer numbers. "Is knowing when to just get the f*ck out."

Sure enough, Overwatch League had roughly 28,000 viewers watching, while Flashpoint on Twitch was racking up close to 40,000 at the same time.

To be fair though, Monte's Flashpoint was struggling to break 1,500 viewers on YouTube, but that's part of the advantage of being broadcast on multiple platforms, as Flashpoint is.

Whether or not the Overwatch League's viewership numbers have actually tanked as drastically over the last year as so many have claimed is up for some debate.

Esports insider Rod 'Slasher' Breslau countered that OWL and CDL as well sold to YouTube for $160 million over 3 years, while Flashpoint has yet to see such a lucrative offer.

"While this sounds good," Monte admitted. "It ignores the franchise fees, production costs, extensive personnel costs, and more."

Whether or not Flashpoint is in a better position than the Overwatch League is, or vice versa, remains to be seen, but Monte certainly seems to be relieved that he got away from his former gig when he did.