Vendors proposed new strategies to increase Overwatch League viewership - Dexerto
Esports

Vendors proposed new strategies to increase Overwatch League viewership

Published: 31/Jul/2019 11:57 Updated: 13/Aug/2019 16:07

by Richard Lewis

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Update 8/13/2019 8:55 AM PST:
Blizzard replied to Dexerto’s request for comment on this article to clarify that the decks in question from vendors were not under consideration. 

The Overwatch League office also clarified that while they do employ a range of marketing tactics to engage with their audience, they deny that they are using the Twitch bounty system for raids as described in this piece by Ryan Chaplo and other sources. 

Blizzard further sent over these viewership statistics that show growth of the League year over year:

  • The final week of Overwatch League Stage 3 had a global AMA of 466k, up 86% from last year’s Stage 3 finals
  • For the final week of Stage 2 (Thursday, May 9, through Sunday, May 12), which included playoffs and finals, global Average Minute Audience (AMA) was 480,000 (excluding China), a new record high for the 2019 season. The playoffs and final matches drew an AMA of 346,000 in the U.S. alone, and an estimated 92,000 in 18-34 U.S. AMA.
  • This season’s Stage 2 Finals on ABC had an AMA of over 500K, making it the best performing esports broadcast ever across ESPN and ABC linear networks

Original article follows. 

Dexerto has evidence that Activision Blizzard has been looking to partner up with companies with access to streamers and influencers in a bid to boost Overwatch League viewership and live attendance.

Several ideas were discussed, including potentially working alongside Streamlabs and Stream Elements, companies which provide tools that streamers use to effectively monetize their live streams among other things.

The explanation provided for the partnership was that the Overwatch League has been “bleeding viewership” and Activision Blizzard wanted to focus on arresting that trend and finding ways to encourage people to attend live matches for the upcoming homestead season. 

Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Streamers who were to be approached had to meet several criteria, with a preference for former Overwatch players who have an audience already interested in the game. Other stipulations were that the streamers and influencers had to be “brand safe” and preferably US based so that they are able to attend live matches. Part of the proposal was to combine ticket sales with live meet-ups with the streamer who promoted the team matches.

Also discussed was a special custom overlay for streamers in the program. They would be given a sports-style match ticket that would show live updates about Overwatch League matches while also promoting ticket sales for upcoming live events.

The revelations about this proposal also align with Blizzard having hired an ‘Influencer Specialist’ for the Overwatch League in June.

Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Currently it’s not clear when this campaign will start, if at all, as streamers are still awaiting approval from their partners. However it is indicative of Activision Blizzard acknowledging that there is some uncertainty surrounding the prospects of the Overwatch League and its growth.

This becoming public knowledge has also seemingly coincided with Blizzard looking to use Twitch’s bounty system, a new, currently limited function, where selected streamers can earn additional revenue by driving targeted advertising at their audience. This would lead to viewership being artificially boosted during league matches.

A clip from popular Team Liquid Fortnite player Ryan ‘Chap’ Chaplo, who has nearly one million Twitch followers, shows him speaking openly about the posting on the Twitch bounty board. In the clip he explains that those who agree are given money in exchange for “raiding” the Overwatch stream. Raiding is a mechanic where you essentially transfer your viewers to another channel to combine audiences.

“At the end of your stream you must raid the Overwatch channel while Overwatch is live,” he said. “That means you must end your stream during one of the following windows.” Chaplo was then less than complimentary about the prospect of participating in the campaign.

However, one streamer that did do this was Rajj Patel, the host of popular collaborative podcast Rajj Royale and mock influencer dating show The Rajjchelor. Following the latest episode of Rajj Royale, he took the bounty and raided the Overwatch stream. It is worth noting that while the Rajj Royale podcast is one of the most watched on the Twitch platform it has very little to do with esports.

These strategies to bolster viewership come amid reports that the overall number of viewers has continued to steadily decline since the league’s inception. The Esports Observer, a publication primarily concerned with the business side of esports, reported on June 11 that the viewership for the league had “continued to slide”, while observing that number of hours viewed had slightly increased. By the end of the month, on June 25, they published a piece that noted that viewership was still continuing to decline but the total hours viewed increasing was now an observable trend. One explanation offered for this was that re-runs have been attracting significant viewership due to confusion about whether or not a re-run will generate in-game tokens for viewers.

Ben Purcell for Blizzard EntertainmentOverwatch League matches were played at the Atlanta ‘homestand’ venue, in Week 5 of Stage 3.

It is not surprising that Blizzard are currently exploring options to give viewership and live attendance al shot in the arm. Next season’s homestand format, where teams will have selected live games at their “home” stadiums as opposed to all matches being played from Blizzard’s Burbank studio, will determine how sustainable the league is likely to be. 

Recent announcements about the season saw a drastic reduction in the number of events to be hosted by each franchise, down to just two being mandatory, with as many as five for the organisations that feel they can meet that target.

Call of Duty

Team Scump wins $50K Black Ops Cold War Twitch Rivals: Final results

Published: 24/Nov/2020 3:43

by Brad Norton

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Black Ops Cold War may have only just launched but major competitions are already underway as some of the biggest names in Call of Duty joined up for a huge $50,000 Twitch Rivals showdown.

Twitch Rivals hosts some of the biggest online esports events out there. Gathering a mix of marquee streamers on the platform and some of the top pro players, they’re always huge events.

The latest installment put CoD in the spotlight thanks to the release of Black Ops Cold War. As players grow familiar with maps, modes, and weapons, some of the best competitors jumped right into tournament play.

From Nadeshot to 2020 World Champion Clayster and plenty more, many of the biggest names were involved. If you missed any of the action, we’ve got you covered with a complete rundown on the latest Twitch Rivals event.

Black Ops Cold War Twitch Rivals results

Once teams were drafted, it was time for the unique event to properly get underway. Divided into four sections, every squad had to play through two series across a variety of modes. Hardpoint, VIP Escort, Domination, and SnD were all in focus.

Opening rounds were simple best of ones, though the playoffs saw teams competing over a possible three maps. Some were more lopsided than others. Clayster blitzed through former partners on Simp’s team when it came to Hardpoint. Meanwhile, the opposite occurred when things switched to Domination, as Simp’s team won that portion without dropping a map.

It was a closely contested event right until the very end. Clayster, Simp, and Scump all led their teams to a single playlist win. It came down to SnD where Scump’s team took home the final remaining victory. 

How to rewatch Black Ops Cold War Twitch Rivals

The Cold War Twitch Rivals event took place on Monday, November 23 for North American talent. Things kicked off at 3PM PT | 6PM ET and ran through most of the evening.

While individual players were streaming their own perspectives, a dedicated broadcast was hosted by CDL talent Miles Ross, Thomas ‘Chance’ Ashworth, and Lottie Van-Praag. We’ve embedded this below for your convenience.

Black Ops Cold War Twitch Rivals Format

This particular event followed a unique format. At first, four captains selected their teammates from a pool of pro players and popular streamers. Once rosters were locked in, there were four unique brackets to play through, one for each mode.

Hardpoint, VIP Escort, Domination, and SnD were the four single-elimination brackets on offer today. Placing well within each bracket awarded a set number of points. The team with the highest number of points at the end of the day was eventually crowned the winner. A full point breakdown along with the final prizing can be found below.

Points per round

1st – 5 points

2nd – 3 points

3rd – 2 points

4th – 1 point

Prize pool breakdown

Team prizing

1st – $15,000

2nd – $9,000

3rd – $6,000

4th – $4,000

Prizing per round

1st – $2,000

2nd – $1,000

3rd – $1,000

4th – $0

Individual player bonuses

1st – $3,750

2nd – $2,250

3rd – $1,500

4th – $1,000

Black Ops Cold War Twitch Rivals Teams

Many of the most popular names in the Call of Duty scene were thrown together for this marquee event. Captains were determined ahead of time, however, as Clayster, Nadeshot, Scump, and Simp were all elected to lead a team of their own. 

The full list of players filling out each team can be found below.

Team Scump

  • Tfue
  • Aydan
  • Zoomaa
  • Scump

Team Nadeshot

  • IceManIsaac
  • Envoy
  • Destroy
  • Nadeshot

Team Simp

  • SuperEvan
  • JaredFPS
  • Karma
  • Simp

Team Clayster

  • Symfuhny
  • Tommey
  • Rated
  • Clayster