Overwatch 2 community stumped as OWL stays on YouTube exclusively despite no streaming deal

Overwatch Leaguie grand finals 2022 stageJoe Brady/Blizzard

Overwatch 2’s community has been left stumped and confused as Overwatch League has seemingly decided to remain on YouTube exclusively, despite no streaming deal being in place, and with the Call of Duty League now streaming across multiple platforms. 

Streaming deals for esports leagues have been a long contentious topic for their game’s audience. On one hand, the deal brings an influx of cash to the scene, but on the other hand, it restricts its reach and leaves a section of the game’s content creators in the dust when it comes to co-streaming. 

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This was the exact situation Activision-Blizzard faced when in January 2020, they signed an exclusive streaming deal to broadcast both the Call of Duty League and Overwatch League on YouTube and YouTube alone. 

But now, in 2023, the deal has seemingly expired. CDL has already started streaming on both Twitch and YouTube, allowing co-streams of matches for content creators on either platform to join in. As a result, CDL is experiencing a record high in viewership since the change. 

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However, OWL, now gearing up for the 2023 Season, is seemingly continuing on YouTube, with no exclusive deals on the table. Despite the Contenders scene already multistreaming on Twitch and YouTube, leaving fans stumped as to what exactly is going on.

Overwatch League exclusively streams on YouTube with no deal in place

In OWL’s April 18 post announcing the opening weekend schedule, they directed fans to watch on YouTube Gaming. No mention of Twitch or any other platform. The recently wrapped Pro-Am Tournament also exclusively streamed on YouTube.

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The announcement was met with hype from many fans excited to see the League back, however, there seems to be an equal amount of disappointment at the fact it’s only streaming on YouTube. 

Apply, former OWL player turned streamer, replied with the widely used joke, simply commenting: “youtube gaming”, with a reaction gif. The reply has been widely used by both CDL and OWL fans during the deal to poke fun at the situation. 

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OWL content creator ATPOverwatch also commented on the nature of only streaming on YouTube rather than on multiple platforms. “Contenders and Call of Duty League are multistreaming, this feels weird. I don’t understand the thought process here. Such an easy way to get more exposure” he wrote.

Dexerto has reached out to Blizzard for comment regarding the League’s deal with YouTube but we have not received a statement at the time of writing.

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