Overwatch

Overwatch League Sees Slight Viewership Decline in Stage 3

by Joe O'Brien
Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

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Overwatch League viewership reportedly dropped in Stage 3 compared to the previous two stages.

A new chart from Esports Charts shows a range of Twitch viewership figures which have declined slightly as the league has progressed.

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Both the peak concurrent viewership and the total hours watched across the stage saw a noticeable dip in the non-Chinese streams compared to Stage 2.

The one area that is apparently growing is the Chinese broadcast, which is not streamed on Twitch, which has reportedly seen a stage-by-stage increase in total time watched in China.

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It’s worth noting however that viewership numbers on Chinese streams have been notoriously unreliable in esports, with the region having a reputation for view-botting and inaccurate reporting – so take the Chinese numbers with a pinch of salt.

Esports Charts
Esports Charts

The Esports Observer also reported that the Stage 3 playoffs, which included an extra game compared to the previous stages due to the expansion to four playoff teams, saw a 20% decrease in average viewership compared to the Stage 2 playoffs.

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The slight dip in viewership doesn’t seem to be harming the league’s prospects too much, however, as recent reports suggest that the league’s success is prompting Blizzard to seek between $30 million and $60 million for expansion teams for Season Two, up significantly from the $20 million asking price for Season One.

Equally, it is perhaps to be expected that Stage 3 of the league should be the least interesting for viewers, with any novelty factor having worn off but the end-of-season playoffs still too far off for the Stage 3 results to have clear implications for qualification.

Stage 4 of the league will kick off on May 16th, the final opportunity for teams to secure a spot in the $1.7million playoffs. Six teams will qualify for the playoffs, which will culminate with a grand final taking place at the Barclays Arena in Brooklyn, New York, on July 26th-27th.