OWCS Dallas Major shows promise for Overwatch Esports as viewership soars

Jeremy Gan
OWCS Dallas major stage

Overwatch Championship Series’ first Major has pulled in higher viewership than 2023’s OWL Midseason tournament in a promising start to the rebooted esport league. 

With the fall of the Overwatch League came OWCS, a reboot to the game’s esports scene that traded the old closed league system for an open circuit to usher in a new uncertain era. 

Eventually, OWCS got to host its first-ever international LAN, the Dallas Major. Despite big tech issues resulting in a four-hour delay, it was an overall success in its first showing. The surprise return of SF Shock to the scene was revealed live on stage while Crazy Raccoon and Korea proved to be still dominant. 

As well as this, the viewership numbers for OWCS show major promise for the future, pulling in more viewers than OWL’s last midseason tournament. 

OWCS Dallas major viewership stats
OWCS Dallas Major viewership in comparison to OWL’s Midseason Madness

According to Esports Charts, at its peak, the OWCS Dallas Major pulled in 125,146 viewers during the Toronto Defiant vs Crazy Raccoon match. This is in contrast to 2023’s OWL Midseason Madness peak of 84,923 viewers in its Grand Finals. 

Additionally, it almost doubled Midseason Madness’ hours watched to 2.66 million from OWL’s 1.35 million hours, with a drastic increase of 97,363 average viewers. 

Although it doesn’t beat Overwatch’s highest-viewed events so far — which is held by the inaugural season of OWL and Overwatch World Cup — OWCS is well on track to beat 2023’s OWL Playoffs.

OWL’s 2023 playoffs saw a peak of 157,689 viewers, which doesn’t make OWCS too far off from Overwatch League’s swan song. 

As Esport Charts notes, Japanese viewership was one of the biggest, just behind the English broadcast. Numbers from the region have been steadily rising thanks to OWCS’ open circuit format, which gives a chance for Japanese teams to make it to the big stages. 

The numbers may not be groundbreaking for the rebooted scene, however, as a league starting from the ground up, it’s already showing some promise. 

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