Overwatch League Stage 2 finals broke broadcasting record

Olivia R. May 18, 2019

The San Francisco Shock and Vancouver Titans rematch this past weekend proved popular with Overwatch League viewers. 

The final match between the Shock and the Titans set the record for the best performing esports broadcast on ABC. The Stage 2 playoffs week had a global average minute audience (AMA) of 545,000. That's the average number of people watching the broadcast at any minute during the show. 

For an idea of how much of a leap that is, the Overwatch League had an AMA of 444,000 for its Season 2 opening week. Still, this number is down from Stage 1's final, which had an AMA of 607,000 across Twitch and other live broadcasts. 

Overwatch League's viewership fluccuation

 

Last week's viewership record tracked by Nielson was particularly interesting because previous reports supported the claim that Overwatch League Twitch viewership was slowly declining going into the playoffs week. The Stage 2 matches leading up to the playoffs saw a peak viewership of 132,000, compared to last year's 161,000 concurrent viewers during week five. 

The slow decline in views supports many fans' views that the dominant GOATS meta is starting to bore the Overwatch League audience. 

But a decline in Twitch views isn't the only way to measure the OWL's overall viewership. The record breaking ABC broadcast can be used as proof that Blizzard's continued partnership with ESPN and ABC is beneficial to the League's growth. 

Still, it also helps that the Stage 2 playoff finals saw underdogs San Francisco Shock face the Vancouver Titans once again, a historic rematch after the Stage 1 playoff finals. Seeing the Titans finally lose a match was also exciting for Overwatch League viewers.