Activision Blizzard and Google have made a deal that will bring the publisher’s esports exclusively to YouTube. These include Hearthstone Esports, Call of Duty League, Overwatch League, World of Warcraft, and other properties, which were all previously on Twitch.
Activision Blizzard and Google team up for Call of Duty League exclusivity and more
Blizzard stated they turned to Google because “of its highly reliable global footprint, advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, and commitment to open source, creating a platform for building future gaming innovations.” Google and Blizzard have worked together in the past and now have a multiyear partnership as the big next step. Google has also stated that “this collaboration with Activision Blizzard represents Google’s ongoing commitment to supporting game developer success around the globe.” Both parties see this as a lucrative business deal that should benefit both sides.
Same league. Same heroic moments. New home 🏠
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) January 24, 2020
The deal comes at a critical moment for Blizzard’s esports because it is the inaugural season for the Call of Duty League. It is also Overwatch League’s third season and the first season that will feature Homestand Weekends where teams will play in their respective cities.
All Blizzard esports events will be livestreamed on YouTube. Viewers will also be able to watch exclusive videos and highlights relating to their favorite esports. This will include highlights and clips from games, as well as other exclusive content.
This change means that these esports will no longer be available on Twitch. Twitch has been the main platform for streaming esports in the past, so this will be a change of pace for many esports viewers. We shall see what effect this has on the start of Call of Duty League and other Activision Blizzard esports.
Are you excited by this Google / Activision Blizzard partnership, or are you deeply dismayed to see these esports leaving Twitch?