Photo credit: Overwatch League / Activision Blizzard
The recently concluded Overwatch League Playoffs 2022 was one of the most-watched events in franchise history, halting the trend of declining numbers that was happening across multiple events.
According to Esports Charts, the final drew 397,000 peak viewers and around 216,000 average viewers, not counting Chinese viewers. This makes the 2022 playoffs the second most-watched event in the history of the game, surpassed only by the inaugural tournament of the 2018 season.
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The Overwatch League has seen a steady decline in viewership over the past several years. According to Esports Charts, not a single Overwatch League 2022 event surpassed the 150,000 viewership peak before the finals. This includes seven major tournaments such as Kickoff Clash 2022 (121,227) – Overwatch 2’s debut esports event.
Nonetheless, the 2022 Playoffs are seeing significant growth as their peak viewership more than doubles the 2021 Overwatch League Playoffs count (134,000). Total hours watched also increased dramatically, with the 2022 playoffs recording 9.9 million compared to 2.57 million.
The event drew just 50,000 fewer peak viewers than the most-watched Overwatch event in history — the inaugural Season: Stage 1 tournament in early 2018. The 2022 edition of the playoffs also saw around 50,000 more viewers than the 2018 finals, the franchise’s third-most-watched event.
Overwatch League Leader Sean Miller went to twitter expressing his delight at the attendance figures and claiming that the event broke attendance records. “We did it, Overwatch League family! I’m excited to announce that the Overwatch League Grand Finals have officially broken OWL’s all-time worldwide attendance record! Not only that, the 2022 postseason was the most watched postseason ever.”
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The viewership success could be attributed to the fact that Overwatch 2 is kept going throughout the year. In addition, the Overwatch League allowed community members to host streams on YouTube, which totaled more than 10 million YouTube viewers during the tournament.
The most-watched game was the final game between San Francisco Shock and Dallas Fuel, which was ultimately won by OpTic Gaming’s Texas-based franchise.
Ivan is from Croatia, loves weird simulator games and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about technology and esports in Croatia and now do it here.