Blizzard Entertainment has begun pushing Overwatch as a competitive e-sport more than ever with Overwatch League, a tournament which spans teams from across the globe. Had the deal not gone through I'm sure a lot of fans would be left wondering exactly what sort of alternatives would have been made available to view the league matches?
In a research note, Raymond James analysts Justin Patterson, Aaron Kessler and Bianca Rodriguez say that the Overwatch deal is "symbolic of the changing face of content in the over-the-top (OTT) video era".
The first-person shooter features about two dozen characters in team-based battles set across a near-future Earth.
According to a recent report, Twitch bought the broadcast rights for 2 years in exchange for at least $90 million, making it the largest contract in the history of esports.More news: Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin in talks with Valencia
The league, which kicks off on Wednesday 10 January, will be broadcast from Twitch.tv/overwatchleague, with Twitch becoming the exclusive worldwide third-party digital provider for Overwatch League's regular season, playoffs and championship matches, with streams taking place in English, Korean and French. "That's why this historic and ground-breaking partnership is perfectly suited for Activision Blizzard, for Twitch, and-most importantly-for our growing global fanbase". The two-year deal will also see the development of rewards and other offerings for fans, including in-game items and OWL "Cheermotes".
The deal was a huge boost for Twitch, said Mr Harding-Rolls.
Sports Business Journal said it is not clear how much of the $90 million is related to Twitch transmissions, or what other clauses the contract includes. It has also announced plans to add custom Overwatch League "cheermotes", which will be revealed at a later date.