eSports experiencing accelerating growth
With Esports gaining ground in recent history it’s time we covered gaming’s latest big competitive bout, Overwatch League. The Overwatch League (OWL) is a professional eSports competition for Blizzard’s videogame Overwatch. It was announced in November 2016 with the first season starting in January of 2018 and ending in June of that same year.
The Overwatch League is growing dramatically, with its bold initial statement of aiming to make eSports – and with it, eSports betting – mainstream, the popular first-person-shooter game has so far impressed audiences worldwide with fast growing viewership.
The League, which can be watched here, follows a traditional North American professional sports model and uses a set of permanent teams and a regular play season. Blizzard have consistently released spectator tools and other multi-media assistance to further understanding of the game, the league and the players involved in it, which had led to strong followings in all of the teams.
Blizzard are further working to increase viewership by adding in in-game cosmetic awards, purchased through tokens earned by watching the matches, and they’re continuing to make necessary changes to the game (like several recent changes to the hero ‘Mercy’) to ensure fair, balanced and interesting play between the teams.
The majority of the teams are American, including ‘Dallas Fuel’ or ‘Philadelphia Fusion’, as per the American Sports Model. But, there are a few exceptions such as the ‘London Spitfires’ and ‘Seoul Dynasty’ which both British and Korean audiences have rallied to since day one respectively.
The League has been a hit so far, the familiar model and the teams, which are all quickly adopting personas of their own, make the league very entertaining to watch and follow, whether you play Overwatch or not. It is also very, very lucrative both for the organiser and for iGaming brands involved in eSports betting.
Betting on the League too is growing to be a fast, fun and lucrative pastime. The new Overwatch League has a lot of potential for betting with over 35 million players active on the game itself and with close to half a million individuals stopping by to watch the opening debut of the E-League. Many sites offer betting services for Esports like Overwatch, many of which are featured on comparison sites like GambleIO, which compares top Bitcoin-based betting options.
In addition, the dust still hasn’t settled and many teams previously presumed to be quite weak are proving that they too can win. Since the opening week viewing numbers have dipped slightly to around 350,000 concurrent viewers, only to now be rising back up and beyond the initial number. As Overwatch league continues to grow and mature from its early state, now is the perfect time to get involved in this budding phenomenon.
The Overwatch League is looking pretty promising so far. While the pecking order between all the teams, and between the Overwatch League and its immediate Esports rivals (names Counterstrike: Global Offensive or League of Legends) is still being established this new budding E-League continues to grow and settle into its new spot as a very popular spectator sport – and a great one to bet on.