Activision Blizzard and Google are teaming up, which means that Activision esports has a new home. Starting today, both Overwatch League and Call of Duty League will broadcast matches exclusively on YouTube. The deal also covers Hearthstone esports and any future esports events run by Activision. OWL has had several years of investment in Twitch prior to this, including Twitch Prime promotions and an Overwatch-centric subscription for gameday streams. It’s unclear if any of this interactivity will come to the league’s new home, but we’ll soon find out.
The shift comes due to a new partnership between Google and Activision. As described in the release to press, the publisher hopes to use Google’s tech to “power new player experiences.” Google Cloud will provide game hosting infrastructure for Activision Blizzard titles as part of the deal. Activision Blizzard Chief Information Officer Jacques Erasmus had this to say about the new partnership: “We’re excited to partner with Google to drive the next generation of gaming innovation for the industry. Google Cloud’s best-in-class infrastructure gives us the confidence to deliver great entertainment to our fans around the world.”
Ryan Wyatt, the head of gaming at YouTube, has a history with Call of Duty esports, so he’s overjoyed that the league is coming to his platform. “Both the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League are the quintessential examples of world-class esports content. As a former Call of Duty esports commentator myself, I couldn’t be more excited for Activision Blizzard to choose YouTube as its exclusive home for the digital live streaming of both leagues. This partnership further demonstrates our dedication to having a world-class live streaming product for gaming.”
We won’t have long to wait before we see how this will change that at-home viewing experiences for Activision fans. The inaugural Call of Duty League season kicks off on Friday, January 24, and the Overwatch League’s 2020 season soon follows on February 8.