Overwatch League Announces 51% AMA Viewership Growth for May Melee Tournament – The Esports Observer

Activision Blizzard is reporting more viewership growth in 2021 for Overwatch League, a much-welcomed development for the fourth-year property.

The May Melee tournament wrapped up last weekend and saw the Dallas Fuel defeat the Shanghai Dragons in the finals to earn its first title. For the entire tournament, Activision reports an average minute audience (AMA) viewership of 95K on YouTube, which is up nearly 51% from 63K for last year’s comparable event on the same platform.

The video game maker credits some of the improvements it has added to this year’s OWL broadcasts such as live player cams and enhanced stream quality as part of the reason for the uptick.

Activision also noted that the qualifying weekends prior to the May Melee tournament were also up nearly double over their comparable events last year across both its East and West regions. For the West region’s qualifying weekends, it earned average viewership of 89,000; 76,000; and 77,000 across three weekends this year.

May Melee was the first of four tournaments that comprise the regular season this year in OWL, with the final three being the June Joust, Summer Showdown and Countdown Cup. Teams play four matches in their regions in the build-up to each event to determine qualifying for the tournaments, which are played between the teams of both regions.

Activision has determined that the tournament format worked better for OWL than its original schedule structure with home and away matches that was more akin to stick and ball leagues. The viewership growth could be a sign that the measures are working.

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