During the Stage 4 finals leading into the Overwatch League playoffs, Blizzard’s first-person team-based shooter game lost 53% of its viewers over the course of June, which has become a consistent trend with the Overwatch League viewership numbers. The drop in viewership took place just ahead of the League playoffs set to get underway starting July 11th, 2018.
According to the eSports Observer, Blizzard’s prime-time e-sports endeavor turned out to have a frangible audience, insofar that the game entered into June with an average of 39,400 viewers across concurrent channels, and a max audience of 158,100 across multiple channels between May 28th and June 3rd, 2018.
Overwatch was just a touch above FIFA 18 and Dark Souls.
During the month of June, things began to devolve, though. This is despite the fact that June was the month of the fourth and final stage leading into the Overwatch League’s playoffs.
According to the League’s schedule, Stage 4 ran from May 16th up to June 17th over a five week period. On June 17th a $125,000 prize pool was up for grabs during the Stage 4 finals.
So one would assume that June would see progressively higher numbers just up until the second half of the month. However, numbers actually dwindled throughout June.
According to eSports Observer’s report, between June 4th and June 10th, 2018 there was actually a decline by 100,000 hours of viewership, and an average drop in viewers by nearly 900 compared to the last week of May and the first week of June.
For the week of June 11th through June 17th, eSports Observer noted a continued drop in hours viewed and average viewership numbers from those tuning in.
There was a decline of 1.2 million hours worth of watched content during the final week of Stage 4 for Overwatch League competition.
Worse yet is that max concurrent views dropped by 1,100 and average viewership dropped by 7,100 compared to the first week of June.
Shortly after the end of Stage 4 competition, numbers continued to drop. Between June 18th and June 24th, 2018 the Overwatch League’s total hours took a dive by nearly 1 million hours worth of viewership.
The eSports Observer noted that while the hours may have been down, there was a spike in total viewership as the finals wrapped up, with 227,800 people tuning in across all of the measured channels, even though on the single channels the average viewership numbers only came out to 26,700.
And finally, by the end of June we saw the nail in the coffin with the viewership numbers diving to their lowest yet. The hours watched nosedived to 3.5 million, down 3 million hours compared to the start of June.
Viewership figures where no better when it came to people actually tuning in. The numbers saw more than a 53% drop compared to the start of June, with the max concurrent viewers clocking in at 73,800 while the average concurrent viewer per channel came out to around 21,100.
This ties into the average viewership drop regardless of the League play or not, with Twitch Metrics also showing a 61% drop-off from the start of June to the end of June.
As noted by The eSports Observer in their report on the Overwatch League’s Stage 4 numbers, the graphs show a steady decline over the course of each stage, with the numbers showing fewer and fewer consistent average viewers for each stage for each week, save for the fourth week of each stage where there was a slight climb. On the main channels, however, the League’s viewership numbers have struggled to reach 200,000 max concurrent viewers.
According to The eSports Observer’s insight database page, they did manage to hit 227,700 max concurrent viewers on the final day of Stage 4 competition, but haven’t been able to climb back up there since.
Of course, before and after the big events the numbers taper off significantly, and average around 30,000 viewers between big showdowns.
It basically looks as if people just aren’t that interested in the Overwatch League after its initial big burst onto the scene.
It will be interesting to see if the numbers spike for the League playoffs.