As anticipation builds for the 2023 Overwatch League's opening weekend on April 27, fans are expressing their disappointment over the choice of streaming platform. The league's announcement, made on April 20, revealed that the event would be exclusively available on YouTube, despite the expiration of the platform's exclusivity deal.
The community's response was mixed, with many fans lamenting the absence of Twitch as a streaming option. One user even compared the Call of Duty League viewership on YouTube and Twitch, showing a stark contrast in popularity between the two platforms (45.5K on Twitch vs. 19K on YouTube). While the CWL returned to Twitch in 2023, the Overwatch League will continue to stick with YouTube.
The Overwatch League initially broadcasted on Twitch but switched to YouTube Gaming in 2020 as part of a two-year exclusivity agreement. This move caused controversy among the community, as Twitch is the preferred platform for gaming and esports streaming, and the change limited fans' choice.
The opening weekend will feature match days from Thursday, April 27 to Sunday, April 30, with three best-of-three series played each day. Six teams from the East region will have one match day per week, while the West region will participate in four. Fans watching the games live can look forward to special drops, including a name card, spray, and OWL tokens.
The 2023 Overwatch League is set to begin on Thursday, April 27 at 3pm CT with San Francisco Shock facing off against Toronto Defiant, exclusively on YouTube.