Will the Overwatch League be a staple within the eSports landscape of 2018 and beyond? In many regards, the foundation looks promising: There is a financial and structural strong publisher, there is a huge player pool, there are franchised teams representing cities and there are entities providing cash, knowledge and experience. Nevertheless the inagrual season of the league – which will start next week – has to live up to its expectations, especially when it comes to fan engagement and media reach.
Therefore we take a look at the current social media followers of the Overwatch League franchises.
Before we take a look at the numbers, let’s just have a short overview about what we are talking here:
- Overwatch is a team-based first person shooter currently played by more than 35 million players
- The Overwatch League is a sports ecosystem for professional Overwatch competition
- The league is the first major global professional eSports league with twelve city-based teams
- The teams are owned by renowned sports and eSports entities
- The buy-in price for each franchise slot reportedly was twenty million US dollars
Social Media Strategy
When it comes to social media the strategy of league host Blizzard Entertainment focuses on the most popular social networking sites of the world: Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. All these social media platforms also enjoy great popularity among eSports enthusiasts so the choice seems reasonable. In fact, some professional eSports players have millions of fans on social media.
But how do the participants of the Overwatch League perform on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?
Let’s take a look:
Youtube: Dallas Fuel dominates the video ranking
Facebook: Seoul Dynasty has the most likes
Twitter: San Francisco Shock tweets to the most fans
Instagram: Dallas Fuel is the king of images
And what about the players?
While a lot of Overwatch League players use Youtube, Facebook or Instagram to get in touch with their fans, the most used social media platform seems to be Twitter. Our research shows that 91 out of the 113 professional Overwatch players have a Twitter account. And some of them show off quite some fanbase, even bigger than the associated franchise!
Most famous professional Overwatch players on Twitter
What can we take from this?
Although these numbers aren’t impressive at all and a lot of teams lack in followers on multiple social media platforms, Blizzard Entertainment and the franchises of the Overwatch League have done a decent job in creating a basis for a healthy and expandable social media structure.
But: There is a lot of space for improvement considering that …
- some of the franchises are owned up by renowned eSports teams such as Cloud9, NRG or Optic Gaming which have hundred thousands of eSports fans on social media
- brands like HP and Intel presumably paid a lot of money to be the main sponsors of the league and most likely expect a certain return on investment via social media reach
- franchise owners reportedly had to pay twenty million US dollars to join the league and will expect a return on investment as well – at least in the longterm
- Overwatch is watched more frequently than any other eSports in 18 American states according to a report from EsportsEarnings and Frontier Communications
What do you think?
Do you think the Overwatch League will live up to the expectations or will we see one of the biggest failures in eSports short history? Let us know and join the conversation on reddit, Twitter or Facebook!
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