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Blizzard Entertainment's Overwatch came out back in 2016 to a lot of fanfare and plenty of positive reviews and strong sales. The company in 2017 decided to reposition its efforts on turning Overwatch into a competitive esport with its own official league, and now that the league is getting underway here's how you can watch the Overwatch League matches online.
According to Gamespot, you can use several online streaming portals to watch the matches, all of which will be hosted through Twitch's servers. You'll be able to watch the event either through the official Twitch website, or you can stream the content through OverwatchLeague.com, as well as through the MLG portal.
Both Blizzard and Twitch signed a deal that sees Twitch having global streaming rights to the Overwatch League tournaments, which will run for the next six months beginning on January 10th, 2018. The report also indicates that there will be special rewards handed out for fans who participate in the live-stream events.
The league's first major event will start at 4 PM Pacific Standard Time when the San Francisco Shock go head to head against the Los Angeles Valiant.
As part of a way to get gamers to engage with the esports competitions and feel some pride for supporting their favorite teams or regions, Blizzard released the esports league skins for Overwatch fans to purchase from the cash shop.
The skin selection for the new regional and national teams competing throughout the league are quite varied, including colors representing the different nations around the world, as well as having some of the team colors based around the organizations currently part of the Overwatch League. For many of the characters on the roster, there are 12 new skins for players to collect as part of the esports initiative.
According to the report, the deal between Twitch and Blizzard only happened recently, at essentially the last minute. Had the deal not gone through I'm sure a lot of fans would be left wondering exactly what sort of alternatives would have been made available to view the league matches? Nevertheless, all the match-ups happening in North America, South Korea, and France will be broadcast throughout Twitch. However, the matches taking place in China will not be broadcast through Twitch.
For those of you who don't remember, China has a ban on Twitch. More specifically, the Chinese government has a strict rule against live-streaming content due to the fact that there were fears that the services could be used to undermine China's nationalistic integrity.
Exactly how the Chinese will be able to view the Overwatch matches haven't been disclosed, but it will likely come from a government-approved online streaming service.
The Overwatch League was announced a while back and Blizzard spent most of 2017 organizing teams and setting up the arenas for the finals, which are set to take place later this year. For now, you can begin watching the showdowns between the different teams thanks to Blizzard's partnership with Twitch and the streams being made available on the MLG network.