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Overwatch League attracts 10m viewers in its first week

Average audience of 408,000 per minute for opening day, concurrent viewers peaks at 437,000

Activision Blizzard's biggest push into the esports sector to date is off to a strong start with more than ten million people tuning in to the Overwatch League so far.

The tournament has been positioned as "the world's first major global city-based professional esports league" and kicked off last week with four days of competitions at Blizzard's venue in Los Angeles.

The publisher has now revealed viewing figures for the first week - almost a third of the 35 million Overwatch players worldwide.

The 10m viewers were spread across Twitch, which won a last minute exclusive broadcasting deal, along with Major League Gaming. There were also various Chinese streaming partners, given the game's popularity in that market, including ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC and Panda TV.

Blizzard also suggests that this is the number of browsers/devices tuned in to the League, hinting that even more people could have been checking out the action at the watch parties community members have organised around the world.

There were an average of 408,000 people per minute watching the opening day matches, with the first week's average at 280,000 per minute.

The most popular match so far appeared to be Dallas Fuel vs Seoul Dynasty, also on the first day, which attracted an audience of 437,000 via Twitch and MLG alone - the peak concurrent online audience so far.

There was also a sizeable audience presence at the actual matches, with tickets to the L.A. Blizzard Arena sold out for the whole week.

The first season continues until June, with playoffs and finals currently scheduled for July.

Major League Gaming's president and CEO Pete Vlastelica said Overwatch's userbase of 35m players means the competition "has the potential to become one of the most-watched leagues - of any kind - in the world."

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