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Overwatch League Co-streaming Concerns

The Overwatch League just announced that select match days will feature community co-streaming. The first of these days will be on opening weekend on Thursday, May 5 for the North American matches. This is going to allow for the community to be more interactive with view parties in their own streams. Though this is an exciting development, it brings about a few questions.

All in on YouTube

The Overwatch League has a few stipulations for any streamer to co-stream their broadcast. One of the large ones is that the co-streaming must be on YouTube. The Seoul Dynasty last year would consistently have co-streams that took place on YouTube, but that was on the team channel. The co-streamers were Twitch and ventured over only for the co-stream.

Overwatch League Co-streaming


A co-stream by the Seoul Dynasty in Season 4 Courtesy of the Seoul Dynasty

Twitch is still one of the major streaming services with many well-known content creators still on the platform or with exclusive rights. Twitch affiliates aren’t allowed to live stream to other platforms at the same time as being on Twitch. That means that if a content creator’s fan base is all on Twitch that they would need to switch over and possibly lose viewership for these days.

Those co-streamers will not be able to run any ads during the broadcast, meaning that they will not be able to make any revenue off of ads during the co-stream. As the Overwatch League day is long, that is a lot of potentially lost funds for the creators. It is a good chance to build a community. But again if the content creator isn’t on YouTube normally it would need to have a Twitch or socials to other platforms to gain a following.

It makes sense with the Overwatch League on YouTube that they would want co-streams on YouTube as well. In the past casters or talents who weren’t working that match would do a co-stream with the screen hidden. This almost always occured on Twitch. It will be interesting to see how these new rules will entice or dissuade content creators from co-streaming the Overwatch League.

APAC

Courtesy of the Overwatch League

The schedule for the co-stream included which matches were going to be included in the community co-streaming event. That was the NYXL vs LA Gladiators, the San Francisco Shock vs Paris Eternal, and the Florida Mayhem vs the Atlanta Reign. All three of these matches are North American matches. That is all good and well, but it leaves out the other half of the league.

This is not giving the opportunity for co-streams of the Overwatch League for the APAC matches. There will be many old Overwatch League players that regularly stream that could have potentially brought in a big chunk of views with a co-stream. Daehoon ‘Runner’ Yoon is a name that comes to mind who normally pulls thousands of views on his streams, even if it is a ‘just chatting’ stream. Both his reputation in the community and the fact that he brought Runaway together make him a prime candidate for a co-streamer (when ignoring the YouTube only condition).

This is again another example of how the global Overwatch League is leaving out a major part of their League. More Korean streamers would use Twitch or even Afreeca over YouTube, which again has logical reasoning but cuts out a large viewer base who might want co-streams. This is not to say APAC content creators can’t or won’t co-stream the Overwatch League but with the North American times of the watches and the stipulation that it is on YouTube, the hypothesis would be that it wouldn’t pull the numbers as it should.

Concerns about the Overwatch League Co-Streaming

Both the platform restriction and the only North American matches (for the first co-streaming day) bring up some worrying concerns. It is a pilot program that will have growing pains as it finds the best way to settle into supporting the community and the league. That being said hopefully the community’s voice will be heard and the league will make an active effort to include the APAC region in their plans.

Content creators and streamers who’d like to participate in the co-streaming can apply through the Overwatch League by filling out this application form: Overwatch League Co-streaming Application Form

 

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1 comment

Bittersweet Opening Weekend for APAC OWL Fans May 7, 2022 at 12:22 pm

[…] Costreams […]

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