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As the Twitch drop integration on the second day of the Overwatch 2 beta began Tuesday, the Overwatch section of Twitch broke 1 million concurrent viewers for the first time ever. In a similar vein to the VALORANT beta drop system, fans are watching streams en-masse to try and get access to the beta.
For a game that struggled to get viewership on Twitch for the past year, Overwatch is now leading Twitch thanks to the new game on the horizon. However, it is unclear how long this boost in viewership will last.
Overwatch has broke 1 million viewers on Twitch for the first time ever with the help of co-streams, drops, and the OW2 beta
Actually huge W hope they can keep it up pic.twitter.com/u0Q6dnECbP
— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) April 27, 2022
The beta brings fans back to Overwatch
Fans had to wait a long time to play Overwatch 2, but the opportunity to get their hands on the game has sent viewership skyrocketing. The fact that big streamers, like former Overwatch League players Félix “xQc” Lengyel and Brandon “Seagull” Larned, are streaming the game has helped, too. Even before enabling Twitch drops, the first day of the beta got close to 500k viewers, breaking its previous record of concurrent viewership on Twitch.
While the number of viewers peaked around 1.3 million at the time of publication, it is still growing. Wherever it ends will be the new record for Overwatch viewership.
Overwatch 2 and VALORANT show different drop strategies
These numbers are very similar to the release of the VALORANT beta, which saw similar Twitch drops and major viewership. VALORANT’s peak viewership for the beta ended up at 1.7 million concurrent viewers, according to an article by Dot Esports. While a great start, those numbers fell off after the official launch. It’s not guaranteed Overwatch will follow suit, but the precedent does exist.
However, it’s worth noting that there are small differences in the methods of drops for VALORANT and Overwatch 2. For the VALORANT drops, there was no confirmed way to get access to the game. Would-be-players had to watch, wait and hope for an email giving them beta access. As for Overwatch 2, players get guaranteed access to the beta after four hours of watching a drops-connected stream. At the same time, VALORANT’s beta drops lasted for a while, whereas Overwatch 2’s are only available on April 27.
The strategies are different, but one thing is for certain: Overwatch 2 is breathing new life back into the franchise on Twitch, with the beta just days before the fifth season of the Overwatch League starts on May 5.
Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.