Following the Overwatch League's recent May Melee event, Activision Blizzard announced a significant increase in its tournament viewership, up 51 percent from last year's numbers.
Activision reported the tournament had an "average minute audience" (AMA), which calculates the average number of people watching the broadcast at a given minute, of 95,000 on YouTube, marking a significant increase from the 2020 AMA of 63,000.
Additionally, the league said that viewership for each of the qualifying weeks in the West region more than doubled year-over-year to 89,000, 76,000 and 77,000 for Weeks 1-3, respectively. Viewership numbers for the East qualifying weeks were not disclosed.
The Dallas Fuel defeated the Shanghai Dragons in the grand finals May 8 to earn their first title. The May Melee was the first of four events that will comprise this year's OWL regular season. The other three tournaments are the June Joust, Summer Showdown and Countdown Cup.
Activision pointed to several improvements that have helped increase viewership, including live player cams, upgraded stream quality (viewers can watch action in 4K on YouTube) and a more exciting tournament format for the regular season.
In this year's tournaments, teams play four matches in their respective regions to determine qualifying for the events, which are then played between the teams of both regions.
--Field Level Media