Activision Blizzard teams up with Google, YouTube for esports properties

US interactive entertainment company Activision Blizzard has agreed a wide-ranging strategic relationship with Google through which the internet company’s video-sharing platform, YouTube, will become the new exclusive streaming partner of its esports competitions worldwide, excluding China.

The multi-year deal covers the likes of Overwatch League, Call of Duty League and Hearthstone Esports, with Google Cloud also being named as the preferred provider for Activision Blizzard’s game hosting infrastructure.

YouTube will host the official live broadcasts of Activision Blizzard’s esports leagues and events. The deal was signed ahead of the start of the inaugural Call of Duty League season on Friday, and the Overwatch League’s 2020 season will follow on February 8. All competitions will be livestreamed on each league’s YouTube channel and will include archived and other special content.

“With more than 200 million gamers a day watching more than 50 billion hours of gaming content per year, YouTube provides gamers and their passionate fans with the most popular video gaming platform in the world,” Ryan Wyatt, head of gaming at YouTube, said.

YouTube replaces Twitch in the role. The social video platform sealed a rights deal with the Overwatch League in January 2018 to show the next two seasons of the esports competition.