IBM Enters Esports Arena with Activision Blizzard in New Multi-Year Deal as the Presenting Partner of the Overwatch League Grand Finals

AI and esports

What an interesting time to be part of the esports industry! The Overwatch League Finals just finished (congratulations to San Francisco Shock!) and  IBM announces a partnership with the league! If there was any question about the future of esports and its success as a “real” sport, I think this partnership puts an end to any doubts. In fact, it was amazing to see all the coverage!

Reading through the news, the two will be “ working closely to develop technology solutions leveraging IBM’s expertise in natural language processing and machine learning to improve the league’s rankings system, and utilize IBM’s Watson AI capabilities to create live and in-broadcast predictive analysis, with specific solutions currently under development.” In other words, these guys will create AI systems to predict movements and strategies. Therefore, they should be able to create some very entertaining commentary.

New engagement model

The next paragraph discusses how the Overwatch League wants to “meaningfully engage” with the fans. It only makes sense that esports would use AI (Watson) to bring “interactive and innovative engagement opportunities” to the fans and the teams. After all, what better way to create a more immersive experience than to have AI engaged real time to offer further info to fans and to players and teams?

In addition, plans include using the IBM Cloud for data and sharing, looking at in game and historical stats to share insights into the current game real time. This will take accuracy of predictions and real time analysis of strategies to a new level. IBM plans to “reimagine sports, and entertainment experiences for fans, players and coaches alike”.

Keep an eye on this as it progresses. IBM and Overwatch will be tuning and tweaking. The current plan is for at least the 2021 and 2022 seasons. However, it will be interesting to see how this all changes the sport and the viewing patterns.

Play Overwatch at The eSports Cave

In the mean time, why not join us at The eSports Cave to hone your own skills? After all, you need to be part of the game! Grab your own team and come play together at our gaming center here in Austin. We have the stage for 6v6 and we hope to host our own overwatch competitions. We’re working hard to maintain and exceed CDC guidelines for cleaning and distancing, but we have a big center. For instance, our stage can seat people six feet aprt, and our clusters all allow multiple players with proper separation. Check out our reviews. After all, our customers see the precautions we are taking. Drop by and check it out. Great gear, high speed internet and great snacks! Don’t miss our big Halloween Bash and lock in!