How did the two Activision-published games fare head-to-head in October’s Twitch numbers?

Both experiencing the boon of launch excitement and reward drops, Overwatch 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II competed head-to-head in Twitch viewership in the month of October. However, the numbers tell an interesting story of viewer retention and excitement for two franchises coming off major launches and an esports tournament spike.

The statistics come to us via a report by Roman Markov and Streams Charts, displaying the comparison numbers of viewership and peak numbers between the two Activision-published shooters. These October statistics give insight into the buzz and longevity of both games, which includes the lead-up to Overwatch 2 with its much-hyped beta campaign from over the summer.

Viewership of Overwatch 2 and Modern Warfare II on Twitch

The viewer comparison chart of Overwatch 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II on Twitch in October and November.
Credit: Streams Charts Dot Com

The viewership comparison is an interesting block of information. It showcases a strong response during the launch period among Twitch viewers for both games. Overwatch 2 brings in a larger average number of viewers. This is more than likely thanks to a sprawling drops campaign for the game, featuring numbers of gun buddies, sprays, and other in-game items only obtainable through watching multiple hours of streams. During a similar launch window, we see that Modern Warfare II had the edge in peak viewers and channels. In addition, we see a larger average of channels streaming the game. In a bit of a surprise, Overwatch still had the overall highest rating on Twitch among games streamed.

For comparison, Overwatch 2 had a peak viewership amount of 1.45 million during its closed beta during the summer.

Viewership dynamics at a glance

The viewership dynamics chart of Overwatch 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II on Twitch in October and November.
Credit: Streams Charts Dot Com

A chart of the viewership dynamics between Overwatch 2 and Modern Warfare II on Twitch tells an interesting story, but one that isn’t fully complete. Here we can plainly see Modern Warfare with a viewership lead at the beginning of November, but we’re only seeing half of the numbers at work. The reason? Overwatch League Grand Finals took place on YouTube from October 30 to November 4.

Thanks to numbers put together by Esports Charts, we know that OWL Grand Finals’ numbers change the picture in a drastic fashion.

An overview of the Overwatch League 2022 playoffs viewership.
Credit: Esports Charts Dot Com

The Grand Finals tournament was a boon for Overwatch viewership, with the one-two punch of the last tournament of the season and yet another major reward drops campaign bringing in major numbers. This includes a peak viewership of almost 400,000 during the Grand Finals match between San Francisco and Dallas.

In fact, the 2022 Grand Finals tournament was the most-watched final tournament of the season for Overwatch League since its inaugural Grand Finals, in which there was a peak viewership of 437,000 and an airtime total of 133 hours. It’s diffcult to ignore the success of this year’s offering in comparison.

Peak viewership across the Twitch spectrum

Peak viewership chart across all channel types.
Credit: Streams Charts Dot Com

Our final bit of data comes in the form of a viewership comparison across the whole of Twitch based on channel type. As expected, League of Legends and Just Chatting continue to dominate the streaming service. That said, the overall numbers for Overwatch–especially the closed beta from the summer–highlight a strong and continued interest in a game that looked to be in trouble based on early fan reactions. Meanwhile, Call of Duty, while not having a poor launch, must be considered a weak showcase given the game’s past, enthusiastic reception. It’s also critical to remember that these numbers look considerably different if we factor in the Overwatch League viewership on YouTube.

The comparison numbers for these two games are interesting to see given both games’ server struggles at launch. However, the more relevant comparison will come now that both games are out of tournament season and away from their sizable reward drops campaigns.

Who will come out on top? Only time will tell, so keep your eyes on for all things Overwatch 2 and Modern Warfare II.

Will Harrison -

Will Harrison

| Twitter: @Hammer_Barn

Will has over a decade of print and digital journalism experience, with bylines in Polygon, The Escapist, The Toledo Blade, The Austin American-Statesman, and more. He's also the host of the World of Warcraft lore podcast Essence of Azeroth, loves Murlocs just a bit too much, and owns too many cats.