Overwatch, Call of Duty leagues exclusively streaming on YouTube after Google deal

Google and game publisher Activision Blizzard have entered a multiyear deal.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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Abrar Al-Heeti
2 min read

Google and Activision Blizzard are teaming up.

Activision Blizzard

YouTube  will now be the exclusive streaming partner for  Activision  Blizzard following the announcement Friday of a multiyear partnership with  Google . Starting this week, YouTube will host the official live broadcasts of Activision Blizzard's  esports  leagues and events such as the Call of Duty League,  Overwatch  League and Hearthstone Esports. Competitions will be livestreamed on the leagues' YouTube channels everywhere around the world except for China. There will also be archived and other special content. 

In addition, Google Cloud will be the "preferred provider for Activision Blizzard's game hosting infrastructure," according to a release. Activision Blizzard said it chose Google Cloud because of its data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities, as well as its "commitment to open source, creating a platform for building future  gaming  innovations." 

The companies say players will experience low latency when playing high-fidelity games, in addition to better personalized interactions, given Activision Blizzard can use Google Cloud's AI tools to suggest curated in-game offers and gaming experiences. 

"We've worked closely with Activision Blizzard for the past few years across mobile titles to boost its analytics capabilities and overall player experience," Sunil Rayan, Google Cloud's head of gaming, said in the release. "We are excited to now expand our relationship and help power one of the largest and most renowned game developers in the world."

Companies like Google and  Microsoft  are increasingly looking to streaming as the future of gaming. The search giant launched Google Stadia late last year, and  Sony  revamped its PlayStation Now streaming service. Microsoft also started public beta testing of its Project xCloud gaming service