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

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


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