IBM Makes Foray Into Esports With Multi-Year Overwatch Deal

IBM Esports

IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) and professional esports league for video games Overwatch League announced a multi-year deal to bring the American multinational tech firm’s cloud computing and AI (artificial intelligence) technology to esports.

The deal introduces IBM’s cloud computing and AI capabilities, bringing its machine learning expertise, and natural language processing to the esports arena for the first time. The Overwatch League, which is an international esports platform that boasts 20-city based teams from all around Asia, North America, and Europe, was developed and published by Activision Blizzard Inc.

A league season usually comprises 280 matches, starting from Feb. to the postseason playoff coming to an end in Fall. The 2020 playoffs kicked off on Sept. 3, and the Grand Finale is slated to take place between Oct. 8 and Oct. 10.

The Overwatch sponsorship agreement will encompass the 2020 Grand finals, as well as the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Starting from next year, IBM will be using its technological expertise to enhance Overwatch’s league ranking systems. If reports doing the rounds online are anything to go by, Watson AI, which is developed by IBM research, will also be used for predictive analysis.

IBM has been associated with esports since it makes hardware, chips, and renders developer’s software. This would be the first time IBM will be providing full-frontal support for immersive gaming.

IBM on Thursday announced its plans to spin-off its Managed Infrastructure Services division into a newly-incorporated public company in a bid to expedite its hybrid cloud growth strategy. This demerger is likely to close the end of next year.

On Thursday, IBM stock witnessed a surge of 5.98 percent, ending the trading day at $131.49. ATVI stock dropped by 0.85 percent, closing in at $77.80. Stay tuned in here for latest Esports news.

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