Overwatch's first grand final is airing on honest-to-goodness TV tonight

News
September 30, 2016 by Kris Ligman

It's TBS, but that's still technically television.

Blizzard is serious about establishing its team-based first-person shooter Overwatch as an esport. As we reach tonight's grand final of its inaugural Overwatch Open championship series -- which will see European regional winners the Misfits going up against North American champs Team EnVyUs -- there's yet another cool thing in store: it will be broadcast, live, across the United States on American cable network TBS.

You may remember that over the summer, sports news network ESPN broadcast Evo's Street Fighter V finals, complete with Seth Killian and Mike Ross on live commentary. Prior to that, ESPN had also broadcast Dota 2's world championship, The International. TBS is not a dedicated sports network, but does often run sports programming like Major League Baseball, so this is just as significant a moment for the mainstreaming of competitive videogame play.

Tonight's broadcast is also noteworthy because, unlike Street Fighter and Dota 2, Overwatch is a pretty new game. To drum up enough interest to get onto national television in its first year goes a long way to illustrate just how committed Blizzard is to the game's competitive scene.

If you have basic cable, check your local TBS listing to see when and where the Overwatch Open grand finals will air in your area. The showdown starts at 10pm Eastern Time, or 7pm Pacific. If cable's not an option, you can still tune in live through Twitch.