IBM Enters Esports Arena with Activision Blizzard in New Multi-Year Deal because the Presenting Partner of the Overwatch League Grand Finals

ARMONK, New York and IRVINE, California, Oct. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, IBM and the Overwatch League™, the world’s first world esports league with 20 city-based groups, introduced its first-of-a-kind multi-year deal to deliver IBM’s cloud computing and synthetic intelligence (AI) know-how to esports. A sponsorship part kicks off at this yr’s 2020 Overwatch League Grand Finals, which began Oct. eight and run by way of Oct. 10. With the settlement – IBM’s first-ever esports deal – the know-how chief turns into the official AI, cloud, and analytics sponsor of the Overwatch League. The deal covers the 2020 Grand Finals and everything of the 2021 and 2022 Overwatch League seasons.

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Through the course of the deal, IBM and the Overwatch League plan to leverage IBM’s suite of superior cloud and AI merchandise. Starting in 2021, IBM and the Overwatch League might be working intently to develop know-how options leveraging IBM’s experience in pure language processing and machine studying to enhance the league’s rankings system, and make the most of IBM’s Watson AI capabilities to create reside and in-broadcast predictive evaluation, with particular options presently underneath improvement.

“We’re constantly striving to give fans the ability to more meaningfully engage with the Overwatch League, and teaming up with IBM enables us to do just that,” mentioned Brandon Snow, Chief Revenue Officer of Activision Blizzard Esports. “IBM’s cutting-edge AI and machine learning, underpinned by cloud technologies, will help enable us to bring interactive and innovative engagement opportunities to our fans and teams. This is a fantastic benefit to our viewers, and we’re very excited to be announcing it during the biggest event of our season.”

“We’re thrilled to bring our world class Cloud platforms and Watson portfolio to one of the leading esports platforms in the world,” mentioned Noah Syken, Vice President of Sports & Entertainment Partnerships, IBM. “The solutions we’re partnering to create can help the organizations, players, and fans enjoy an even more immersive, engaging experience. We look forward to working with the Overwatch League, to bring innovative solutions at scale, to broad and relevant audiences.”

The sponsorship with the Overwatch League will kick off in 2021 and embody new options, that plan to be hosted on the IBM Cloud. Those options, that are presently underneath improvement, will leverage IBM’s suite of analytics instruments to course of in-match knowledge, including Watson’s AI capabilities by way of using Watson Machine Learning and the AutoAI performance inside Watson Studio. Additionally, the options will discover new methods to showcase the big selection of historic statistics that the Overwatch League will get from reside play.

The announcement of IBM and the Overwatch League teaming collectively is IBM’s first foray into the worldwide world of esports and joins an spectacular record of sports activities and leisure partnerships that IBM know-how powers all over the world. IBM has been part of gaming historical past as a {hardware} producer, chip creator, and software program supplier for builders since 1985. Over the previous 35 years, IBM has labored with gaming and esports entities by way of PowerPC processors, NLP, and cloud know-how.

IBM has been a long-time accomplice to a spread of sports activities organizations, groups, and occasions, together with tennis (US Open and Wimbledon), golf (The Masters), soccer (by way of ESPN Fantasy Football), and the GRAMMY Awards. Through IBM’s partnerships, together with IBM’s new engagement with the Overwatch League, IBM is ready to reimagine sports activities, and leisure experiences for followers, gamers and coaches alike, leveraging the flexibleness of the hybrid cloud, and different AI-powered options.

About IBM

For extra details about IBM, go to ibm.com/information.

About the Overwatch League™

The Overwatch League™ is the primary main world skilled esports league with city-based groups throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. Overwatch® was created by globally acclaimed writer Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision Blizzard—Nasdaq: ATVI), whose iconic franchises have helped lay the foundations and push the boundaries {of professional} esports over the past 15 years. The newest addition to Blizzard’s secure of twenty-two #1 video games,* Overwatch was constructed from the bottom up for on-line competitors, with memorable characters and fast-paced motion designed for essentially the most partaking gameplay and spectator experiences. To be taught extra in regards to the Overwatch League, go to www.overwatchleague.com.

About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

Best identified for blockbuster hits, together with World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone®, Overwatch®, the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, and the multi-franchise Heroes of the Storm®, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (https://www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), is a premier developer and writer of leisure software program famend for creating a few of the trade’s most critically acclaimed video games. Blizzard Entertainment’s monitor file contains twenty-two #1 video games* and a number of Game of the Year awards. The firm’s on-line gaming service, Blizzard Battle.web®, is without doubt one of the largest online-gaming companies on the planet, with thousands and thousands of energetic gamers.

*Sales and/or downloads, primarily based on inner firm information and experiences from key distributors.

About Activision Blizzard Esports

Activision Blizzard Esports (ABE) is answerable for the event, operation, and commercialization of Activision Blizzard’s skilled gaming properties together with the Overwatch League™, the Call of Duty® League™, Call of Duty Challengers™, Hearthstone® Masters, StarCraft® II esports, Warcraft® III: Reforged™, and the World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship and Mythic Dungeon International, amongst others. ABE additionally operates Tespa, the chief in collegiate esports. It is ABE’s imaginative and prescient to be essentially the most modern, scalable, and useful developer of world aggressive leisure.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information on this press launch that entails the Overwatch League’s expectations, plans, intentions or methods concerning the longer term, together with statements in regards to the collaboration with IBM, together with the event of know-how options, are forward-looking statements that aren’t information and contain quite a lot of dangers and uncertainties. Factors that may trigger the Overwatch League’s precise future outcomes to vary materially from these expressed within the forward-looking statements set forth on this launch embody unanticipated product delays, the COVID-19 pandemic and different elements recognized within the danger elements sections of Activision Blizzard’s most up-to-date annual report on Form 10-Ok and any subsequent quarterly experiences on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements on this launch are primarily based upon info obtainable to the Overwatch League and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this launch, and neither the Overwatch League nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to replace any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made could finally show to be incorrect. These statements should not ensures of the longer term efficiency of the Overwatch League or Activision Blizzard and are topic to dangers, uncertainties and different elements, a few of that are past its management and will trigger precise outcomes to vary materially from present expectations.

Contacts

IBM

Angelena Abate

Angelena.Abate@IBM.com

Overwatch League

Kevin Scarpati

kscarpati@overwatchleague.com

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1309782/IBM_and_the_Overwatch_League.jpg

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