IBM signs multi-year deal with Overwatch League

US Technology giants IBM has entered the E-sports space by signing a multi-year deal with Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League (OWL). The new deal designates IBM as the 20-team league’s official AI, cloud, and analytics sponsor. Along with 2021 and 2022 campaigns, IBM will also cover this year’s Grand Finals.

As per the deal, IBM will utilise its cloud, AI, and machine learning capabilities to generate interactive and analytical content for OWL broadcasts. The OWL will leverage IBM’s natural language processing and machine learning expertise to improve the rankings system. It will also tap into IBM’s Watson AI capabilities to create the live and in-broadcast predictive analysis.

Several new solutions that will be implemented in the 2021 season are currently under process and will be hosted on the IBM Cloud. They will use IBM’s suite of analytics tools to process in-match data, while there will also be a new way to showcase historical data that OWL captures from live play. Activision Blizzard esports is focussing on giving fans different ways to engage with the league. IBM will surely help Blizzard to meet their goals.

While this partnership marks IBM’s first step in the esports arena, the tech-giants have already partnered with sporting events such as the US Open and Wimbledon grand slams, and the Masters Golf tournament.

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