The long-in-development Overwatch 2 finally went live with a PvP beta this afternoon. Soon after launch, the first Overwatch broke its previous record of total Twitch viewership in mere hours.
In honor of the sequel beta, several high-profile twitch streamers such as Lirik, Myth, and most notably, xQc streamed the first Overwatch. The game peaked at around 450,000 views today, and xQc’s amassed over 150,000 views of Overwatch on his own.
Overwatch fans have been dying to see if they were selected for the Overwatch 2 PVP beta. The only way of accessing a beta key is to watch partnered streamers for a certain length of time while having their Blizzard battle.net account linked on Twitch. Lucky users can pick up a PC beta key only until May 17th.
In a tweet from Nathan Grayson of the Washington Post, sources have stated that Overwatch has suffered from Activision Blizzard’s aggressive demands for both a sequel and an esports league. The company’s well-reported workplace lawsuits haven’t helped either, and there have been several high-profile exits from the company in the past several years.
With over fifty million units sold in the original Overwatch, there is a whole lot riding on Blizzard for developing a worthy sequel. For years, fans of Overwatch had been seeing issues from delayed hero releases to seeing Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch’s original game director, leave the company entirely exactly one year ago.
Christian Angeles is a freelance writer for IGN.