IBM and gaming are two words that don’t quite come to mind together. Big Blue is renowned for being the largest technology company in the world at one point in time while gaming is at the other end of the spectrum. One is about work and the other about play.
In its first-ever esports deal, IBM has become the official artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and analytics sponsor of the Overwatch League, the world’s first global esports league.
The first-of-a-kind multi-year partnership kicked off with the 2020 Overwatch League Grand Finals and will cover the entire 2021 and 2022 Overwatch League seasons.
Starting in 2021, IBM and Overwatch League will be working closely to develop technology solutions leveraging IBM’s expertise in natural language processing and machine learning to improve the league’s rankings system, and utilise IBM’s Watson AI capabilities to create live and in-broadcast predictive analysis, with specific solutions currently under development.
“We’re constantly striving to give fans the ability to more meaningfully engage with Overwatch League, and teaming up with IBM enables us to do just that. 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,” said Brandon Snow, Chief Revenue Officer of Activision Blizzard Esports.
“The solutions we’re partnering to create can help the organisations, 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,” said Noah Syken, Vice President of Sports and Entertainment Partnerships at IBM.