Photo credit: Flickr, TakeTv Media
Overwatch is reportedly to get a new spectator tool, allowing players to roam freely around the battlefield and observe the action unfolding before them unrestricted. Dubbed the Overwatch World Cup Viewer, the feature will be tested specifically before Blizzcon arrives with the accompanying wealth of esports events.
Seeing Is Believing with Overwatch’s New Spectator Tool
Blizzard Entertainment Vice President Jeff Kaplan appeared in the October Developer Update breaking the news of an upcoming in-game spectating tool, allowing OW viewers to assume control over the camera and follow the battle in a manner they feel comfortable with, having the freedom to jump all over the place and spectate as tournament commentators and caster would in real time.
To be tested ahead of Blizzcon, the Overwatch World Cup Viewer will be available only for PC users in the upcoming Battle.net beta.
Not quite at Blizzcon yet, the Overwatch World Cup Viewer will need to be tested on the Battle.net client first, ensuring that it works properly. A minor snag here is the fact the feature will be only available to PC users. The significance of the update itself, however, seems enough to offset the fact that users from other platforms are not in the spotlight.
An incorporated replay feature will be the other important aspect of the viewership experience. Owing to the new observer mechanics, you will be able to re-watch games while controlling the camera’s speed, slacking or quickening the pace of the events or bringing it to a halt entirely.
On a learning level, a quick perusal of the battlefield will help you asses how players react and cast their spells, but if you just so happen to miss anything important to you, you can jump straight to the rewind button.
Continuing with his description of the tool, Kaplan quickly elaborated that the Overwatch World Cup Viewer will pave the way for a similar tool to be fully incorporated into the game, allowing players to examine and analyze their own games.
Not Quite Overwatch Bread and Circuses
While Overwatch is preparing to shift into its highest competitive gear in anticipation of the Overwatch League (OWL) Season 2, the new feature will come as a way of brushing up on the viewership experience during Blizzcon.
Why is this feature interesting to me if I am not going to watch the World Cup? Well, by testing the beta version of the Overwatch World Cup Viewer, it allows us to work on the technology that will one day allow us to bring these features to all of Overwatch – both PC and console. – Blizzard Entertainment Vice President Jeff Kaplan
In the developer’s diary, Mr. Kaplan specified the importance of rallying the support of the community so the platform could be tested in a meaningful environment that would allow the company to quickly transition into a successful launch for consoles.
Accommodating viewers is a pivotal part of the multi-pronged development strategy of Blizzard in delivering a franchised city-based esports format.
At the beginning of 2018, Twitch and Activision Blizzard revealed a freshly-forged media partnership valued at $90 million and giving the Amazon-owned company exclusive rights to broadcast OWL games in every region bar China.
In a similar move, the company added Disney to bring Overwatch content across multiple media, including ESPN and ABC.
The show must go on.