New viewing tools finally come to Overwatch

Jessica S. November 18, 2018

A long requested tool to watch competitive Overwatch games through the eyes of pro players has finally been released to fans just in time for the World Cup finals.

“Experience the Overwatch World Cup from any perspective in real time with the Overwatch World Cup Viewer,” says the official blog post about the new observing tool. Fans have been waiting for this functionality since the very conception of competitive Overwatch, and Blizzard is finally releasing it for the last few matches of the World Cup.

Matches can be watched live as they are happening and can be reviewed for up to a month after the match has concluded. Fans can watch in a variety of ways, including through the use of a free camera that can be moved with the keyboard and mouse, a map overlay that displays a top-down view of the playing field, and through individual players’ perspectives. These perspectives can be chosen from a set of hotkeys or by choosing between them from the options at the bottom of the user interface.

Games can be sped up, slowed down, or paused. Viewers can bookmark timestamps to save specific in-game moments for later. Players can be observed using either first-person or third-person perspectives, giving different vantage points on the action.

This is a beta version of the viewer, but Blizzard’s intention seems to be a full release for Overwatch League games. Such a tool could help everyday players to improve their own gameplay by watching pros and seeing how they react to a variety of situations, instead of being reliant on each game’s static observer to show the right slice of action at just the right time.

The World Cup Viewer Beta must be downloaded as a separate client from the game itself. The viewer will be available when the first World Cup game kicks off as the United Kingdom battles the United States’ team.

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