Jessica S. February 9, 2020
The Overwatch League broadcast team took some heat during season three’s opening weekend due to a handful of broadcast stumbles.
Fans were eager to see how the Overwatch League would look and perform after leaving Twitch in favor of YouTube. Most fans were happy with YouTube’s performance on this front, but some fans complained of buffering issues during the broadcast. Despite this, most fans were content with their viewing experience, although some were curious about the low viewership numbers.
What made more of an impact, and has since become a meme, was the quality of the broadcast itself. Blizzard’s production quality was quite poor throughout the stream, with choppy cuts to commercials in the middle of analysis, missing music, desynchronized audio, and more.
The biggest issue was the frequent, likely accidental appearance of an advertisement for new snack product Cheez-It Grooves. During Watch Point and in various other segments between games, the casters frequently found themselves being cut off by the ad. On multiple occasions, fans were forced to watch as the hosts delivered their analysis with the audio cutting out or the Cheez-It ad playing over them.
This caused a lot of missed dialogue between the casters on the desk. It also caused a huge uproar when the graphic became displayed over the screen during a match between the New York Excelsior and London Spitfire. Fans on Twitter and Reddit ran with this, delivering countless memes, all-caps rants, and insults towards the broadcasting team.
Many fans were more understanding. Overwatch League Season 3’s transition to a homestand format brings a number of logistical difficulties that can only be ironed out with time. On top of that, fans were largely supportive when it came to the the observers and enjoyed the new over-the-shoulder view that was introduced recently.
Still, Overwatch League fans will be keeping a close eye on the production quality in hopes of having more meme material to work with.