During the May Melee, the APAC fans were treated to features of the broadcast that are considered normal in the NA matches but hadn’t been seen in APAC regional casts yet. This highlights the importance of making both the APAC and NA streams, production-wise, equal. APAC matches do occur very early in the morning, which means the normal broadcast staff are probably not awake. A solution could be to have teams for APAC and NA or outsource the broadcast to someone who could give the quality to the APAC streams that they deserve. These features were brought in for the cross-regional May Melee tournament but hopefully are here to stay for the APAC region. Here are three features of the May Melee that the APAC fans want to see in the regular broadcasts.
Feature #1: Player cams in-game
Player cams in-game has been a feature that has been greatly missed in the APAC games. It has become normal to see the NA matches the player’s in-the-moment video that is placed above the name of the player when the POV is being shown on stream. It brings another element into the games being able to see the faces of the players when they pull off a miracle play or whiffs an ultimate. This is great for the players and branding. With LAN being gone, fans don’t get to see the faces behind the usernames of the players and the heroes that they play. These in-game cams give that opportunity to not only market but help humanize these players.
Though the NA matches have regularly had this feature in Season 4, it has been missing in the APAC games. With the May Melee bringing together the NA and APAC regions, it was nice to see the Shanghai Dragons and Chengdu Hunter’s face cams in the matches. Hopefully, this can become now a regular thing in the APAC region as well as the NA region of games. To take this away after giving it to the fans for the time that NA is present would not be a good look for the League. The fans can only hope that this tournament was able to help smooth out any issues with the APAC cams, and it will be a part of the regular matches for the June Joust.
Feature #2: Choice of who to view
The sidebar in which fans can choose who they want to view during the match is back! Along with this, the stats button and the cheer button are available. This has been present in the past seasons of the Overwatch League. The first few weeks it wasn’t there for either region, and it was greatly missed. This gives hope that this will go back to being a new norm for both NA and APAC broadcasts.
The choice of who to view is a great feature. Many fans are fans of certain players and want to be able to see them. The next step is to be able to have player POVs so one could view what the player sees. This is a step in the right direction and is bringing the fans closer to what they were able to have with Twitch but on this new platform of Youtube. Again, this is great for marketing the players. It helps content creators such as Twitter accounts that make gifs of player reactions content that facilitates more community participation. It will be disappointing if these disappear for the regular matches when the League comes back for the June Joust.
Feature #3: In-the-moment Translations
One of the biggest features that were done for the May Melee was in-the-moment translations. With so many teams being comprised of Korean players and a huge amount of the fan base being NA, in-the-moment translations help bridge the gap. The addition of Danny Lim to the desk provides the Overwatch League with a great opportunity. His post-match interviews with Korean players have really helped show the Korean players’ personalities. This has only been seen in the NA region matches. As the APAC matches are again, at a more inconvenient time for those living in North America, but it is even more important for the APAC matches than the NA ones.
The two pre matches before the May Melee was so much fun. To hear the banter between Kyungbo ‘Alarm’ Kim and Seonghyeon ‘Jjonak’ Bang as well as Byungsun ‘Fleta’ Kim and Jaehyuk ‘Carpe’ Lee was a highlight. The fact that social media blew up that the main broadcast stream was highlighting APAC talent, shouldn’t be the case. It should be a norm that the main broadcast is focusing on the talent in their league. Danny Lim did an amazing job facilitating and translating the banter between the players during these matches.
The APAC matches need that representation. The marketing to the NA fans as well as humanize them to go against the stereotypical narrative that Korean/APAC players do not have a personality. The Chinese and Korean broadcasts will have post-match interviews with players, but the NA broadcast gets a commercial break or an end of the stream. Allow for in the moment translations for not only the Korean but also the Chinese players. This is so important, as when the community learns about players it strengthens the league as a whole. This might be too much of a daunting task for just Danny. But to employ translators and or casts who are bilingual should be a priority. What is more important than allowing equal representation of players in a league?
Important Features to be Continued for APAC?
If the Overwatch League backpedals on these aspects it is not a good look. Then what comes across is that these features were only added because the North American teams were involved. As a global league, and Blizzard’s emphasis of standing with the AAPI community, equal treatment of the regional broadcasts is essential.
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