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Seagull has no responsibility to stop streaming during an Overwatch LAN

Chiu on This
A short and regular opinion blast from Stephen Chiu

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

Today, Takeover 2 started. It’s the first big Western Overwatch LAN in a long time. At the same time, Seagull was streaming. So there is an argument as to whether or not Seagull has a responsibility to either not stream or delay his stream while the tournament is going on.

I don’t think there is. His job is to be a streamer, and it isn’t his fault that the viewers of Overwatch would rather watch him than the tournament. This argument also assumes a premise that I think is false, namely that the people watching Seagull are also esports Overwatch spectators.

I don’t think that is the case. In the same way that people who watch Day[9] don’t watch StarCraft 2 esports games after he stopped casting, the people who watch Seagull stream may not necessarily want to watch Takeover 2. This is why I always found the “League of Legends killed SC2” argument odd because there is no reason to believe all of the people who watched League of Legends would have watched SC2 if given no other choice. They’d just do something else.

If you want to pick a culprit, the very scene that Blizzard has cultivated (whether by purpose or accident) is likely the suspect. There have been no LANs in a Western timezone, so there is no continuation of any kind of story. A good tournament calendar builds into each other as you see similar teams go from LAN to LAN, and through their games and whatever content is created around those players, it builds some kind of narrative. This hasn’t happened in Overwatch as everyone is waiting around for Overwatch League to announce, so now when there is a LAN, it is as if it’s starting from ground zero.

Finally, the most important piece is that the audience will watch whatever the audience wants to watch. You can’t manipulate them. If they all stop being disinterested in SC2, there is nothing you can do (as Blizzard has seen). In the same sense, if they would all rather watch Seagull than watch Takeover 2, that responsibility is up to them, not Seagull.


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