Generally speaking, a company that hopes to grow a large E-sport franchise will end up streaming their games and events on Twitch. It has a huge audience, built-in features, and has become the established location for people to watch video games and related events.
It also comes with Twitch chat. While I have seen some wonderful things happen in Twitch chat, it can also be home to the kind of attitude, language, and shenanigans that major companies just don’t want to associate with.
This may help explain why Blizzard will be trialing a new system on their Overwatch Contenders channel. Overwatch Contenders is where the good and the great go, to try and prove that they have what it takes to go pro. The Season 3 quarterfinals will be starting very soon, running all the way to Jan 12.
When watching the stream, viewers will be prompted to connect their Twitch and Battle.net accounts. At the moment though, we just don’t know much else about the program. Will you still be able to watch the event, and take part in the chat, even if you don’t link your account?
Will it be possible to get banned from Overwatch for things you might say in Twitch chat? There are a lot of unknowns around this scheme, how effective it might be, and why Blizzard seem to think it will work in the first place. The critic in me simply assumes that people who want to say mean stuff simply won’t link their accounts, and the people who do link their accounts can do so confidently because they are no the kind of people to talk trash in chat.
It remains to be seen what, if any, impact this venture will have on Twitch chat, but I guess we can happy that Blizzard is at least trying to do something to convince people to be a bit more positive while watching the Overwatchers.