The Overwatch League announced on June 11 that the replay feature would be available to fans and allow them to watch matches from any perspective.
The Replay Feature was originally introduced for fans during the 2018 World Cup, but was made unavailable after the event ended, but Blizzard promised it would be back eventually.
Now with a general Replay Feature for players being prepared on the PTR, Blizzard has brought the same kind of system to Overwatch League fans as well.
A whole new way to watch Overwatch League
The Overwatch League Replay Viewer is only available to PC users and it has to be installed just like the PTR. The steps to install the viewer are as follows:
- Open the Battle.net app.
- Click Overwatch.
- In the Region/Account drop-down, select Professional Viewer.
- Click Install.
- Once installed, click Play.
Players have to own a copy of Overwatch in order to use the Replay Viewer.
Once it's installed, players can watch a replay of any game from the current stage from any perspective they choose using the feature's observer tools. The Replay Viewer can't be used to watch live matches.
Blizzard also provided a useful guide to keyboard shortcuts to better allow users to control how they watch each match:
- N: Show/Hide controls
- W, A, S, and D: Move the camera around
- Q and E: Move camera up/Down
- Scroll Wheel Up: Increase playback speed
- Scroll Wheel Down: Decrease playback speed
- CTRL + P: Play/Pause
- Spacebar: Toggle between first-person and third-person view
- Left/Right Click: Detach from first-person and third-person view to free camera
- F1-F12: Spectate players (corresponds with player list in media controls)
- 0: Snap to the objective
- CTRL + I: Show map overlay
- CTRL + 1 through CNTRL + 9: Save bookmarks
- 1-9: Restore camera bookmarks
Does this mean Replays are going live soon?
At the time of writing the Replay system has been on the PTR for about two and a half weeks, so it could be making it to the main game and finally be available for console players soon.
Blizzard will probably keep the feature on the PTR until they feel it's ready, but the professional viewer becoming available would be a great time to take the feature live, in-game as well.
The addition of Replay Viewers is a big step forward for Overwatch (now you can watch all the GOATs you want) and 2019 is shaping up to be a pretty big year for the game after all.