One of the announced changes for Overwatch from the October 2018 developer update that appears to gone largely unnoticed is an exciting new spectator feature.
Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan gave a brief explanation of the new addition to Blizzard’s team shooter during the latest developer video and revealed that it will make its debut for the conclusion of the Overwatch World Cup.
Initially called the the ‘Overwatch World Cup Viewer’, the new spectator mode will initially be specific to the event, but it seems likely that it will be rolled out on a more permanent basis it is successful.
The World Cup has reached the quarterfinal stage and the last few matches will take place in the Anaheim Convention Center from November 2-3 and, for the first time ever, you’ll be able to prove that you can do a better job than the hired spectators.
So far, we know that the spectator mode will give users full control over their cameras in-game, including both first and third-person views.
There will also be an overhead, or top-down, view with player icons that will be perfect for viewing the early stages of games and routing strategies before chaos breaks out.
You’ll also be able to replay matches in order to catch anything you miss – something that Kaplan made clear is a feature they hope to bring to other aspects of the game in the future: “Imagine going and watching one of your own matches later and being able to put the camera where you want in that sort of replay view? We think that would be pretty amazing.”
The new feature will be available exclusively on PC during its beta phase and should go live shortly before BlizzCon, but it sounds like the developers are hoping to bring it to other platforms at some point in the future.
It is currently uncertain whether a similar spectator mode will make its way to the Overwatch League when Season 2 gets underway. With the OWL’s broadcasting deal with Twitch, rolling out a way of bypassing the platform could prove to be a point of contention.
We will keep you updated and release a full tutorial on how to use the new spectator mode when it goes live.