If you’ve ever found yourself tired of Overwatch esports spectators’ camera angle choices and thought you could do a better job, your big day is just around the corner. Blizzard’s shooter is getting an in-game spectator mode, though it’s gonna have to go through some testing first.
Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan – who, in a stunning turn of events, did not introduce himself as “Jeff from the Overwatch team” – introduced the feature in a new developer update video.
For now, it’s being called the Overwatch World Cup Viewer, and it’ll be specific to the World Cup, whose finals will take place at BlizzCon in early November. Viewers will be able to watch the World Cup from inside Overwatch, and they’ll have full camera control from a variety of perspectives including first- and third-person, as well as the top-down view with character icons that casters sometimes use during Blizzard-hosted esports broadcasts. There’ll also be a replay feature for matches that have already happened.
To begin, it’ll exist exclusively on PC in beta form shortly before BlizzCon, but Kaplan and company hope to expand it to all corners of Overwatch at some point after the World Cup.
“Can you 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,” said Kaplan.
He did not, however, mention Overwatch League, which is separate from the World Cup. It’ll be interesting to see what happens there, given that OWL is tied up in deals with platforms like Twitch.
There are also balance changes on the way in the near future, and those are now on the public test server for all who’d like to try them out. You can theorycraft your way through the nitty gritty details here, but the short version is, Reaper, Roadhog, Symmetra, and Mercy will be getting buffs.
Lastly, Kaplan said that, unlike in previous years, the Overwatch team won’t be announcing a new map at BlizzCon this year. There’ll be other stuff, but no map.
“To be honest, we thought they got a bit lost in the shuffle,” he said of the announcements of the Oasis and Blizzard World maps. “They didn’t have as big of an impact as we wanted.”