Blizzard, the company behind everyone’s favourite Overwatch that has been receiving a lot of attention and raving reviews,  has recently decided to up its game even further. In order to improve its eSports viewing experience, the studio launched a new Overwatch World Cup Viewer just in time for the Overwatch World Cup 2018.

Overwatch World Cup Viewer Released in Beta Ahead of 2018 Finals

It is no secret that Overwatch is one of the most popular games out there: According to Statista, the game hit a milestone in May 2018 when it reached 40 million players worldwide, up from 30 million just a year ago in April 2017 and a staggering 33 million over its initial fan base of 7 million in May 2016. And it is doing exceptionally well in the eSports arena, too: According to BetwayOverwatch features among the most popular games when it comes to eSports betting, up there with the other heavyweights like Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Blizzard’s other popular brainchild, Hearthstone. The hype keeps getting wilder as the studio keeps feeding players with updates and new elements, including the latest Overwatch World Cup Viewer.

In our opinion, it is one of the top 5 squad games for Xbox, so it is no wonder that fans flocked to see teams of eSports pros go head to head in the latest Overwatch World Cup that saw South Korea emerge victorious after a 4-0 win against China, while third place champion Canada prevailed over fourth runner-up Britain in a close 3-2 match that went over to a fifth map. The stakes were high: as ESPN reports, each of the 24 teams that qualified received $15,000 and those lucky eight who advanced to the finals phase got an extra $16,000, which makes the total prize pool $488,000. And if you ever aspire to walk in those champions’ shoes, then the Overwatch World Cup Viewer, which premiered in the World Cup, just gave us a taste of the type of training and analysis that could become possible.

New Feature Lets Viewer Control the Camera and Replay Matches

The Viewer lets you assume the kind of controls that were so far only given to the professional observers working for the Overwatch League. This means that with the new feature you can control the camera independently, pause games, and choose which player’s perspective they prefer, while also being able to alternate between third-person and first-person viewpoint. The Viewer has been launched in beta version so it is only available for PC users so far, but the plan is to expand it to all platforms and across all types of matches, as the studio has announced. It also features a top-down map view complete with info about the status of various players.

The Viewer is a game-changer for the way that fans and players can watch OWL live matches – and as much as the professional OWL broadcast team is doing some stellar work when trying to get all the action across to the audience, it is refreshing to be able to choose which player to shadow. This is especially handy for people who want to study specific players and or see different gameplays for the same hero, so that they can pick up tips and refine their skills at the game. Worm’s-eye and bird’s-eye view are also included, while perhaps one of the most exciting features of the Viewer is the option to go back and watch game replays after the match is finished – which are all extremely helpful for those Overwatch players looking to learn from the best.

Replays are available for a month after the match is concluded and you can find instructions and all relevant keyboard shortcuts on Overwatch’s official page. The Overwatch developer team are eager to get feedback and info about bugs during this beta phase of the feature so that they can finetune it and address problems. Although it may have been initially intended as a way to respond to criticism that Overwatch eSports games are hard to watch, the company’s plan is to release the Viewer across platforms and not only in eSports matches. This will hopefully be done very soon, but since there is no update yet, it seems unlikely that it will be in place before the new Overwatch League starts in February. When it does launch, it will let players replay and rewatch their own matches – which makes for some great analysis among squad teammates.

So pick one of the game’s 29 different heroes – with gunslinger Ashe just added this month as the rightful leader of the Deadlock Gang – and start practising!