Fnatic and Team Vitality clashed in the European League Championship Series spring semifinals today, a match that would end in victory for the former. While the game itself was interesting, it was the manner of broadcast that grabbed my attention. In addition to the regular main stream, Riot Games broadcast a second stream that was squarely focused on Martin “Rekkles” Larsson’s point of view.
Other games toy with this, using player POV for replays or highlights of clutch moments. This was an entire broadcast however, and not just of his view, but his every movement and motion. Every swipe of the mouse across the pad and key stroke could be visibly noticed. In hectic teamfights, you heard the main stream’s broadcast, but only saw Larsson’s view and actions.
It can lead to some real moments of insight. You can see how a pro player thinks and reacts in real time, giving you a window into how someone with a high level of mastery in League of Legends interprets the information they’re receiving. It also lead to some funny moments, like his self-deprecating question-mark ping after missing a blink over the wall.
It’s not something that works in every scenario. The first portion of the broadcast aired with obtrusive graphics, as the stream staff was worried that display elements like the team’s in-game chat might divulge information they didn’t want seen. (A Riot Games employee later commented on Reddit that Fnatic consented to airing their chat transcripts live.)
Hard numbers and statistics can always lend some insight into a player’s mind, but seeing just the raw inputs and reactions shows a level that stats can’t provide. Whether this becomes the new norm for League broadcasts, it’s certainly fascinating to watch and a nice tool for aspiring players to see what the pros do in both the hectic fights and elongated lulls of a League of Legends match.