No, my confession is what I watched instead.
I watched the Extreme Masters WoW tournament.
Well, actually I’m not sorry. It was very enjoyable – much more than the WoW tournaments I’d watched before. And what made this event so much better? The commentators.
Hard to Explain
E-sports casters are a mixed bunch in terms of quality but WoW is probably the biggest test for several reasons. Most important of those is that, however you slice it, WoW is a difficult game to watch. Unlike every other game in the e-sports fold, WoW is more or less un-watchable on its own. With CS and WC3, for example, commentators are a nice (or not so nice, possibly) addition. Not strictly necessary but useful.
With the spectator tool for WoW still fairly sub-par a WoW commentator has to know exactly what’s going on and has to be able to explain it to the viewer quickly and in detail. ESL’s duo this past weekend did a fantastic job. Despite the juvenile banter between games – which bordered on bullying at times – the stream was most enjoyable.
The actual commentary was fantastic and made light of the difficulties inherent in the subject matter. Even the mage/priest mirrors in many of the latter games were made intriguing by the English pair’s commentary.
Hafu is a girl. We Get it!
The obsession with Hafu from previous events seemed to have disappeared as well. Perhaps because Fnatic (or should I say “Hafu’s team”) didn’t get far, they weren’t the focus of the whole broadcast for once, and it was better for it.
Once teams have adjusted to the patch; if Fnatic can learn to play another class; if they perform better at the next event we’ll see whether it becomes World of Hafucraft again. One could argue that 2GD has an excuse, being a former Fnatic player and manager, but the interviewer didn’t go and speak to Glick about the patch, did he?
Whatever happens in Seoul next month, the casting will be top notch if ESL takes Mr Harding and his sidekick along for the ride. Although WoW is still a problematic spectator game, commentators like these two make it a whole lot easier to follow without being patronising.
The Zechs Files will be back in the confessional next Tuesday.
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