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Starym

The Future of the Race to World First Stream Events

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Dot Esports took a look at the recent Ny'alotha Race to World First events from both Complexity Limit and Method's perspectives, talking to both sides to see how the race coverage has changed and how it will continue to change in the future. As the events get bigger and bigger in terms of viewership, the race has become quite the powerhouse and one of the most watched events for World of Warcraft, so the competition is fierce both for the win in the race and the stream events themselves.

While Ny'alotha wasn't the first to see competing stream events from Method and Limit, it was the first to have the competition get a significant portion of the stream audience away from the Method event, with Limit's win helping out quite a bit. Dot Esports spoke to Method co-owner Sascha Steffens about the newfound competition and the fact that more guilds can monetize their efforts in the race:

Quote

We’ve seen a slight increase, despite not winning. We were always curious about how it was going to go once we didn’t win because no one can win forever right? It’s good to see that didn’t impact the viewership. We had slightly more viewers than last event actually.
...
It’s great. That’s what we’re always hoping for of course. It can’t be a one-horse race. One of the reasons the Method guild wanted to stream was that we wanted more competition.

- Method co-ower Sascha Steffens

The article also talks about the events themselves, their production quality with the many overlays with detailed information on the current status of the race, the idea to have one unified stream that covers all guilds, and even presenting two guild streams on the same screen.

The other big development from the Ny'alotha race was the fact that people seemed to prefer the comms from Complexity Limit to their official broadcast with commentators etc, as Limit GM Max's stream was the focus of their side of the event, gaining 5-10 more times the viewers than the Complexity stream.

Quote

There’s really nothing to it. It’s as simple as why not. Streaming your comms doesn’t hurt you. If you can see your VoD you can see the strat. … The only reason you wouldn’t stream comms is if you thought someone in your guild was going to say something that would be bad for sponsors.

- Complexity Limit GM Max

Method don't stream their comms and Steffens mentioned that they had the conversation about doing it many times, but the main reason they still haven't, even after Maxes big success with it, is because it might impact the guild atmosphere, as players might not feel as comfortable talking openly for various reasons. He also mentioned that they might implement comms every once in a while, which actually worked quite well on the Complexity stream, as they would go into the guild comms whenever a serious chance at a kill appeared.

The final big discussion of the article was about whether the broadcasters/commentators were needed at all, or if the best way to do it really is just watching the guild comms all the time. Having commentators is a big investment due to the 24/7 nature of the events and while Max seems to be leaning on the comms only side, Steffens doesn't see how an event could work without them:

Quote

It is very hard to make up the cost of these events. I could see a world where you have more focus on comms… but having no casters at all? I don’t think that’s the right way to do it at all. You need casters for narration, and even during a break, do you want to listen to the voice comms where potentially no one is speaking.

- Method co-ower Sascha Steffens

Whatever the correct answer may be, the Race to World First stream events are getting bigger and bigger and are fast becoming WoW's most watched milestones. Method has even switched to a non-stop streaming channel with many new self-hosted tournaments and shows (and reruns) off of the success of their side of the events. As Max said in the interview, it really is a great time to be a WoW raider, with all the attention the top players are getting, but it's also great to be a race enthusiast as the coverage really is impressive and fun to watch. The Shadowlands races will be quite something to watch.

Head on over to Dot Esports to read the full article.

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