When the quarterfinals matches of Overwatch Contenders 2018 Season 3 take place, Blizzard will trial a new moderation system on Twitch.
The test comes as a bid to find “new ways to improve the viewer experience” for Overwatch’s Path of Pro ecosystem.
The change requires of the quarterfinals to link their Blizzard Battle.net accounts to their Twitch account, applying to matches across all regions from December 28th to January 12, 2019. From there, those behind the Path to Pro initiative will see how effective the moderation is in creating a “more positive viewing experience”.
The chat function on Twitch has produced plenty of discussion of the years, which near-anonymous viewers being able to spam hatred, to troll, and to abuse others. It’s worth remembering that interaction is a big part of the viewing experience for – but definitely not limited to – esports. Many streamers, teams, and event organisers hire chat moderators in an attempt to ensure the right conversations are taking place during a livestream.
Overwatch Contenders is the official path to pro for players that aim to reach the Overwatch League – the premium competition for the title. Returning February 14th, the Overwatch League has welcomed eight expansion teams; this means 20 teams will all battle it out over the course of the second season.
Esports Insider says: Viewership for Overwatch Contenders is already considered low and making it harder for people to interact in official streams may further reduce these numbers – this needs balancing with creating a fair and safe place for viewers to congregate, though. It’ll be interesting to see if this moderation remains as a one-off test or if it’ll be implemented by Blizzard across other events in the future.