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WGL Winter: Back2Warcraft Survey Results

24.12.18 | Flipi 1620

Introduction

Heading to China as the primary English Stream onsite, Back2Warcraft (B2W) played their part in what was a very entertaining, frustrating and sometimes downright hilarious WGL Winter 2018. Throughout the roughly  two-week duration of the tournament, we enjoyed the excitement of watching various old and new names, favorites and underdogs, go head-to-head, with plenty of surprises along the way.

Upon completion of the tournament and safe return to their homes, B2W opened up their WGL Winter Survey to the public and took in feedback across a variety of topics, including changes and additions we would wish to see in the future.

Read on for a summarized analysis of what, it turned out, we all had to say.

 

Foreword

As Back2Warcraft was the primary English stream, their 500+ respondents are thus representative mostly of the Western community. While this takes no big leap of logic, it pays to keep that in mind as we consider what might come from the results of this survey when shared with organizers and other interested parties, and combined with feedback from players and other community sections.

Below then, you can enjoy a bite-sized overview of what the survey revealed. Responses have been grouped into related topics, with the major trends and results highlighted here.

While we aim to stay objective and fair in all things, this analysis remains the opinion of the author alone. Please refer to Back2Warcraft directly for their official statements [back2warcraft.com].


The Tournament

The overall response to the tournament was a unanimous "LOVED IT!" (a.k.a. rated 5). There were, however, two points that seemed to dissatisfy small pockets of viewers, that being the duration of  two weeks, and the related three days of rest period between groups and playoffs. Apart from these points, other takeaways include:

  • Loved the game quantity (and subsequent support of 2 independent English streams to cover more concurrent games - ups to Hi2Chaco and Khaldor).
  • Loved the increase in players and variety of regions they came from (splitting the regions more however, seems less popular a thought. Also it doesn't seem practical, at least just yet).
  • The map pool was great, except we miss Turtle Rock (in fact, we miss not only Turtle Rock, but also Lost Temple and Secret Valley).

The English Stream

Originally, when we first tuned in, there seemed to be some audio and production issues that reared their heads within the first hours of the tournament. Thankfully, with props to the entire production team and the casters for keeping their cool, these were sorted out soon enough and Neo and Remo were visible, audible and lovable.

Feedback around the stream touched on a few highly relevant points for the future:

  • We loved the production team's new window additions inside the main stream, including first person views, keyboard cams and similar live-action additions (personally, I was relieved to see their use also improved over the starting days of use - becoming less distracting and more informative to the viewer).
  • Our entertainment and excitement were hamstrung unfortunately, when player interviews and break-time content was streamed with few or no English subtitles or translations at hand.
  • Seeing prepared, English-specific break-time content could potentially be an answer to this.
  • We kept ourselves updated about the tournament through Liquipedia (by far the most popular), as well as Reddit, War3.info and social media.

 

The Cast Itself

If written to proportion, this section will be 90% praise, love and marriage proposals to the gentlemen who were on screen, and 10% suggestions and ideas. For the sake of brevity allow me to express "LOVING IT!" as a key result from this section and then move on to that 10%.

Something I found quite interesting, is the apparent difference in viewer expectation of B2W's style between the regular stream and that of a large offline tournament. These points included:

  • Further improving break-time content, and energy on the stream during these breaks.
  • Differentiating more strongly between in-game analysis and post-game analysis. A specific question about adding an English analyst was met with mixed responses, so it seem the expectation is resting on the casters' shoulders.
  • Giving broader support across all players and matchups (I suspect the lack of historic representation from some regions is why these players received more of the likes and loves this time around).
  • The next step in professionalism while maintaining the cast's personality (only easy suggestions here it would seem ^^).

B2W's Social Media

A great topic to see covered again, this really is part and parcel to how many of us seek and digest information throughout our days, both at home and outside. Two clear results came from this:

  • Give us more. More backstage access, more player interactions, more anecdotes and ways to immerse ourselves in the tournament atmosphere.
  • Give us fewer spoilers (I think this one might be on the reader to be honest. Here at War3.info we worked to do this in our coverage of the finals, but social media is a different situation all together).

Final Thoughts

In the final section of the survey comes my favourite part - 'Write what you want, bare your soul, show us your true colours!'.. so to speak. While there was MUCH written across these three questions, 3 big themes reveal themselves as you read through the comments. These were:

  • More English please, be it dedicated content or access to the Chinese content in English.
  • Please review the group stages (examples: early results nullified the importance of games later on. Group stages eliminated the far majority of players - And all the UD players :( ).
  • Please give us double-elimination playoffs (I also love double elimination, although the time requirement takes some consideration).

 


Conclusion

Taken in full then, WGL Winter 2018 was a resounding success. And yes, at this point I'm sure someone might stop reading and go straight to the comments with gems such as "NE", "BALANCE" and other unique opinions ^^ My point is that the tournament, a very important one within the Warcraft 3 universe, saw fantastic levels of access and involvement; players from LATAM, break dancing stage entrances, the whole lot. It showed us ongoing innovations too, from both players as well as production and casters. Gaming organisations made themselves know, picking up players mid-event. These signs and more all point to some great things to come in 2019, and in fact the early signs are already visible - if you'll feast your eyes on the B2W stream overlay (which it seems has sparked a new ripple of innovation across other streams already).

A final thank you to Back2Wacraft's Neo for allowing us a peek at the survey's extensive results. As he is a VERY busy man right now, let's hope he survives until WGL FINALS in January ;)

And so, today seems as good a day as any to wish you all a fruitful and wonderful 2019. Work hard and don't forget to enjoy the big and small wonders in this world <3 I'm going home to meet Summer Santa.

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