Blizzard brings in casters to consult on upcoming changes to Overwatch's observer mode
Blizzard is consulting with an unknown number of Overwatch personalities about the game’s observer features.
The absence of popular caster and member of Tempo Storm, Andrew ‘ZP’ Rush, during the GosuGamers NA weekly sparked twitch user ‘Uncleswagg’, who moderates many of the high level Overwatch streams, to reveal that ZP was in California at the Blizzard headquarters. When prodded for additional info though, the moderator responded that the topic was ‘super secret’.
When asked to comment on ZP’s visit and what was being worked on, Overwatch community manager ‘Zoevia’ said that, "we're just talking shop with him about some observing stuff. He has a lot of experience doing it for a variety of online events." In addition, Zoevia revealed that there were ‘a few other folks’ involved with the discussion/meetings as well, though she declined to comment further or offer any specifics.
With ZP being the only confirmed guest, we’re forced to speculate who else may be involved. It seems likely that Josh ‘AskJoshy’ Sutherland and Ben ‘FishStix’ Goldhaber would be involved as well. Sutherland and FishStix have been long time members of the esports community and are both high profile Overwatch personalities, just like ZP. Both Joshy and FishStix are both based in California, so it would be possible for them to visit the Blizzard headquarters without having to disrupt their regular online presence or schedule.
It is possible that more streamers and personalities are involved. There are many esports personalities who are based in California. Though with little to no evidence of direct interaction with any of the Overwatch team, it seems unlikely that Blizzard has recruited anyone for input who doesn’t have deeper knowledge of the casting and observer mode.
Overwatch’s lead developer, Jeff Kaplan, has been very transparent with the Overwatch community when talking about the plans for Overwatch’s features and how they’re prioritized. On June 15, 2016, Kaplan replied to a user on the Battle.net forums asking what was next for the game. He outlined that they were working to revamp competitive play, and to roll out new heroes and maps. With the competitive revamp launched for Season 2 of ranked play, the release of Ana, and the new map titled ‘Eichenwalde’, it seems that Blizzard is ready to focus on Overwatch’s observer features.