One of the top League of Legends players in the world today, G2 Esports Top Laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen, caused something of a stir recently during a LEC Summer Split match against Vitality Esports.
After Vitality made some unusual picks, Hansen decided to have a little fun with followers of his Pro View stream. During a break in the game, Hansen opened up MS Paint on his PC, overlaid it across the screen and clumsily wrote: “What is going on?”
The message was a clear reference to the unusual picks. And in the minutes after he posted the fun message, his team racked up kill after kill to demolish the Vitality Esports challenge and claim a very comfortable victory.
When asked why he had done this, Hansen replied, “Honestly, the game was, like, so boring…I decided to have some fun with people watching by Pro View stream.”
Now, as those of you that follow League of Legends esports and the Summer Series will know, a G2 Esports victory is not unusual. The team currently tops the LEC Summer 2019 standings with a 12-4 record. Vitality Esports, on the other hand, have lost all four of their games so far.
While Hansen could be accused of showboating—the esports equivalent of Neymar joshing on an inferior opponent—it has brought attention to a rather exciting new streaming development.
What is Pro View?
Pro View is a relatively new innovation in top-level esports.
Initially, it was felt that Pro View would allow interested streamers to view how pros play on a close-up, technical level. However, it’s quickly become a space for pros to act out and let personality and branding shine through, including trying to flog personalized merchandise and advertise their own social media.
At the moment, this has not been a real issue. And moments like Hansen produced in his Summer Split game will only enhance the reputation of Pro View further.
However, as with anything, there does come a point when this type of showboating will become a sore point. If a player takes things too far using Pro View, will there be a punishment?
And what would happen if another player showboated to amuse their Pro View fans, and their team then lost the game as a result? Such a move would likely see professionals rein in how they interact with viewers, at least for a short time.
Could you imagine if at League of Legends Worlds later this year one of the top teams was easily beating a qualifier and a player opened up a word game or sudoku to complete as the game was in progress? Some would find that hilarious, but others would find it offensive. So the onus is on the professional to use Pro View in a way that is memorable but not upsetting to other teams and players or those viewing.
What’s the future of Pro View?
While I can see live comms being part of Pro View in the future, I can’t see it working for team games, where members discuss strategic moves.
I do think there is real potential for Pro View to be used as a device to engage more with individual users and for pro gamers to promote themselves and their merchandise. I see no real problem with this provided it is done so tactfully and sensitively, perhaps on breaks in between games and with limits placed on hard selling to viewers.
Really, any innovation that offers streamers a new way to engage with esports is no bad thing. Pro View has and will continue to be a success.