The observing in day one of DreamLeague Season 19 had some issues. But is this just early tournament bugs, or a bigger talent issue?

DreamLeague Season 19 kicked-off on April 9, and while the action was incredible, the game observing left something to be desired. Criticism flooded Twitter and Reddit following the first day of games. 

In particular, the observing for Gaimin Gladiators showdown with the ex-HellRaisers roster came under intense scrutiny, with many claiming on Twitter and Reddit that the action was flat-out being missed.

The observing had several issues, resulting in the ESL director of product, Shane Clarke, posting a quick statement on his Twitter: “Honestly the observing on some streams today on DreamLeague has been unacceptable. We will make changes for tomorrow.”

ESL attempting to fix the observing for DreamLeague Season 19

Memeleague is back, but despite the rest of the production being on point, the observing hasn't been top notch (Image via ESL)
Memeleague is back, but despite the rest of the production being on point, the observing hasn't been top notch (Image via ESL)

Observing is one of the most technical skills in esports, as you need to have great game sense, and the ability to anticipate where the action could be before it happens. Finding a good observer is incredibly difficult. Even TI11’s Last Chance Qualifiers had observing issues.

But a bigger problem comes that there’s just a finite amount of observing talent. We have come to know some of the best observers in the game through their prolific performances. Jonathan "PimpmuckL" Liebig, Rikard “skrff” Holm, and Johan "Weppas" Westberg are familiar names, and there’s a dozen more whose names aren’t quite as recognizable.

But ESL is operating eight (8!) concurrent streams in the group stage of DreamLeague S19. The event is also going on at the same time as DPC Div II, and ESL’s own European Pro League Season 8. While casters can step in as observers at a pinch, and every up-and-coming caster worth their salt has observed and solo-cast a game in their time, the production also needs 16 casters for all these DreamLeague games. Again they’re competing with DPC. And EPL. See the issue?

There’s also the chance that the fact it was Easter Sunday, after a bank holiday in many countries, means that the availability of talent was thin. If DreamLeague Season 19's observing is going to get better, then Monday is the best time to start. Luckily, if there’s any tournament organizer with the resources to throw at a problem like this, its ESL.

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