The Overwatch League will utilize an entirely virtual stage for its Grand Finals broadcast, Activision Blizzard revealed Wednesday. With the help of cloud technology, individual cameras from multiple remote locations will be imported onto the set allowing the broadcast to place its commentary team (all of whom will remain at their homes) on a traditional live event desk.
Activision Blizzard also utilized a virtual set for the Call of Duty League’s championship event, however, the technology for that broadcast was not able to place talent into a virtual environment, instead utilizing screens within a digital setting.
Additionally, each of the four competing teams will remain entirely isolated from each other, also piped into the set remotely. The teams have traveled to a central location in order to reduce internet connection and lag issues, but will not be in the same room at any point during the competition.
As two of the only international championship events to take place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Overwatch League Grand Finals and the League of Legends World Championship have taken significantly different approaches to their broadcast. While both publishers flew their teams to a central location for competitive integrity, and kept their commentary teams at home, Riot Games chose to use a physical, socially-distanced set augmented by a multitude of screens and graphics, while Activision Blizzard went fully into the virtual world.