The good:

  • They started on-time.
  • Starcraft was played by big name players.


  • 480p stream’s video choked every 10 seconds. I was not alone in this. Not sure if that’s on the jtv side or not, but considering that the video was also a half second out of sync with the audio, I’m taking the ‘not’ side of that bet.
  • Despite all the pre-launch puffery, they were apparently unable to land a single sponsor. Mhmm.
  • Black jackets over tshirts are apparently in vogue for commentators, and I hate it. Fix up, look sharp, and find something with a collar.
  • Audio-wise, they haven’t a fucking clue what they’re doing. NONE. It infuriates me that I could have told you as a seventh grader that the headworn mics they’re using are total shit for the application they’re using them for. Buy a pair or two of these headsets, get a fucking compressor, find a decent mix operator, and then you won’t have to worry about peaking out when you decide to simultaneously scream about the BANELINGS ON THE FORGE OMG.
  • Totally upstaged and outclassed in every regard by Dreamhack. Horrible timing for these guys.

It only takes boatloads of hype to get people to tune in for the first time; anybody can take a foot to an air pump. It took me the better part of a decade to figure out what gets esports viewers to tune in the second time. Coming to this conclusion prompted me to put my content production outfit on hiatus for a while and regroup…or just hang it up, because I had lost focus completely on what’s important. Allow me to share that with you (very much in order of importance):

  • Unobtrusive commentary from a knowledgeable, known commentator who is comfortable behind the mic, and who is genuinely interested in what they’re calling.
  • A match that matters between good players/teams.
  • Audio production of unassailable quality.
  • Video that’s not distracting or jarring to watch, at a good enough resolution.

That’s it. On this list, the NA Star League could generally be given 1.5 out of 4. The Dreamhack coverage earlier nailed everything.

Substance > hype every fucking time.