For example, goswser had a hell of a performance at MLG, unfortunately getting Rain in R4 but then beasting it up and proceeding to beat qxc, ToD, KawaiiRice, Caliber, making it into championship bracket where he defeated ThorZaIN (one game with a proxy hatch apparently) and almost taking down Polt too in a 1-2 score. However, I feel like he hasn't gotten a ton of attention for his run in MLG, and I don't think a single one of his games were streamed at all. Binski also had a pretty awesome tournament, taking down a lot of strong NA ladderers in SniXSniPe and PulseKitty, and then went on to face four EG members consecutively before finally falling in the LR8 right before championship bracket. I feel like that is a very cool storyline with great potential to be milked, giving fans a stake in rooting for either side and giving much needed exposure to lesser known players who have strong performances. Another great example of an awesome game that I heard about (and that viewers missed due to it not being streamed) was Scarlett vs HerO, game 3 championship bracket round 2. The game came down to 3 remaining buildings for Scarlett (she had 3 spine crawlers left) that she had to spread creep and walk with her army in order to prevent elimination, and she did it.
Perhaps it was because there were less of the "community casters" (I think there were less than normal this event or something) that created a scenario in which many games were not casted, but that is one way to increase the amount of exposure that can be provided/produced. What other ways can we increase exposure for these kinds of players? And how can we reduce the downtime on the stream? I think these go hand-in-hand with one another. Certainly it is not feasible to have all potentially exciting matches casted main stage. However I have a few ideas that I think are logistically quite easy to incorporate.
I think it would be a great idea for MLG to get one guy to be sort of an "open bracket reporter." This guy's job will be to follow the open bracket results, ask players if there were any awesome/exciting games, and to take notes on everything that's going on. He can be the perfect filler for the downtime on stream as he can come on and basically tell some of the important results that occurred. In addition, he can go through the replays of the good games (think Scarlett's 3 spine crawler or goswser's proxy hatch win) and have a short clip created for each interesting game, and this he can show on stream while waiting for the next match. I think this is a much better and detailed way to present tournament results compared to having viewers rely on Twitter MLGSC2Scores or Liquipedia. Instead of simply going to Liquipedia, seeing a notable player dropdown or be eliminated and being left wondering why or how that happened, we can get a short overview of what happened, maybe with a short clip or two of the games, and a nice filler that reduces the amount of down time in between main stage matches.
Another cool idea that I think would be awesome and easy for MLG to incorporate is to learn from HomeStoryCup Production. Instead of simply showing a blank screen with some music playing in the background or whatever it is on stream that leads to down time, they can take a handheld camera and basically just film anything. Film players eating, talking, fans interacting, people going to the bathroom, *whatever*! (Honestly I think just showing people going to the bathroom randomly would be pretty funny, and at least a pleasant change from the streams just having a camera permanently hovering over the same audience the entire tournament.) You can do short little mini-interviews that can correspond to the above mentioned "open bracket reporter" and get some of the player's opinions on the matches. Short little 30-45 second things that you can put in between each main stage match that helps people learn what happened on non-casted matches. Instead of the live audience sitting down simply staring at a picture of themselves for however many minutes it is before the next match, they get to see a little bit of what else is going on in the player pit behind them. All viewers get to see the players and learn more about them, see perhaps a bit of their personality, and start really rooting for someone if they are doing well in open bracket. It reminds me of when Scarlett was doing amazing at IPL 4(?) but got little to no coverage - if there was just a little bit of coverage after each one of her matches that was played in between the main streamed matches, for example a short clip or a short interview, it could really build up to produce an amazing storyline that people will REALLY want to see, and lead to great upcoming matches to put on stage. It's totally a win-win situation, as players get more exposure, viewers get a more dynamic viewing experience, and MLG gets a higher viewer count from people being more inclined to tune in at all times due to a higher entertainment value. At the very end of the day, MLG could do a HomeStoryCup-esque summary of the day, the ones with the awesome music and cool footage that is just super entertaining to watch. I remember looking forward to watching the end of the day footage every time from HSC, just because they were always so awesome! MLG already has some interactive polls and stuff, something that I think they could do even more of to give viewers more interaction, and I think this kind of extra coverage is possibly a great way for MLG to improve the viewing experience for everyone.
And if MLG is reading this, the short footage things are also an EXCELLENT way to promote sponsors as well. For example, you can just get live clips of those pretzel girls handing out the pretzels and interacting with the people at the event, and get some sweet shots of people enjoying the snack. Or, for example, get some clips of pros checking out the booths. For example, I went to go try out some Shootmania with my brother on Sunday and I think perhaps other pros might have gone and tried out some of the other games as well - you could get some really cool shots of pros and fans trying out games and visiting the booths, something that is interesting for viewers to watch and also makes them get some real interaction with what the sponsor is rather than simply a name/logo on the side of the stream.
In a nutshell - MLG was great as always and an awesome event. I think there are ways to make it even better, which is a win-win situation for everyone. There should be maybe one guy dedicated to following and creating content regarding open bracket progress - he can present this content in between main streamed matches. They could also intersperse that with some HomeStoryCup-esque handheld footage of players simply chilling out, eating, doing short interviews, going to the booths, fans doing stuff with the sponsors, etc. All of this can help increase exposure for players who get barely any coverage even if they perform very well, helps reduce downtime for the MLG stream (thereby giving viewers a better experience), and gives MLG a higher viewer count due to the higher entertainment value.
I wrote this basically because I kinda just thought about this throughout the past few MLGs, and thought I should spend a little bit presenting this idea in the hopes that perhaps MLG might take some of the suggestions to make a great event even more amazing. I remember when I worked a bit for ESEA coverage and I really wanted to increase the production value of ESEA (since to be honest, it was absolutely horrid) as well as increase the exposure for all the deserving (but lesser known) teams out there. I think MLG can also serve that purpose. Anyways, this is all just my 2 cents, and I wrote it pretty quickly so some parts might not be too cohesive, but I'm definitely curious to see what other people think! If you've got ideas as well I'd love to see them and I think this sort of discussion could help improve eSports for everyone