Today's editorial cartoon will be accompanied by an opinion piece from an Inven KR's journalist, Beom "Nswer" Park.
I love watching live streams. Even before the age of Twitch, I've been watching streams for almost a decade, and it still is my favorite pastime. I might look like a fool to some people, but funny quips and interesting games from streams are just way too fun for me to care what those people think.
For me, the biggest draw of live streams is that feeling of connecting with each other. You know that feeling of connection that you get when you watch your friends play a video game? It's kind of like that.
You'd make snarky comments about how bad they are, and they'd reply with snarky comebacks. You'd laugh when they fail to clear a difficult stage, and cry together when they eventually succeed.
It may look like a cheap thrill to some, but for me, it's the bread and butter of streaming.
When I heard that SKT T1 players were going to stream on Twitch, I was thrilled. As a long time fan of live streams, it would make my evenings much more enjoyable to say the least. Of course, I had some worries too. They might be the best on the Summoner's Rift, but they were newcomers in the wild world called Twitch.
Their fame and skills will make people flock to the streams, but would they be able to handle the infamous 'Twitch chat' and truly show the fans who they are?
Thankfully, my worries about the fanbase went away soon enough. SKT T1 players were natural-born streamers. Within less than a month, they created so many memes that it completely revolutionized the Korean LoL meme economy.
The players loved it too. Junsik "Bang" Bae revealed in an interview that he was enjoying the streaming so much, and so were Sanghyuk "Faker" Lee and Jaewan "Wolf" Lee.
Unfortunately, my worry about them being unable to show their true self became true in an unexpected but no less unfortunate way.
Back in February, the fans were up in arms about the problems that came with the SKT T1 streams. Among many problems, we were upset the most at how the Kongdoo Company's set-up prevented the fans and players from talking to each other directly.
Like we've said before, what the fans wanted were the players being themselves and expressing their genuine emotions. So Kongdoo Company made an apology, promising that they will cater more to what the fans wanted, and they kept the promise for a few weeks.
However, the promise has been broken, as last night's streams were no better than how they were back in February. Poor video quality, audio problems, being forced to hide donation messages and having to stream well past the midnight into a match day - all that we were upset about in February came back, and they came back with even more faults.
When a player requests for a pause in an official match, officials do whatever they can to fix the problem and resume the match as soon as possible with a courteous apology to fans and players. After all, eSports is supposed to revolve around professional gamers.
What happened with SKT T1 players and their streams didn't make it seem that way. SKT T1 players were treated like a third wheel in their own stream - twice. Kongdoo Company not only showed disregard to the players, but also to the fans as well by making an apology that they don't seem to care.
As someone who enjoys live streaming very much and loves the players doing what they like to do best, I couldn't help but to wonder why they are streaming if they can’t have fun and need to apologize and feel uncomfortable less than a day before their next match?
I'm not angry at Kongdoo Company just because someone else is contracted to operate live streams with SKT T1 players and broadcast it to other streaming services.
Instead, I'm furious because it devolved the players' streams, which both the fans and players loved, into chores that the players are forced to do.
Kongdoo Company will have to come up with a proper solution, and we won't just take a hollow apology as an answer this time. I hope Kongdoo Company will set their priorities straight so that the players can enjoy streaming as much as they deserve to.
Stream screenshots are from Faker, Bang and Peanut's Twitch channel respectively.