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Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Treyarch Has Big Plans For Call of Duty: Black Ops II E-Sports

Powerful tools for shoutcasters and prospective live streamers are part of a big push on Activision and Treyarch’s efforts to make Call of Duty: Black Ops II a top-tier e-sports title.

Professional and amateur shoutcasters (or “CODcasters” as Activision refers to them, but let’s all agree that’s a dumb non-word and move on) can take control of their broadcast to a much greater degree than simply choosing which player’s eyes to look through. While commenting on a match, or patching through a team’s voice communications to viewers, casters can bring up a larger tactical map and a detail-rich picture-in-picture display. The map shows where every player is on a 2D overhead view and notes whether they’re minimap-visible to opponents. The picture-in-picture view presents a snapshot of current scores, killstreaks, and objective statuses like who is carrying the flag. At all times, a scoreboard keeps track in the top-middle of the screen, while a prominent nameplate occupies the lower-left corner any time the broadcast is following a specific player.

A former e-sport pro ran a live match broadcast for attendees of a pre-Gamescom Activision event in Cologne, Germany as a demonstration of the technology. The whole setup works seamlessly, and should be a great boon to the e-sports community, which until now has often been forced to work with simple spectator-cam streams.

Built-in livestreaming works hand in hand with improved shoutcasting tools. Any player with the requisite upstream bandwidth can livestream a multiplayer match of Black Ops II, optionally including a USB camera view of (presumably) his or her own face. The stream is viewable on any device that can view a standard video stream, as proof of which Activision had staff walking around showing live streams running on iPads. It is unclear whether streams are accessed by simple web links or another method. Shoutcasters connect to matches through the game, and can stream their casts through the same technology.

Even players with no desire to watch streams of other gamers shooting each other will benefit from another e-sports friendly addition to Black Ops II: league play. This matchmaking mode works similarly to StarCraft II, with players broken out into divisions by skill level and matched against others within their division in hopes of creating closer matches. Black Ops II league play takes place in seasons like League of Legends does, so you’ll have a periodic clean slate to try and improve your performance from.

These improvements are great news for e-sports fans, but they come with some limitations. The CODcasting (ugh) feature only works for custom games and local play live; league play and public match games can only be casted with the new tools by doing so over a theater replay. Live streaming will be limited by Activision’s own network capacity and meeting an unspecified minimum number of viewers. In fact, live streaming is unlikely to make it for launch though it looks like the casting tools are in for sure. Additionally, live streaming only works for league play. Neither feature looks to be coming to the co-op Strikeforce mode or single-player in any fashion.

How streaming, casting, and league play fit into Call of Duty Elite is unknown at this time, and Treyarch deferred answering all questions on Elite and Black Ops II to a later date.

What will it take to get you to watch a Black Ops II stream? November 13 isn’t that far off.

  • Unless they work on their servers, and latency issues you can count me out of the COD wagon. I dont see how the developers wont get of their high chairs, and see all the complains when it came to Black Ops, and MW3. Unvelievable that after all this time MW2's connection is still perfect.

  • I have not had fun with a COD game since MW2 I hope this one is the game changer the series needs but I doubt it.

  • "Boon". It means favor.

  • I've never been able to play one game enough to get into clan matches or such without a bombastic team and a good match up, but all these features seem built for people like me who love the concept, but don't want to get destroyed by a super team way above my league.

  • Halo 2 and 3 will always be the king of FPS e-sports. Hopefully Halo 4 will bring Halo back to the main stage but from the videos I've seen, it's not looking too promising. :(
  • I am some what confused here but I'll roll with what the article says lolulz.
  • This would have been cool to have when I still played CoD and recorded a few matches.

  • i don't care, im not about to spend money on a fixed up version of the last game....yeah show all kinds of vids showing nothing, but how does it progress the genre, its gonna be the same old one trick pony.......... its this kind of seller thats killing the industry, and we are at fault, buying crap and we will contiue to get crap...... they touted all kinds of new inovations for mw3, lambs to the slaughter.... i guess, as long as u get your kill streaks...............right?
  • what Bobby responded I'm stunned that a single mom able to make $7701 in one month on the internet. did you look at this (Click on menu Home more information)
  • So I pretty much suck at COD, my mate who I play with is pretty damn good (ok annoyingly good). So what happens with this whole league thing when we team up?

  • i end of playing CoD games in mw3...

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  • Meh. Won't use it.

  • I could care less. I want to know how the core LEGACY gameplay is going to change. The simple fact is that it's not. Its the same engine that MW1 ran on, which is now almost 6 years old. The reason that Blops looked and sounded the way it did was the lack of innovation in terms of straight game quality. Gameinformer can love Blops for the small things they added to progression and the small things that MW3 added to progression... but I hope they start to realize that they can't give 9's to this series forever.
  • This might be the first COD I actually buy, its not exactly modern anymore. I like that futuristic aseptic.

  • no offense if this is you, but people that commentate vidjagames need to be shot to death irl

  • Treyarch pushing the franchise forward with infrastructure and tools yet again. How they are still considered to be the team "playing catchup" is beyond me,
  • You know, the problem MLG had with CoD wasn't the was that no one wanted to watch the was too boring, and they didn't get the viewers they needed to support the circuit.

  • Uh...? What..? I see the letters in there and I know they probably form words and all, but what are you on about? CODcasting? Is that some backwoods fly fishing terminology I'm supposed to understand? Is this Bass Weekly? Where am I again..?

  • happen picture airplane attack person destroy soldier

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