Faker’s Twitch Debut Was a Loss of Identity for the World’s Best

By   /   Feb 7, 2017

For the past week, the entire SK Telecom T1 lineup has been streaming regularly on Twitch. This includes Bae “Bang” Jun-sik, Kang “Blank” Sun-gu, Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, Han “Peanut” Wang-ho, Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan, even head coach Kim “kkOma” Jung-gyun at some points. However, the only player not appearing on-screen was star mid-laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok.

It is unknown as to why the world’s best League of Legends player was left out. At the time, it was assumed that there were delays in the creation of his official Twitch channel. Following yesterday’s events, it is more likely that the SKT management was purposely holding off Faker’s Twitch debut for a grand showcasing.

Faker went live last night, breaking a major Twitch record on his first day on the popular streaming platform. Within hours, he was being watched by 245,100 concurrent viewers; thus, setting a new record for an individual streamer.

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Unfortunately, the stream was marred by various issues that were a result of the management simply trying too hard to make Faker’s Twitch debut something special.

Having a translator throughout the live session was a sound decision on the management’s part. However, to the viewers, it felt more like they were interacting with the translator instead of Faker himself.

This loss of identity manifested itself when it was revealed that the person talking on the stream was not Faker but the translator. Additionally, all questions and comments posted by viewers were being screened by the translator as well. Fans felt betrayed, conveying that it should be Faker himself who decides what to read and who to reply. Seeing the translator cut off Faker in the middle of his sentences also didn’t help matters.

Going past the communications aspect, the stream itself had quality issues. It was later revealed that Faker was not directly streaming on Twitch from his computer. Instead, his stream was being directed to a private channel which was then forwarding the broadcast to Twitch. The result was a stream compromised in terms of both visual and audio fidelity. There was also an annoying delay between the stream and chat.

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At some point between Faker’s grand Twitch debut and catering to an international audience, the management overlooked several aspects that make streaming fun and entertaining. Isolating Faker from his fans by putting a wall in-between will not prove beneficial in the long run.

Hopefully, lessons learned from last night will reflect in future streams. You can follow Faker’s Twitch channel here.