Valorant observers play a crucial role in delivering an engaging experience for viewers at home. But sometimes, some of them get a little frisky.
During timeouts in certain VCT games, you might have noticed the camera circling agents’ crotches or peering up their derrière, much to the bemusement of casters and audiences.
As it turns out, not everyone is equally amused. One Valorant observer was even told to avoid this practice, so you can expect a more decorous view of Breeze’s sweeping panoramas or one of its hidden sloths instead.
“I haven’t technically gotten into trouble for the agents’ butts during timeouts. But I have been told to avoid it in the future. Honestly I’m stupid and I shouldn’t have even started it,” joked observer Melanie “mel” Hoi-San Man in a Reddit AMA thread.
But there’s a little more that goes into esports observing than just peering at agents’ rear-ends, or simply spectating star players in the hopes that they drop multiple kills. In a new Riot Games video, mel sheds more light onto what exactly goes on behind the scenes during a live stream.
A day in the life of a Valorant observer
Observers usually work in teams of two, with one point-of-view observer and another cinematic (or free cam) observer. The cinematic observer works on showing things like top-down views of site executions, while the POV observer is focused on a single player.
Their job is to present a clear view of the action that’s happening on screen and help viewers understand plays that pros are setting up.
“Being an observer is about being a good video editor. You have to show the right things at the right moments and not make it seem boring,” explained mel.
It is also extremely unforgiving, because every single choice they make goes live instantly. “You can’t make any mistakes,” said mel. “It’s kind of heartbreaking if you are on a person and on the scoreboard you see a lot of kills you’re just missing.”
There is also a difference between observing more tactical Tier 1 teams and the more scrappy gameplay of the Tier 2 scene, according to mel.
In a Tier 1 game, it is easier to see what every player is doing because of the more disciplined structure, where duelists are finding entry kills and support players are helping to set their team up.
In comparison, Tier 2 games are more like all-out brawls that lack cohesion. They are easier to observe, but harder for the viewer to understand because the observer ends up switching from player to player with no clear reason.
To date, mel has served as an observer in VCT EMEA, North America, and Southeast Asia tournaments, in addition to VCT Game Changers.
You can watch the full video below.