Final StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm video details competitive and eSports features

T.J. Hafer

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There's only about a week left in the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm beta . Then you'll have to hug your Brood Lord plushie and rock back and forth for a whole 13 days before the game officially launches. As expansion day fast approaches, Blizzard has released the last of its video previews, and this one focuses on the new eSports and competitive features.

Perhaps most significant is the ability to watch game replays with friends. So, if you're trying to coach your tryhard friend out of Bronze league, you can both analyze his games, and you can point out what he did wrong with no confusion about who should be pausing, and when. Politely, of course. I mean, minimal ribbing is to be expected. No, Evo Chamber before Pool is a totally valid strat. Just maybe don't do that ever again.

You'll also be able to take control of a replay from any point, assigning yourself and other observers to given player roles. More importantly, from an eSports perspective, you'll be able to resume a match from an earlier point if there's a network or other hardware failure. The client will even detect such irregularities as a sudden pause in keyboard inputs (which are almost never deliberate in the high actions per minute competitive scene) and create a "bookmark" to go back to. Personally, I'd still prefer a dedicated LAN client, even if it's only used for tournaments. But this is definitely an improvement, and can solve some issues (like keyboard/mouse failure) that LAN play wouldn't.

In case you missed it, here's the previous video on the new matchmaking features.

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