By Marissa Hondros
Editor’s note: This amazing staff artwork is brought to you by new FBI staffer and talented artist Marissa Hondros. You’ll be seeing a lot more of these in the future, but it’s only right to start off this shiny new reveal with the creator herself!
I love watching quidditch.
Now, there’s nothing quite like playing, but watching the sport you love as a spectator is always a great perspective.
Watching streams of major tournaments has become a sort of hobby of mine. I have yet to go to Nationals, but for the last three years I have had all the streaming tabs open and ready, twitter at my fingers, a beer in my hand, and swag covering every inch of my skin. I arranged streaming parties, made QuidCup drinking rules, and spent hours making sure my makeup, jewelry, and clothing represented each team I was rooting for. I always made sure the Boise State Abraxans, Crimson Elite, and Utah State Quidditch Club got all my love.
Swag on swag on swag.
I’m going to say it right now: this year had the best streaming I have ever seen at Nationals. I have spent other years audibly frustrated at my laptop when streams refused to load and nobody was live-tweeting the one game I was waiting to watch. I didn’t have that problem this year, and, as a long distance spectator, it made my experience more enjoyable.
USQ did several things right this year. The different camera angles were great and the camera they used was nice and clear. Having a snitch cam in the corner while still filming the chaser game was a great addition and made it easy to be involved in both aspects of the game, especially when the score was close. The score and time boards looked nice and professional and prevented the flood of “what score is it”/ “who’s playing again” comments. The commentator was entertaining and did a really nice job keeping the audience involved with the game. Streaming on YouTube instead of Livestream was a better way to get views and a more consistent stream than Livestream has been in previous years. Streaming on Facebook (shout out to The 8th Man, Hoops, Hops, and Heels, and Silicon Valley Skrewts Quidditch) was also a great way to get views and easier than Livestream.
Really not kidding about that color coordination.
As well as everything went this year, there are still persisting streaming issues. First of all, USQ’s main YouTube channel streams were not working, and so they had to set up a separate account just for streaming. They named the second account USQuidditch, but if you tried to search it on YouTube it just brought you back to the main US Quidditch page, which was slightly annoying. I would suggest naming it a bit more different. Secondly, the fact that YouTube can only stream one pitch at once is a downer. The good thing about Livestream is that there was at least the option of recording multiple pitches at once. I’m glad that T8M, HHH, and SVS all made efforts to shoot other fields and games, but in an ideal world all pitches would have equal recording time and quality of recording, but I don’t think that will come until the sport becomes more professional.
It’s important to stay in style, even when you’re the only one watching.
All in all, I think using YouTube and Facebook to stream Nationals was a huge success because it was more accessible to a larger amount of people. The commentators were fantastic, the video quality was good, and using different camera angles really improved the experience and made it feel more professional. Hopefully in the future I can make it to Nationals and not have to rely on video to watch and cheer on my teams, but, until then, I look forward to seeing how USQ can improve the visibility of the sport.