One of the world’s biggest StarCraft events began earlier today, but fans in the West aren’t happy about where they have to to watch it.
The StarCraft Star League, which awards points towards the annual World Championship Series, is one of the first major Legacy of the Void events. But fans reacted badly to being pointed to a new streaming platform to watch the event—DingIt.
DingIt requires a unique plug-in to be downloaded in order to view streams. Viewers have reported issues with the plug-in, claiming it uses up an inordinate amount of system resources and redirects users to sites that try to install malware without their knowledge.
On the other hand, alternative streaming sites like DingIt, Azubu and Hitbox provide tangible benefits for tournament organizers: They often provide more guaranteed funding for events, as some organizers have pointed out.
Luckily for fans, the event’s previously used Azubu channel whirred into life shortly before it started—though official channels and event casters only directed people to the DingIt link. The Azubu channel still listed information for the 2015 SSL event, so it’s not clear if using this channel was a planned move or a hasty reaction to the DingIt backlash.
Update 3:09pm Jan. 12: DingIt sent the following email to Dot Esports in response to this article:
The DingIt plugin is technology created in partnership with Akamai, the world’s largest CDN network with 70% of the CDN market. The plugin works as a bridge between a user’s browser flash player and the stream data. It is required because the DingIt platform uses a video-efficient network protocol that needs to be decoded by the plugin before the browser can understand and display the stream. This has multiple benefits including 27x less buffering, the same or better quality on lower bit rates compared to other platforms and global lag-free viewing experience.
There is quite a lot of misinformation about the plugin, mainly claiming it uses P2P technology or that it is being used for advertising. The DingIt platform does not use P2P and the plugin doesn’t do anything other than decoding the stream itself. For users who don’t want to install the plugin, we also developed a Chrome extension that is available through the Google Play store and mobile apps that can be downloaded both from the Google Play store and Apple App store.
To read exactly what the plugin does, please see the client-side technology FAQ for more detailed information.
Regarding the need for ad blockers to be turned off; creating good quality content is not free for us or for our broadcasters. We prevent ad blockers from being used so that we can support our content creators and events more than any other platform is able to. We have found that most viewers do not mind this as they too want to support the events and broadcasters they love in any way they can. Some people cannot afford to subscribe or donate to channels so turning ad block off is a small price to pay to continue the growth of eSports and live-streaming as a whole. Our adverts are inserted during breaks in the stream so they do not interrupt the great eSports we are all trying to watch! We are aware in the past that ad quality has been varied and in the instances where we saw undesirable adverts, we took action immediately. DingIt is constantly looking for ways to improve the experience for our viewers, which includes the types of ads we carry.
We are thrilled to be working with SPOTV with the Starcraft2 Star League. It is an amazing event and we are excited to see the great games this season has to offer!
Image via EN_SC2_starleague/Azubu