Facebook is trying to tackle major technical problems facing its streaming platform in the wake of Dota 2 fans threatening to boycott professional Esports League games.
Guy Cross, Facebook’s head of games partnerships for North America, told Polygon the company is listening to viewer feedback and taking it very seriously.
“We are very aware of the charged feedback our community is giving us, our partners about the experience over the past week,” Cross said. “We are definitely committed to this and solving it as fast as we can to make the experiences great on Facebook in the near term, as well as building for the long haul. Dota’s community is one of the biggest on Facebook, and they matter a lot to us. We feel a great responsibility here and I think we’re going to be able to make amazing strides.
“But we hear it, and we’re acting as fast as we can to fix this with our partner.”
Facebook’s head of creators, John Imah, added that it’s important to the company to be transparent about the technical capabilities and restrictions of its streaming technology.
“All the game creators that we worked with, it’s about being transparent about where we are, and our platform, with our products and where we’re going,” Imah said.
Cross did not suggest when a fix could be implemented to the service, which will come as unfortunate news for the Dota 2 community. Although there’s been concerns over Facebook’s streaming platforms in the past, the new wave of frustration occurred just after the ESL One Genting tournament kicked off. The tournament includes a prize pool of $400,000 and a chance to win qualifying points for Valve’s annual Dota 2 grand tournament, The International.
Viewers complained of major technical problems, turning to unauthorized streams on Twitch and DotaTV as alternative viewing options. Ulrich Schulze, the senior vice president of product at ESL, addressed the streaming problems during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session on Wednesday, apologizing for the issues affecting fans.
“Let me apologize on behalf of ESL and Facebook for the issues you’ve experienced throughout the start of our ESL One Genting broadcast,” Schulze wrote. “The technical issues should not have happened and the fact that the viewing experience on the Facebook platform is not yet where they or us want it to be, is clear from the feedback you’ve given. It is something everyone involved has been working on around the clock — but obviously that is not enough at this point.”
Cross’ statement comes on the day Facebook is announcing its Game Creator Pilot program, which marks the company’s first major foray into streaming territory and its attempt to compete with Twitch and YouTube.