Some odd happenings going on with the finish last night. Still issues with camera switching which made it confusing as ■■■■. I’ve watched it 5 times to get my head round things. Which also led me to noticing the following oddness.
As you can see in the screenshot below Ian Bibby (I think, please sort out team names) is in second behind C.Brown.
Yet just a couple of seconds later he has disappeared. Possibly swamped by other riders but the time gaps don’t make sense
Cut forward 5 seconds and A.West is now clearly in front of Brown. The names haven’t switched places yet (lag?) on the right but Brown is now shown as being in 3rd place. Has he been overtaken by an invisible Bibby? Is this the most powerful Power-Up there is? Stealth Mode!
Then we cut to the finish line and suddenly Bibby is visible, just behind West taking the win. As we are following the lead rider we then miss Jon Mould taking Brown on the line for 3rd. Zwift please sort out some static cameras for the sprints and finish line.
I’ve re-watched this a few times, not becuase I’m trying to finding faults with Zwift to bash them with but because I was really confused when I watched it live and what you can see, or rather don’t see is Bibby overtake Brown. In the final few hundred metres Bibby drops off the rider list, disappears and then reappears just before the finish line. At some point I think West must have overtaken Bibby too. Let me make it clear at this point that I am in no way accusing Bibby of manipulating the software or cheating and I am not looking to tarnish his reputation in anyway at all. It’s unfortunate that it happens to be him but could be anyone.
So what I am saying? Well firstly, how can I believe the result? With riders popping into and out of view it makes it impossible to follow the finale of the race. I’m new to Zwift racing so I don’t really have any affiliations yet but imagine you are with Brown, cheering him on do you think he has got 2nd? 3rd? 4th? You just don’t know. DC Rainmaker has written a very good post about some of the limitations of Zwift racing looking at hardware and rider validation but he does not really touch on the validity of the software platform itself. I understand this first season is a proof of concept season but I have also read that there is prize money at stake, as well as pride and prestige of course. You better be damned sure of the results if handing out large sums of cash.
Then there is the fan experience which I slightly touched on. The end of the race was confusing, underwhelming and in places missing. Why have sprint and KOM competitions if you’re not going to show the results at the end of the race? Also, why, 12 hours after the event are there no results on the Zwift website, let alone a write up. It will probably follow some time today but this isn’t the 1930’s when you had to wait until the next days newspaper to get the results. At least Zwift are putting something on their website - this is the SuperLeague page on the KISS website.
This post is long and in parts negative but Zwift are putting money into this, which could be spent on game development. It’s a cycle though, raise the profile of the platform to attract more investment which benefits everyone, so it’s important that Zwift get feedback in order to optimise this new era of eSports and to make sure that it doesn’t fall flat on its face and step number 1 is to give fans confidence in the results.