In a column I previously wrote, I tried to think about what some of the factors of "success" might be for Quake Champions. Since then, PAX East happened, and even though we got a great deal of new information about the upcoming Arena FPS game developed by id Software, there is still a lot of information missing. Since the column was purely my personal opinion, I was curious what other people might think about that topic. So I sat down (not literally) for a short interview with Xavier 'Zoot' Dhorne, a well known figure in the Quake Live dueling scene.

Could you briefly introduce yourself to people who may not know you?

Hello, my name is Xavier Dhorne. I go by the alias of 'Zoot' and I'm a commentator/content creator in Quake Live. I'm 27, currently working full time and playing more video games than is probably good for me.

What is your involvement with Quake?

I've been playing Quake for a long time, started with Quake 3 in 1999 but actually became active in the online community in 2005. In 2011 I decided to start commentating and streaming tournaments in CTF and eventually moved on to duel, the mode that I now spend most of my casting time on. Since the end of university about 2 years ago, it's been a little quieter for me personally on the streaming side. I get involved still from time to time but I do have the ZLive Twitch channel expertly run by Shpuld and FNX in my absence. During peak times I was also casting at LAN events that QL was blessed with, but now I consider myself almost equally a player and a caster.

In your opinion, what are some key features Quake Champions needs to have to be played?

Well, this question could prompt a long answer. I might just write a shopping list of what I'd like to see in order to feel comfortable that there will be some longevity to the community's player retention.There's already a fair amount of information that we know in terms of champion profiles, game mode support and monetisation strategy. So I'll bullet point some things I'd personally like to see:
  • Casual and competitive matchmaking for all modes that they plan to support directly.
  • Spectator support for tournament matches so that people can view the games directly from Quake Champions and control the point of view themselves
  • Spectator features so that we can see some interesting statistics while the game is going, and not having to fill the entire screen with a busy scoreboard in order to view the data (Of course, could request unlimited amounts of features at this point – but I'd be happy to seeing continuous updates in this area.)
  • Tournaments run by id Software and featured in-game, allowing players to sign up as and when they wish. Adding seasons as well.
  • Team/Clan options.
  • Detailed tutorials for people getting into the game.
  • Strong anti-cheat.
  • Community-run servers.
  • Releasing 'loot boxes' where part of the funds support either mapmakers, tournaments, teams, season champions and so on.
  • The business model behind the game is critical of course, but being able to provide a trading platform for in-game items can be a nice bonus to community activity.
  • I don't want picmip 16 necessarily, but being able to have significant enough video and game options to optimise the game to one's rig and gaming preferences is important for veteran gamers.
  • How can I forget maps, there needs to be a sizeable map pool. And people should be able to select a range of maps that they would like to play in matchmaking.
Now, there's probably a bunch more features that I could try to think of. However, having a pipeline for the game that includes a large portion of the above would demonstrate id and Bethesda's intentions to be a serious, competitive and modern arena FPS.

If you could wish for one specific feature in Quake Champions, what would it be?

Anti-cheat. In order for an FPS game to hold any kind of integrity, anti-cheat is an absolute necessity. I'd be happy to patiently wait for any other feature as long as there is a strong anti-cheat. If it's not good then it causes too much paranoia and toxicity in the community, and that can become unbearable at times.

Where can people find you and your content?

For social media you can catch me on Twitter @ZLiveTweets and Facebook.
For our content you can check out Youtube and our stream on Twitch.