With QuakeCon 2017 wrapped up, I'd like to share a quick few thoughts I had as I was watching the event.

A new era?

With the combination of clawz winning the Duel event and 2z winning the Sacrifice event, we have whole lot of new players taking front and centre in the winner column this QuakeCon. It's been quite a while since we've seen so many unfamiliar names taking the top prizes in Quake LAN event, and this may signal the beginning of a new era (I'm aware these player have done quite well online). For a long time in this community the LAN scene has been dominated by names like rapha and cypher for a very long time now, and I don't think many people expected this Quake to be much different. It's not just that a guy like RAISY almost eliminated rapha, it's that manner in which some of the younger guys were beating the veterans. It can only be described as domination. I think one of the goals of Quake Champions appears to be to breath some new life into the competitive scene, which in the previous iterations of Quake had become quite stale, resulting in what appeared to be a lack of new top level talent. This breakthrough for the younger guys allows of for new narratives and rivalries to develop, which will in turn hopefully bring more interest to the game and the genre as a whole.

I'm not sure what happened but you have to imagine that players like rapha, fazz, Spart1e, toxic, and strenx must be disappointed in their duel results. These guys have reigned the duel scene in Quake 3, and Quake Live for the past decade and yet most of them did not fare so well. Is it age? An inability to adapt to the new format? A Lack of of time/preparation? Whatever it is, we saw the old guys get picked apart.

Vo0 & The Promoders.

A small contingent CPMA players managed to find their way into QuakeCon 2017, as gellehsak qualified for the Duel event, botmode, and sen qualified for the Duel and Sacrifice event with I Totem Teles, and Vo0 who managed to make into the Duel and Sacrifice events with his team myztro.

After initially failing to secure a spot in the duel event, Vo0 ended up catching a break as other qualified players experienced various visa issues and were forced to back out. I think it's fair to suggest that there was some pressure on Vo0 to prove that deserved to be there, and he did just that. After making out of his group (which actually featured the other finalist clawz), he managed to take down k1llsen, av3k, and DaHang in quick succession in the main event, before losing in the finals. His combination of experience, aim, aggression, and amazing movement had them twitch viewers gushing over-and-over again.

In general the small group of CPMA players did quite well, with both gellehsak and Vo0 making it out of their groups in duel, and the guys (botmode and sen) from I Totem Teles getting a map win from the European team, myztro, in Sacrifice.


...is still difficult to watch. There needs to be a way to reduce the amount of spectator discombobulation and more obvious ways of telling which player you are following, what team they're on, and generally, what the heck is going on... The amount of times the camera switched to a point-of-view of a dying player was unacceptable, just watch this clip for example. I think something as simple as using a flag over a "soul" would help? Players know what flags are, people are familiar with one-flag CTF, this isn't too far removed from and that id Software need to tap into the existing knowledge the community has. More so, having dynamic map trims which match the colour of the respective teams, at least in their area, would be greatly helpful as well.

Internet woes.

The first day of the event didn't go exactly as planned as an issue with the internet left the organizers with enough bandwidth to either have players play the game, or for the event to be streamed, and if they were going to stream the event then there wouldn't be enough bandwidth for the players to play... so the stream went down for a significant amount of time. Various audio/visual issues made it quite difficult for spectators to immerse themselves, and this plagued the event. In defence of the developers, there was very little they could've done to mitigate this issue. Hopefully, the next event does not have these problems.

Europe reigns.

Even though the Americas got a equal amount of spots, and the Aussies had a bunch of players flown over, this event was ALL about European players as the players and teams that qualified from the European regionals did exceptionally well. As a testament to their strength, only three North American players (DaHang, gellehsak, and rapha), and one Australian player ( astroboy) made it out of their respective groups and into the main event for Duel. Meanwhile a lonely North American team made it into the main event for the Sacrifice tournament and even they failed to get past their first opponent. It should mentioned that this is not an all "European" line up, as it's the mix of European and CIS based players. Before we get "EU > NA" that should be noted.

Casting Talent.

The casting and analyst talent was tour-de-force as id Software brought in all the names which had humble beginning casting Quake and have made it big in larger markets. Names such Redeye, 2GD, ddk, and TosspoT are familiar to gamers that have never heard of Quake, and they were compliemnted by newcomers to the game such Ketchup and Mustard, and die-hard Quake casters such as Jehar. However, considering the length of the tournament, it seemed a bit over-loaded, as the talent was thinly spread in an effort to give everyone on-screen time.

I must say, I was a bit disappointed to not see the_shpuld, and fnx-za at Quakecon. They have been steadily holding down the Quake Live duel scene for the past couple of years, and are excellent at what they do.