Written by: Dave Throop
Dallas, Texas was the location for a special Quakecon this year with the release of Quake Champions, the revamped version of the world’s very first first person shooter esport. The game had long been stagnant, with the competitive scene being eclipsed in popularity by many of the newer titles that came after it and the same players continuously dominating each and every tournament. The release of Quake Champions gave this tournament a different feel however and that initial inclination that things could be different this time turned out to be very true.
The tournament featured a new mode called Sacrifice for four on four team based play, and offered a staggering $500 000 to those who could finish in the top three including $300 000 for the victors.
Alongside the Sacrifice tournament was Quake’s most traditional duel format, pitting players against each other in 1 on 1 matches to determine the best in the game.
While Quake has historically been dominated by a select few faces for the past decade the new team based gametype brought new talent into elite tier of competition. Team 2z qualified for the event through Europe’s qualifier and entered the tournament without anybody paying them much attention. This quickly changed over the course of the weekend as they swept every team including Team Liquid, a squad featuring Quake legend Shane ‘Rapha’ Hendrixson, on route to the finals. Here they found a European opponent in NotToFast that was able to find more success than anyone else had so far.
Securing a victory in game two, NotToFast evened the series and slowed 2z’s momentum. Ultimately it would prove impossible to stop however, and 2z were able to take games three and four to become the first Quake Champions. You can visit this page for the full bracket, placings and prize distribution from the sacrifice portion of the event.
In the duel bracket members of 2z proved they didn’t just work well as a team, but had tremendous individual ability to back it up. Nikita “Clawz” Marchinsky emerged as the victor at the end of the competition. Although he was set against his own teammate in the quarter finals, two members of 2z making it that deep into the 1v1 tournament demonstrated their immense skill.
In the finals Clawz was able to assert his dominance at will, and walked to a decisive 3-0 victory over the veteran Sander “Vo0” Kaasjager, who has been competing in Quake for over a decade. Doing so earned him another $100 000, making his weekend even more lucrative. The legendary Rapha was eliminated quarter final action. You can visit this page for the full bracket, placing and prize distribution from the duel portion of the event.
With new faces in the game and legends still competing, there is certainly a future for Quake Champions. The following two Quake Champions competitions will be taking place at upcoming Dreamhack events. Denver, Colorado will host the first October 20th-22nd while Dreamhack Winter December 1st-4th in Sweden will feature the second. All of that action will be broadcast live on the official Quake Champions Twitch stream.