Good news Quake fans: Bethesda’s putting $US1 million of prizes on the line! Bad news: you’ll have to play on American or European servers if you want a chance at winning.
The big announcement for Quake Champions during Bethesda’s E3 conference was the Quake World Championships, a tournament showcasing the best duellers and the team-based Sacrifice mode. $US1 million in prizes would be split across the two modes, with qualifiers starting at the end of this month and the finals being held at Quakecon on August 24-26.
Australia has a long-standing Quake community, so a major tournament was always going to be welcome news. There’s just one problem: the qualifiers for the championships are being held online, and they’re only being held on American and European servers:
NOTE: All Qualifiers will be played on NA or EU servers. However, other regions can participate in these Qualifiers with higher latency. NA includes the Americas and Australia, and EU Europe, Russia and Asia.
For a twitch shooter with as high a skill ceiling as Quake, the prospect of “oh you can just play on a higher ping” is … a little insulting. It would be slightly different, albeit not by much, if this was League of Legends or Dota. Australians have a long history of competing in international online cups with sub-optimal pings, and occasionally doing very well.
But trying to play a competitive FPS with potentially a 150 or 200 milliseconds disadvantage – which isn’t far off the average reaction speed for most humans, and gamers are traditionally a little quicker – is almost a death sentence. That’s coupled with the fact that Quake Champions will still be in beta by the time of the qualifiers, meaning that gamers will be battling any issues with the client or netcode that crop up as well.
The only other option is for players to compete at a BYOC duel tournament at QuakeCon on August 24, with the top 8 players from that tournament going through to the finals. There’s no offline pre-qualifer for the team-based Sacrifice mode, however.
For reference, here’s all the times and dates currently announced for the Quake World Championships:
Online Qualifiers for Duel Competitors
The top 32 Duelers from each region qualify for Regionals, to be played online.
Duel Qualifier #1 EU: June 29, July 2 NA: June 30, July 2
Duel Qualifier #2 EU: July 6, July 9 NA: July 7, July 9
Duel Qualifier #3 EU: July 13, July 17 NA: July 14, July 16
Duel Qualifier #4 EU: July 20, July 23 NA: July 21, July 23
Online Qualifiers for 4v4 Sacrifice
The top 8 Sacrifice teams from each region qualify for Regionals, to be played online.
Sacrifice Qualifier #1 EU: July 1-2 o NA: July 15-16
Sacrifice Qualifier #2 EU: July 8-9 o NA: July 22-23
Regional Finals, Duel and Sacrifice
The top 12 Duelers and the top 4 Sacrifice teams from each region qualify for the QuakeCon finals.
EU Regionals (Leicester, UK): August 5-6
NA Regionals (Burbank, CA): August 5-6