The Australian scene has had a long - and successful - history with Quake despite our geographical isolation and size. And with the Quake Champions million dollar tournament next month, there was hope that Australians would be well represented.
But when the global event was announced, Australia was left out in the cold, forced to compete against Americans and Europeans on their servers. So instead of sitting back and fuming, a couple of Australian teams have decided to ship our biggest Quake stars over to the US instead.
The two teams involved are Just A Minute Gaming and Corvidae. Corvidae is more known in the local scene for their Counter-Strike and League of Legends teams, while Just A Minute's Counter-Strike and Rocket League squads have made the most waves locally.
Irrespective of background, the support for the local Quake community comes at a welcome time. When the $US1 million Quake World Championships was announced, Australia was left out entirely, forced to qualify with 200+ pings. One Australian actually managed to do just that - Daniel "dandaking" De Sousa - although the prospect of shooting past America's best 32 players with a massive amount of lag is pretty much a death sentence.
Quake is a hard enough game as is, and that's with a good ping. Now imagine playing in an international qualifier for a $US1 million tournament on 200+ ping.
But if the playing field was even, Australians would stand a reasonable chance. And to give them the best chance of doing so, JAM and Corvidae respectively are flying Andrew "Python" Cha Cha, Daniel 'dandaking' De Sousa, Frazer 'FraZe' Hockley, and Tyler 'Steej' Joseph to the last qualifier BYOC competition at QuakeCon.
It's a formidable force to send over. Dandaking already showed his talent by qualifying through the online qualifier. Python, meanwhile, is one of Australia's most internationally experienced gamers, making regular appearances at international Quake tournaments for Australia over the last decade. FraZe isn't to be discounted either, having finished 5th at Quakecon's Quake Live tournament last year.
The fascinating element around this is how the community has rallied to ensure Australia gets some representation on the world stage, despite the barriers in front of them. The local Quake community has stood by the game through thick and thin, and they could have easily revolted when the lack of local qualifiers was announced. After all, our performance internationally certainly justified it (two Australians made the top 8 of the Quake Live competition last year, and dandaking has finished highly at Quake Live tournaments in the past).
Dandaking has already qualified for the Quake World Championships regional qualifiers, although that's an online tournament. He can play that tournament from the United States if he flies over in time, but if he chooses not to (and doesn't qualify) he's ensured a high seed for the QuakeCon BYOC tournament. That begins on August 24, and there might be a small chance of seeing some Aussies band together for the team-based Sacrifice event as well.