Image: Reddit (u/Headless_Cow)
Remember the Aussie who forced his way through an online Quake Champions qualifier on crappy ping? Well there was a second round of qualifiers for the Quake World Championships over the weekend, and despite having an atrocious ping yet again, that didn't stop Daniel "dandaking" De Sousa from carving some Americans up. Again.
Last time we checked in with dandaking, a veteran Aussie Quake champion, he was busy slogging his way through an online Quake Champions tournament. The tournament was for the million dollar Quake World Championships at QuakeCon later this year, but with no local qualifiers, Aussies were forced to battle Americans on their turf.
Unsurprisingly, most Australians fell at the final hurdle. Dandaking pulled a rabbit (or three) out of the hat, however, and battled his way into the second round of qualifiers.
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.
Bethesda and id are holding two regional qualifiers for the Quake World Championships, both of which are online events. They're tournaments with the best 32 players from each region, with the top 12 earning a direct invite to the finals at QuakeCon. From a practical perspective, that meant either making it through to the quarter finals of the upper bracket, or surviving four rounds in the lower bracket.
Things started well enough, with the Australian winning the first round. His second match was broadcast on the official stream, and it didn't take long for before space and time started bending.
Both players had relatively high pings, perhaps in a small concession to how miserable playing online games from Australia can be, although there was still a ping differential of 100+ between the two players:
Tomservo won the first map in a nailbiter, and slapped the Aussie around fairly thoroughly on the second. That put dandaking down into the lower bracket, where he promptly began flogging Americans left and right.
The final qualifying match between dandaking and Pit was tight throughout: the Aussie found himself a map and two rounds down, putting him a whisker of being knocked out. On top of that, his opponent had the benefit of playing in the studio the regionals were being streamed from. But with one champion left in the brink of sudden death, Pit made a brief mistake with the timing of an armour pickup - creating a situation where the two players found themselves within inches of each other, with the Australian having the armour advantage.
Having seen the Australian carve his way through the first online qualifiers, players were infinitely more wary of him the second time around. That bore out in most of the matches, which were defensive, pokey affairs, with players keeping their distance and trying avoid needless long range fights.
Experience ended up being the difference, with Pit making a few mistakes too many. You could see it on stream at the end, as Pit held his head in his arms, undoubtedly disappointed in himself:
Still, it's worth remembering how stacked the deck was against the Aussie in the first place. Qualifying for the top 32 on American servers was tough enough. Making the top 12, and playing the final with 272 ping no less, is beyond absurd.
To his credit, dandaking's reaction afterwards was typically Australian:
— JAMastroboy (@JAMastroboy) August 6, 2017
If nothing else, Australia now has at least one representative in the duel section of the Quake World Championships later this month at QuakeCon. For a country and community that has stuck by Quake for so long, only to get left out of the qualifiers, that's a ridiculous accomplishment.
A few other Australians, as we've reported, will also be fighting for a spot through the BYOC qualifier. Given past international performances, it's expected that at least one or two Aussies will join dandaking in the finals. But for now, at least one Quake player has done the country proud.