The first ever European Quake Live Nations cup officially started January 19th 2009, which is about 2 weeks ago.
A total of 16 teams will be competing in 4 groups for a total of 8 tickets to the playoffs in March.
The winning team takes home the bragging rights ànd an honorable spot on the Quake.cz “No Hunting Sign” (which is basicly just a road sign with the signatures of the whole id software crew on it 😛 ).
In the next few days I will do 4 more post dedicated to Quake.cz’s QL TDM Nations Cup. I will write up an overview of all the 4 groups and discuss the teams, players and the odds of each one advancing to the final 8 (or “the playoffs”).
For the purpose of this Nations Cup coverage I mailed all the captains some general questions. Most of the captains replied very extensively and I am all of them very thankful for that!
But first things first. Let’s start by finding out a bit more about the TDM Nations Cup in general. How were the teams formed? What are the coverage possibilities and where do we position the Quake Live beta in all this?
The Nation Teams
Some people were initially unsure if there would be any interest in the Quake Live Nations Cup. There are already several other Nation Cups running in Quake 3 and the competitive game play features in the Quake Live beta are not really there yet.
Nonetheless captains everywhere emerged and took the initiative to gather a team. Either they contacted known veteran players from Quake 3 or they organized trials and tried to find unknowntalent.
Quake Veterans Dominate the Lineups
It’s needless to say that most of the lineups, if not all, consist of players who already have quite a history in the Quake 3 scene. Some of the many recognizable old school names you may encounter are: [netherlands] Draven, [sweden] proZaC, [france] AppleSeed, [uk] deus, [belgium] VeRTeX, [sweden] Spart1e, [france] Strenx, [italy] Booms, etc…
It’s great to see these names still playing Quake after all these years. Yet in time, when Quake Live hits it big, a new generation of Quakers should rise up and take on the competitive Quake Live scene as well.
New talent in Quake Live wanted!
Several of the captains I contacted gave me what seemed like a clear signal: it’s time for some new blood in Quake!
Old school veterans these days are more often than not occupied with other things in life besides Quake. A family or career and even World of Warcraft comes to mind.
[sweden] Azmo: (…) Still, the biggest problem is probably time, people are busy, personally I’m pretty preoccupied with the upcoming birth of my first child, so now you know why if I were to leave midgame 😉
In their search of new blood several nations held tryout sessions. Probably the most successful tryouts were held in the [uk] UK Quake Live community, where over 20 players turned up for a chance to represent their country.
Eventually the UK captain [uk] Disrepute decided to form an additional UK B team next to the UK A line up. The UK B team played a qualifying match for the 16th spot against the [poland] Poland B team and ended up losing after an epic confrontation in which 2 out of 3 maps were decided by one frag during sudden death.
Is Quake Live ready for a Nations Cup?
All good and well. But is it really a good idea to have a Quake Live Nations Cup already, considering the game’s still a beta?
[poland] Nergal: I think it is rather bad idea, but if people are willing to play… hey, why not? 🙂 Technical aspect of the game still lacks of some basic commands like lock, timeout or coach. Servers are not optimized for 4v4 gameplay either.
It’s a fact that the Quake Live beta still lacks some basic competitive game play features. Id software is still in the process of tweaking the Quake Live core game play features. Yet so far this hasn’t seemed to hinder most teams from playing their matches.
[belgium] Impulse: Private servers would be a godsend but with some respect towards and from other players there should be no problem to get 2 entire teams on a fair server and start playing.
[uk] Disrepute: (…) As for if I think Quake Live is ready, well if you can play the game then its ready enough. I come from games with far less features that managed to play nations cups so its fine, the only regret is that nobody can really watch any of the games and if it wasn’t for the great shout casting from Hawr1x it would feel a bit dead.
In time, as Quake Live’s core development comes to a close, the id software crew will start implementing competitive game play features as well. Private servers, a GTV alternative and automatically generated tournament brackets are just a few things we could expect to see (as mentioned in the Marty Stratton Interview).
Return of shout cast Legend djWHEAT!?
Yet the good news doesn’t seem to stop there. Just recently at esreality.com djWHEAT announced his return to Quake as a shout caster. The general gaming public might know him from his work at the Championship Gaming Series. Yet the diehard Quakers still remember him from the legendary live shout casts during the big Quakecon, CPL and ESWC events. If djWHEAT decides to stick around for a while, some greater than great things may still lay ahead of us.
Nations Cup Coverage
Even though there’s currently a lack of competitive features and the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) disallows anyone to publish in game footage, some basic coverage of the Nations Cup is still possible.
The Czech Quake Community has successfully organized and covered nation cups in the past and they can definitely do it successfully again, even in Quake Live.
Here’s an overview of all the efforts done so far to get the games going and keep people updated about the matches:
- Live shout cast by Hawr1x (be on IRC at #ql.cz when matches are running to get the ip)
- Endless updates about the cup progress on IRC (#ql.cz) by Hawr1x/Mad
- Demos of the games to be published on the beta forums
- Weekly updates on Esreality with the latest Nation Cup News
- And last but not least … video reviews of played and upcoming matches (still to be made, also by Hawr1x)
The fact that so many teams signed up for this Nation Cup shows that the organizers are very well respected and their efforts are greatly appreciated. From what I’ve seen in the first few matches I can do nothing but praise them as well. I hope as many teams as possible show up to play their matches, so all teams (except for one) can get knocked out in style. 🙂
[italy] Stermy: Just wanted to thank my team mates for doing their best and also thank quake.cz for organizing so many quake tournaments lately. I am sure that will help the community to grow again.
For a more in depth overview of all the groups and teams, check back here at holysh1t.net in the next few days. You can subscribe by mail or rss to receive the news delivered by google in your mailbox, as soon as there’s an update. All the links to the official pages of the Event can be found in our Quake.cz Nations Cup overview.
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