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QuakeCon - where a chick without a bra matters

By Michal 'Carmac' Blicharz
Aug 12, 2008 19:36

ImageI came to QuakeCon expecting a festival celebrating id Software's best games and their champions. I went home ashamed and disheartened.

The order was obvious to me: first id's games and fun, then esports and champions. I didn't expect to see the best esports event in history. I expected a LAN party aimed to entertain the casual gamer rather than the most hardcore of hardcore with a pinch of esports.

What I did not expect was that QuakeLive, the game I thought should be promoted - of all events - at QuakeCon, would be treated like it was by id Software.

When John "ZeRo4" Hill and Alexei "Cypher" Yanushevsky showed up in the ballroom for the final, they were told that there was not enough time to play a full final. They were given the option to either play the final in a one-map system (where ZeRo4 needed two maps to win) or play best of threes with a time limit of 10. The players agreed to neither so a possibility of finishing the grand final back at the BYOC area was considered should it take too long.

But while watching the closing ceremony of QuakeCon ran by id CEO Todd Hollenshead and QuakeLive producer Marty Stratton you would never have guessed that time was an issue.

Feast your eyes:

The ET: QuakeWars and the QuakeLive CTF finals opened the closing show of QuakeCon 2008. CTF was done at 21:20.

Then we sat through over an hour of Guitar Hero 3, a Quake tattoo show, a quick draw match, a Bawls drinking contest, about an hour or more of t-shirt throwing and contests for the first people to bring a bra / a pokemon item / whatever else to Marty Stratton for a Corvette lottery ticket. The list is longer but I would rather forget than remember the items on it.

The finalists sat tired and hungry, and jetlagged in the case of Cypher, as this dragged on for three hours while Hollenshead and Stratton took their sweet time entertaining the public.

The time for the final came after the Corvette was given away and the largest door of the ballroom was opened so people could leave. When they tried to announce the match, Hollenshead and Stratton had a difficult time figuring out the names of the players. It was 12:20 am.

"Why are the "two dudes back there" not treated with as much respect as the people that leave after all the free shit is gone?"
That is how unimportant the final was.

Why are the "two dudes back there" not treated with as much respect as the people that leave after all the free shit is gone? Why is Guitar Hero more important than QUAKE at QUAKECon?

It was interesting to see this. Especially after Marty Stratton said in an interview that one of the goals with QuakeLive is to teach the public to appreciate the skill in Quake. All that in order to make it as mainstream as possible.

If the best QuakeLive match you could ever see is not mainstream enough in the eyes of id Software, then who will see it that way? Where, if not at QuakeCon, should QuakeLive be considered mainstream?

* Big thanks to the volunteers that make QuakeCon possible - overall a really nice event.
* Big thanks to the people in id Software that actually do care about this unimportant esports thing.
* Quote of the year in esports:

"When I played LeXeR in the WCG 2001 final, you were 10 years old." - ZeRo4 to Cypher before the QuakeCon 2008 final.



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