Movies are an important part of the Quake and AFPS community. Not only are movies a great way of introducing new audiences to the game, we get to see some of the best moments, and share the movie maker's unique perspective of the game. The goal of the editor is to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. And sometimes the editing is so powerful it reorients the way we think about the game itself.
This article contains a series of interviews with a variety of different movie makers, styles, and games. I will update this article with new interviewees so check back regularly! Lastly, there is a Discord channel for Moviemaking. Feel free to join if you'd like to talk movies, music, editing techniques, etc.!
These days, lots of new things are popping up from their niche status and into the mainstream. The best example of that in 2017 is Bitcoin. Up until this past year, Bitcoin was nothing more than “magic internet money”, as even some of its own community called it, but during 2017 it had soared in popularity almost as fast as its value did.
But that’s money, and money does make the world go ‘round. Let’s talk sports, or “sports” - depends on where you stand.
Another field that was testing the niche-mainstream border in 2017 was esports - or Esports, or eSports, or e-sports… the list goes on and on. We’ll use “esports”, and capitalize the E when needed, following Paul “Redeye” Chaloner’s rule of the word, as he explained during this live broadcast (he’s very passionate, so the clip does contain some inappropriate words - you have been warned): (embeds don't work here)
If we take a look at the Wikipedia page for esports, it is defined as “a form of competition using video games.” Just like sports, esports is organized into different types of games. Instead of soccer, hockey, and basketball, however, they are mainly First-Person Shooters (FPS), Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs), and Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games. FPS games include Quake and Counter-Strike, MOBAs include League of Legends and DotA 2, and RTS games include StarCraft II. Just like in traditional sports, players are not referenced by their first name. Unlike traditional sports, however, players are named using their chosen nickname in the game and not their last name - with me being Yotam “Tech” Cohen, for example.
In this piece, the FPS field will be overviewed, with Quake as a case study.
I ask you to come into this with an open mind, especially if you’re a traditional sports fanatic, as this is not an easy topic for some (“Video games are not a sport” people, keep that down please).
Ready? Onto our subject.
Let’s Talk Business - Quick Maths
If you played video games growing up, you know the fun and thrill that comes with it. The reflexes, the challenge, the talk with your friends about it... Little did you know that in the future, people were going to play video games for lots of real prize money.
To put esports’ size in perspective, the biggest prize pool to date - at the time of writing - was the DotA 2 International 2017, where the general pool exceeded $25 million and the winners, Team Liquid, took home a very fair share - $10.6 million. But here’s the real kicker: that money isn’t even 4% of the total revenue of the esports industry in the past year (again, at the time of writing).
In 2017, according to statistics website Statista, esports had generated about $696 million in revenue, with the audience size being around 385 million people around the world. In just two years, esports has more than doubled its revenue - and it’s expected to grow to over $1.4 billion in 2020 - again doubling its value in about 3 years.
Quake: The One that Started it All
If you owned a computer as a kid during the late 1990s, there’s a pretty fair chance you’ve heard about Quake. Quake is a fast-paced, brutal shooting game that puts your reaction time, coordination, quick thinking and decision-making skills to the ultimate test by pitting you against other players in a big, tall arena (hence it’s more specific genre name: Arena Shooter).
Due to its simple but fast, competitive nature, Quake shaped esports as it is today by being one of the first, with tournaments still ongoing. Its biggest event each year is QuakeCon, which is organized by Bethesda, the company developing the game. Quake as an esport isn’t huge, with the biggest player in the field currently being Counter-Strike, but it is one of the longest-running ones, running all the way back to 1996.
General Rules of a Quake Tournament
Quake’s biggest tournament is “Duel” - one versus one, time-limited combat. When a timer of 10 minutes runs out, the player who killed his opponent more times wins. Each player starts (or “spawns”) with only a machine gun and 100 points of health (HP). Items, such as the Mega Health (“Mega” for short) and the Red Armor, can refill and/or overfill your health or armor points over 100, and more powerful weapons and ammo are scattered around each arena. Armor takes two-thirds of incoming damage and is a must-have item in order to stay alive. When your HP reaches 0, you die. Items can greatly increase your chances of staying alive and killing your opponent - so make sure you know where they are located in each arena and take notes on their timing - especially the two key items mentioned earlier.
A match of Quake is played on a “map” - the setting. Each map has its different structure, item locations, and features, such as teleporters - instantaneous travel to another part of the map - and jump pads, which are like powerful trampolines.
Since a game can be as short as 10 minutes, competitive tournament rulesets extend that using a best-of-X format (or BOX). A professional match and the Grand Final of a tournament are usually a BO3 and a BO5, respectively. To decide the maps of each game in a series, players are given a standard list of maps. Each player then bans a map from the match, and then each picks a map. This repeats until the map slots for the game are filled, with the last map usually being a decider remaining after all other maps have been picked or banned.
As you can see, esports isn’t mindless entertainment. It’s a cutthroat, tough competition with lots of mental note-taking, quick reactions, coordination between eyes and each hand and educated inferences on your opponent’s state. Some people don’t include esports as a sport just because it doesn’t involve intense physical activity, but that definition can cripple some popular sports in existence today. For example, archery is an Olympic sport - and the most physical activity done is pulling a string and walking to get arrows back. In fact, archery has more in common with esports than it seems: they both rely on subtle motor skills of the hands and arms, and both require lots of quick thinking - as explained by Assistant Professor of Physical Education Seth Jenny in the following video, posted by ELEAGUE on twitter:
Other sports that break the definition include poker, which is broadcasted on ESPN, golf and shooting - also Olympic sports.
A Professional Example
Now that you’ve learned most of Quake’s - and esports’ - basics, let’s watch an example. This particular one is the Grand Final of the QuakeCon 2016 Duel Championship, where the American Shane “rapha” Hendrixson played against the Russian Sergey “evil” Orekhov in one of the most intense matches ever played live, and - coincidentally - also the last Duel match of the main QuakeCon championships being played on Quake Live, with Quake Champions’ early version replacing it in 2017’s tournament. The game is casted in part by Daniel “ddk” Kapadia, one of the most famous esports casters to date. If you have an hour to spare, I cannot recommend this match enough. It is chock-full of impressive moments of precise aim, tactical thinking, and quick decisions. The winner - I won’t spoil this greatness for you - takes $12,000 home.
If you’d like to try Quake yourself, Quake Live is currently at a price of $10, but Quake Champions will be free to play when it comes out. You can also buy the full version of Champions, which also gives immediate early access to the game. At the time of writing, Bethesda has yet to provide a release date for the first full version of Quake Champions.
A Conclusion - and Personal Thanks
Congratulations, you are now educated on the basics of Quake and, consequently, esports as a whole. If you thought Quake was big - it’s only a small fish in a bigger pond than it started in. Games like Counter-Strike and League of Legends attract millions of viewers every event, with organized teams, companies, and investors all creating a new genre of what we call “sports”. In the future - and even today - moms might want to reconsider telling their children to stop playing video games.
In general FPS esports news, a huge Counter-Strike event is coming up soon - a Major one, some might say (the event is classified as a Major by the developing company, Valve). I might write a piece about an overview of Counter-Strike before the tournament starts, if you, the reader, and others want it.
Thank you for reading my very first piece! I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to try my hand at esports journalism, and this website gave me a good starting point. If you’d like to see more of this content and/or have suggestions, you can leave a comment or email me at "thetechnixian (at) gmail (dot) com".
winz reminiscing about his career: 'I usually have a very good idea of where I stand individually...'
While modern-day esports fans recognize Michael "winz" Bignet as a skilled and versatile Overwatch player—who is ready to play whatever position his team needs—his career as a professional player began more than a decade ago. In the distant 2004, he was already representing ‘against All authority’, a brand veteran fans will recognize as a once staple name among the upper echelon the French esports scene.
While winz wasn’t a regular in the offline circuit at the time, he’d grow to be recognized as one of the best in the games he played. Throughout 2005, he became UT2004 world champion by winning ESWC in France, his home country. 2006 saw him earning the gold again, but this time for Quake 4 with notable wins over toxjq, now recognized as the greatest Q4 player, and Cypher, who would eventually become the best, and arguably greatest, Quake duelist to date.
After the introduction of Quake Live, winz gave up on the 1v1 mode due to a number of gameplay changes he didn’t enjoy and the continued prevalence of old maps. For several years, he wasn’t part of the highest level of offline competition, but eventually made a comeback in team modes and games, winning premier tournaments in Quake Live TDM, ShootMania, and most recently, Overwatch.
The interview takes a retrospective look at his career as a player.
. . .
Here's a short opinion piece regarding requests for higher 'visibility'.
For the sake of the argument I'm going to assume most users requesting such features are veterans from previous iterations of quake or the like.
On a quick glance, game engines in the late 90ies / early 2000s had a very distinctive 'blocky' feel to it. Even round shapes appeared to be sloppy bent lines, makeshift solutions.
Take a look at Heavy Metal Fakk 2 running on id Tech 3 - the 'Colosseum' doesn't have a very round feel to it. Notice how the statue on the right of the player model is all chopped up and 'blocky'
Games that we're passionate about usually have less visual cluster, clean head up displays, minimalistic design and so forth. The year's 2017, while recently more and more video games adpoted clean, intuitive or even invisible HUDs represented in game design, the screens tend to be packed with more content.
Do a quick run down of your favorite game and you can quickly define a palette - quake 1 uses predominantly greyish/brownish scheme, quake 2 uses slightly brighter brownish colors, inching closer to a dark orange. Quake 3 has a lot of red highlights throughout the maps and level esign, player models but retains the greyish-brown scheme to some extent. Now take a quick glance at quake champions - the colors are more vivid, aren't as washed out as previous titles, it's eye candy (to some) and a strain for those that literally lived their lives alongside older quakes.
Shapes, Lines, object complexity
Here's where it gets really interesting. Take a look at two random screenshots from Q3, pay attention to straight lines, level geometry, gun model
Lots of strong lines, clearly defined shapes, not much going in terms of variety - a clean level design that stands the test of time.
Now on to a screenshot from QC I snatched online -
Quite frankly, the gun model itself has more going on than the entire level from Q3. Plenty of shapes, an obvious lack of straight long lines, inconspicuous edges. In order not to cherry pick I used this image and am convinced that it's hard to come up with screenshots that would go against my theory - the level of fidelity is just light years ahead, attention to details, different technologies and rendering engines used..
Geometry plays a vital role in competitive FPS titles - levels need to be elegantly traversed, allowing for swift, fluid movement and fast paced action. Cramped corners usually remove the integral gameplay which provide compelling combat scenarios, skill based executions, eyecatching air rockets, light gun pins and other buzzwordy glory kills. Q3/Q2 level design simplicity allowed for greater mobility and 'shiny' frags. Map design, item placements etc are another topic though - I'm not too well versed in it.
Adding neon models, bright skins and similar visual aids clashes with the art direction - the screen is already cramped with visual clutter. It won't make the game more relaxing, more pleasing or more visible, it will just look out of place and in some cases even worse.
For the longest time, competitive gaming had a way to force models. Counterstrike had cl_minmodels (*cvar might have changed), UT had .ini settings (PlacedCharacterName= _____ ), quake has cg_forceEnemyModel ' ' - None of these games had 'classes' though, forcing all models as Slash for example would be very confusing if you end up getting blasted by Ranger's Dire Orb. There's also cosmetics that come into play and I'm pretty sure it would cause a downfall for in-game payable items if someone were to just tinker the settings to remove them.
What veterans are after is not bright skins but a nostalgia filled expectation for a period where games were less clustered with visuals, effects, particles and were built around 'primitive' engines which favored simple shapes/design, a more robust level geometry and similar remnants of the past.
Edited by Teen Queen at 06:40 CDT, 27 April 2017 - 5930 Hits
The past decade has seen a surge in the popularity of eSports. Millions of people tune in to watch different tournaments each year, with the number steadily rising year over year. Just a few years ago, there wasn’t enough demand and there weren’t enough professional players for world tournaments.
Today, new tournaments are routinely announced that are almost guaranteed to overtake their predecessors both in terms of number of players and prize money pay-outs. The next decade in eSports is set to see the industry come into its own, with more growth and professional players able to base careers in eSports.
In the article I take a look at what is for me the 5 most interesting story lines at QuakeCon 2016's duel tournament. Hope you enjoy it and feel free to let me know if you got questions or criticism.
I meant to post it on 4th, before the event but experienced some technical difficulties I couldn't fix in time since I was planning to post it just before the tournament starts. I hope it is still enjoyable read.
HoQ TDM 4v4 Spring Season 2016 is starting tonight with first three Div 1 matches being played at 21:00 CEST! Until then, entertain yourself with interviews from the clan leaders and their predictions on today's games.
Keep checking this page as I'll be adding more interviews from div 2 and div 3 clans. Also I would like to wish a Happy Easter to all those who celebrate it! Besides that, I would like to thank all the clans for letting me interview them, and who have shown that the QL scene consists of really cool people, who enjoy playing their favorite game. Don't forget to check the streams for tonight's action.
Yesterday night, at 21.00 CET to be exact, saw HoQ CA 4v4 Spring Season 2016 kicking off with four matches being played. Some matches have been rescheduled and some teams have used a wildcard but overall it was a great CA night with interesting matches. Some very close games were featured. You can check them out on funnyb'sYouTube playlist, as he has uploaded most of the VOD's if you wish to review any of the matches. Furthermore, I have interviewed most of the clans that have played yesterday. If you want to know their impressions and opinions on the games they have played continue reading. Be sure to keep an eye on this article as I’ll be adding more interviews!
Tonight is the night! As it was already announced the HoQ CA 4v4 Spring Season 2016 kicks off tonight at 21:00 CET with first CA matches of the season. A total of 21 teams, across three divisions will be battling to crown themselves as the HoQ CA champions.
To keep you entertained before match start, I set on a quest to get every team's predictions and thoughts about the league and upcoming matches. I have conducted interviews with team leaders spanning all three divisions. I managed to cover almost all of them. Some couldn't be reached, some didn't want to participate but overall it was an interesting experience. I've been working in fifth-gear for the past 24 hours to get this done as soon as possible, so please excuse any mistakes or typos that you might encounter while reading. I'm still editing on-the-go and getting some more interviews in. So keep checking this page.
Other than that, I would like to express my deep gratitude to all who agreed to be interviewed and to those who have helped me along this hectic journey. I have met many new and interesting people along the way and have really enjoyed interacting with you all. I hope you had a good time doing this as well as I did. Thank you again! Furthermore, each page of the article represents a Divison, so page 1 is div 1, page 2 div 2 and so on. Well... What are you waiting for? Start reading and enjoy!
Probably the hottest news in the IT industry at the moment is Virtual Reality (VR) related. Basically, every IT news portal is being swarmed with articles about VR development hardware and software wise. One might find themselves caught off guard when it comes to the new technology and with so much information being released, you might as well feel overwhelmed by it. That is the reason for the creation of this article. To get yourself acquainted with the new 'hot stuff', giving you an overview as to why VR is so popular right now.
G. – Honestly, you first somehow managed to make us worry about your readiness today when playing in the beginning vs k1llsen and having lost to him 2-0. We were about to think you were not in shape. Tell us about your first games with him.
B. – Those were still the group matches and by the moment I sort of forgot the idea of playing it right vs k1llsen. The last time I’d been playing against him was the previous league in December. He was in the beginning similarly winning 2-0 but I managed to do a come-back then. It takes time to get adjusted to his very cautious play style. He is prone very often to merely stand still and keep waiting. This time the first map was Delirium and I had again to get accustomed to his style. Notwithstanding my efforts, he was yet stronger on this map, even then again during the grand-final games. When playing on Cure, he managed to grasp the control over the map while I was ahead by only three frags and then he succeeded in catching up with me and win. During the grandfinal I managed to win because I was keeping all the time quite large a pool of frags ahead of him and turned on the plus-back mode after he managed to overcontrol me. To cut it short, during the grandfinal while playing on some maps I was using the strategy of standing still to even a larger extent than k1llsen himself. So to speak, when I felt k1llsen was playing immobile again, I was doing that myself trying to spam him out. And k1llsen doesn’t like when somebody plays vs him in that manner. He gets quickly irritated and starts rushing. Right in this way I was lucky to stack up my frags when starting playing on some maps. He rushed too very often, even though it was very painful for me at times as he hits hard.
G. – Ok, well, tell us now something about the semifinal game vs evil, as it was even a bigger sensation for everybody since people got used to take evil as a champion figure
B. – Hey, why, we had already played with him quite often on plenty of occasions, including some bo3 recently at some league when he had won 3-2 very narrowly in fact. Have to acknowledge though, my arms were shaking strong that time, simply because I kept in mind the idea of him as standing too high there. During the current event I felt myself much more relaxed and even looked ‘emancipated’ according to the commentary by iddqd. Well, honestly, I believe something was not right about evil this time. His dodge skill today was uncharacteristically not as good as mine.
G. – Well, you see, we were here thinking when watching evil play vs other players right before he played against you, that he looked real strong and warmed-up, entitled to win.
B. – I heard he’d recently been experiencing troubles with his mouse and config. Might have affected his efficiency.
G. – But those problems were valid as far as a week ago. And he must have had all things fixed up by the moment. He didn’t happen to complain about things today. Even the pings were alright.
B. – I was talking to him before the tourney and he mentioned he was playing recently not from his place. This must have influenced him in a way. In any case, I felt it like he was not really himself today. His dodge was definitely off, might it be because he was distracted by somebody or thinking about some other things or something else... have no idea.
G. – What did look odd by the way, he had a banner of Sweden, not Russia. Might that be because he is currently far off there...
B. – No, he’s playing sitting at some office or like. Might be the reason for him playing not that good. Anyway, those shouldn’t be my problems, right?
G. – Of course, not. He looked pretty good to my thinking. And you were hitting really hard.
B. – The point is that my tactics of playing with evil is based upon extensive use of rockets. You see, when playing with k1llsen I usually resort to plus-backing and shafting. With evil, I can’t rely on the lightning-gun since you can’t normally expect to win against his shaft. At such moments, he’s dodging very much in that specific manner that I can’t shaft him as much as he does. K1llsen is easier to deal at that because his pattern of movement is back-forward-back-forward just as if he had no the keys to move left and right. To play with evil, I was deliberately seeking for a server with the ping close to 8-9 to have a lan type of connection, to be sure my rockets land momentarily. Nico first gave me a good server link, located in Saint-Petersburg, though I failed to join it. But without a doubt I wasn’t going to play at any high-ping servers. The 8ms ping would be ideal to rain rockets at evil. So to speak, I managed to win against evil exclusively by virtue of nicely placed rockets. Besides, there were a few moments when he was failing with the timing which let me steal some items. Would you give him a full control over the map, he’d feel himself free to turn into a machine which can’t be stopped. I can’t stop him when he’s controlling the map. His rushing pattern is very specific in that he’s doing that using the technique of calculated micro pauses and strafes which are almost impossible to be read ahead. K1llsen is easy to read because he rushes ahead in a linear manner, quite opposite to evil. Keeping that in mind, I was trying to maximally stack my armor up. There was an occasion on Sinister while the score showed 2-2, when he was coming out of the teleport being stacked 200/200, I luckily managed to stuff him up with rockets. Were it not for that episode, I’d definitely lose in the end. So as to display the importance of a good server choice. With k1llsen I had a higher ping, and had to rely more on my shaft rather than rockets. Shaft works very well in such circumstances effectively hitting the player’s model. And railing was also a right choice. By the way, k1llsen had a surprisingly weak rail today. I was watching him play vs proximo: he was showing much sweat at his forehead missing his rails here and there. Later on I managed to exploit this fact when having less than 80 hp with the shaft in my hands while k1llsen trying to rail me. I remembered at the moment he was missing his rails often today, and dared to risk my butt having fragged him as a result. All these details can be very deciding in the meantime, and I was trying to exploit them as much as possible.
G. – I remember many situations when evil was fragging you very narrowly or fleeing from you with a few hp.
B. – This is quite normal for the pro-level. You see, the pattern is usually as follows. One player is trying to play number two, running and stacking himself up with minor items. The second player is trying to actively attack. The number two is always seeking to hit the attacker as the latter is nearing major items, shooting the place in advance. The number one can choose not to do it straight-forward but, still trying to follow the item spawn cycle, to be more patient and spam around to decipher the enemy’s location by sounds. As a result, when they finally meet, the winner is usually the one being highly stacked. Hard overshooting by one another between players is quite rare on the pro-level. The decider might also be a good splash hit causing an uncontrolled movement. The time when strenx was dominant at overshafting other players is long gone. Everyone is hitting today quite alike. If we take k1llsen, he shafts in fact very good, but he often doesn’t use lg effectively. I mean the situations when he was trying to race me down. He was using rockets and rails while lg would be a much better choice. That’s his problem as I see it. Back to the topic, it’s absolutely normal to have a few hp after encountering an opponent. This number usually reflects the stack difference between the players right before they meet. The main idea is about finding a way on being respawned anew to use this opponent’s low stack to hunt him down. Having a full range of weapons, he won’t try to catch you at picking weapons but will try to stack back little by little while moving around silently. So you have an option either to try to kill him, or to take a position at a major item.
G. – Did you have specific goals or expectations before the tournament today?
B. – The group was very difficult. I was quite afraid of not getting through at all. I remembered that spart1e had won recently two games against me. Oh, by the way! I was recently playing using a different config and sensitivity. So, I got tired of that everyone was winning when playing with me, and rolled back to my old config (av3k’s one).
G. – You did that today!?
B. – No, not today. A day before yesterday [both laughing]. Not that much of a difference honestly. The sensitivity is the same: 2.5. What I changed (from av3k’s config): added the acceleration which I set to 0.1, and changed m_yaw down to 0.14 (0.154 before). The main effect of course was about implementing acceleration. Besides, there was a different mod. Well, this is just my thingy – fine-tuning the config. So, I got tired of losing with this config and rolled back to the old one. For the two days-off I was trying to get used to this change. Of course it wasn’t a big problem because I’d been utilizing it before for as much as five years. So, I was afraid of not taking one of the two top places in the group. Once again to mention, spart1e won against me twice in the last two Sunday Cups, even though those were only bo1’s. Agent regularly wins when playing with me. And the same thing with k1llsen who currently practices very much. So my fear was about not getting through the groups at all. Besides, in case I would get through after all, I wasn’t expecting to meet evil next. Frankly, I somehow didn’t get right the rule according to which the 1st place in group A is to play against the 2nd place in group B. And here he is, evil himself. But I somehow felt the map very well. When I had the acceleration on, I felt it like I couldn’t hit ideally since I couldn’t predict the accel behavior well, my brain was failing at that. But now, without accel, after the two days of practicing I feel like I have the full control of the mouse. As a result, I wasn’t even thinking about an option of not hitting, well maybe except the games vs k1llsen when the ping was high and hence the rockets were not as good.
G. – Were not you trying to find a sever with a lower ping?
B. – Well, I wasn’t allowed by Nico. There was a low ping sever but the ping difference between us was bigger than the lower ping itself. But, in any case, it wasn’t that much critical at the moment since the game was not versus evil, so no need to rely on rockets as much.
G. – Any plans for the winner prize? Gonna buy a new keyboard in place of the one being held in the freezer?
B. – Nope, no new keyboard for me. Perhaps, will go to Moscow to visit some museum with my wife…
G. – Hold on. Don’t you live in Moscow?
B. – Not exactly. I live in the vicinities of Moscow. The rest of the money I’m going to save. International financial analysts always recommend saving 10% of one’s salary. And 20% of any other earnings. I’m going to spend the 50% of it and the rest is meant for saving … (couldn’t discern the rest)
G. – The next question is about your wife. What does she think about you hobby of playing quake and taking part in the tourneys? [both laughing] I believe many people would like to know that.
B. – I can’t honestly say she supports me at that. She has just nothing to do with quake. And of course this looks a bit weird: a guy constantly sitting and playing… Well, not constantly, but, for example, during the weekend like today, all day long. She understands I’m participating in the tourney and am willing to play. One has to accept things at times as they are. What would she do in fact? Besides, I’m not at some unknown place drinking alcohol and such. It’s just about me wishing to do what I like. I will do the things I like, like any other normal person. Especially, as long as it doesn’t affect my health.
G. – Any plans for new videos or something alike?
B. – If talking about game streaming, my computer is not powerful enough to do that. And honestly I don’t even have such a desire. Regarding making videos, sure, I’d be glad to. It’s just all about spare time. For the last days I just couldn’t do that having invested all my time into training. I have a job of course which consumes the most part of my time. I really do love to create various video stuff. Besides, I have to covert my wedding party. A lot of projects I’m having in my mind waiting to be realized. I simply like to do this, just for myself.
G. – Let’s get back to the games. Regarding agent. Seemed like you did everything easily there. However I expected to watch quite sweaty battles.
B. – I have sort of an explanation. I hold him honestly as a genius of a quake player. He is prone to not play for a long time. Like this time, when he didn’t play for a week. Quite naturally he’d be not as good in timing, feeling the map and the game. He didn’t ever practiced delirium before, that’s why he kept forfeiting it in 10 seconds after the first frag. On dm13, he easily outplayed me. So we had then a one-by-one score. On t7, I just managed to hit important rails. Couldn’t understand why he was strafing at those moments, well, he was just running by. So I hit those rails, having taken the control… well, I just have no idea. I believe he just wasn’t prepared. He usually practices very well on the eve of tournaments.
G. – I have a question about Delirium. No one playing it, kicking it off. And you, you were playing it tough, real tough.
B. – In fact, I was practicing recently to play on it. For the last 4-5 days. 5 days ago I and nitrino started playing it together. Nitrino made me run a lot. Then, it was… I don’t remember… was it z4muz… he… she… durapha… I don’t remember.
G. – I saw somebody with that name on the server.
B. – To cut it short, he was good at playing the map. He played it with k1llsen and with me. He was winning vs me often. I had 20-30 games with him there. Well, I don’t really like the map. All the fights there are alike. No wow-effects like come-backs. Very long corridors, not very nice. No cool staff like on t7 for example, where it’s possible to shaft an opponent jumping to the mega. Or like on Sinister, when I stuffed one with rockets. No such things for Delirium. Everything is based on an override. The respawn system is also not to my liking. And no way to make a full item cycle. Almost impossible to collect all the items in line. And there are places to hide either up or down in there. I don’t like it at all.
G. – Here is a weird question in the chat. A guy asking whether you were jogging before the tourney wearing some sauna-suit. He’s writing you’d understand.
B. – Oh, you don’t know the stuff? In December, when playing the league, I jogged then on purpose to sweat as much as possible thanks to wearing the sauna-suit which prevents any oxygen coming to your body. As a result, having done that right before the tournament, during the event itself I wasn’t sweating at all. Well, for today, I haven’t done the procedure. It’s hot here in my apartment by its own.
G. – I honestly thought you were simply great at how you were playing vs evil. And was afraid of that you’d get exhausted later on, having invested all your effort into that. I was worrying you wouldn’t keep on par with k1llsen then. But you proved otherwise.
B. – No, I didn’t give all my efforts away for evil. I felt myself quite ok. Well, k1llsen… The moment I won bf exploiting that special ratty style I understood I could do the rest, just using the ‘stand still’ technique.
G. – Didn’t you have the feeling after having kicked evil off the tournament, that the remaining part with k1llsen would be easier?
B. – Certainly not. K1llsen is very strong, champion of numerous Zotacs, champion of IEM 2010. His experience is much bigger than that of mine. Well, this time I was playing very calmly and my brain worked good. Just in a few moments my hands were trembling.
G. – Listen, do you really have all those timings in your head when playing? Or how do you play? By hunch maybe?
B. – After playing numerous games it’s happening naturally, no need to think. On the pro-level it’s very important to track the timing for red and mega exactly the second they spawn, to make it possible for example to plummet down at it precisely the moment it’s appearing. When you play real much, you learn to keep in mind the whole picture regarding possible location and route of an opponent. As a result you have the overall picture of possible successive events regarding the enemy and items. Agent does that ideally, counting items and reading the opponent’s mind, because he has an enormous playing experience, so normally one just can’t overthink him at that. Personally I can’t overthink him, only overshoot.
G. – Regarding nitrino. You were saying you played with him recently. What’s about him, why doesn’t he play tournaments?
B. – He sort of retired. He doesn’t practice at all. It was just a rare occasion when I played with him on Delirium.
G. – I believe, every player has his weak spots, be it agent, evil or k1llsen.
B. – Yep, sure.
G. – In the chat, many people are wondering whether you have any plans for Quakecon.
B. – Well, it’s complicated. Sure, I’d be glad to participate. This would be great. I haven’t still attended such big events so far. Besides, I started playing good quite recently as a matter of fact. The main problem is about the ruble being devaluated so much recently. So the expenses would be enormous. I understand of course that the prize money is not small and so on. But one can’t be confident enough to be able to take one of the first three places to make it up for the money spent. This is the first, financial point. The second moment regards an option of making a donation pool. But I can’t go alone there, I’ll take my wife with me which doubles the expenses. Furthermore, I don’t want to take a responsibility like once cooller, pavel, latrommi. They collected donations but failed in a way to deliver. They looked quite strong of course but… I just don’t want to burden myself with such a responsibility. Some people would invest in the fund which brings naught in the end. I don’t want this. I’m not ready to take such risks.
G. – In general, do you have any predictions for the Quakecon? What can there be of interest?
B. – How the heck would I know? Everything depends on how much one has practiced before. This time k1llsen and myself practiced quite hard. As a result, we are top two at the moment. Proximo also practiced hard. But, you see, he lacks experience. His skills got increased very much to date. He could have even reached the final this time. He played with k1llsen and had the 2-2 score before the 5th map. He played it in an arcade manner though… Ooops, I’ve lost my thought… …Ah, the predictions for the QC. You see, I don’t know how good rapha is at the moment… I can’t really prognosticate. The top is always the same. Evil, rapha… Evil, I don’t know, he loses against rapha all time…
G. – Do you watch demos by other players like people did often before? Or your own demos?
B. – No, quite rarely. And even if I do, those are my own demos, to find my mistakes. But I’m watching the streams.
G. – Do you play something else, not quake-related?
B. – Yes. But not recently. Right before, I played Red Alert 2 with my brother. I like WarCraft 3. Watching some foggy playing it. The guy advertised at Goodgames. He plays real much, doesn’t work, doesn’t study, plays real hard. It’s very interesting to watch a guy who is a professional cyber athlete. His goal is to go to China and get a place in top 15 on China ladder. It’s interesting for me. I played Warcraft myself before. Other than that. Only quake. Red Alert. I don’t really like single-player games. Doesn’t catch me anymore. As an exception, to play Sega, some Battle Toads… that’s it.
G. – Well, ok, don’t want to delay you anymore. You were awesome today. Congratulations!
Knowing how you guys "love" year recaps, I'm posting about another one. Yes, yes it gets kind of boring reading all this 'stuff' but bear with me as this one is worth your precious time.
The biggest gaming streaming service, Twitch, has released an interactive look-back on their work in the year 2015. So let's crunch some numbers.
With an average of 1.7 million broadcasters streaming every month, together they have streamed in 241,441,823,059 minutes in total (that's 459,366 in years), while averaging 550,000 concurrent viewers. Applying those numbers to the countries across the globe, we end up with a list of countries based on viewership. When it comes to the Americas; Canada and the US are leading the north and Brazil the south; Europe has five countries leading it and those are France, UK, Germany, Poland and Sweden; the rest of the world comes down to Moscow in Russian Federation and Taiwan in the South Eastern Asia.
Now let's check the tech. Twitch likes to boast with their Peak Concurrent Viewers and Peak Concurrent Broadcasters. First one noting 2,098,529 viewers recorded on August 23rd at two events ESL One: Cologne and the LoL NA LCS Finals; and the later noting 35,610 broadcasters in November last year, thanks to the launch of Twitch Creative and the Extra Life Charity event.
Now comes the real fun part. Top 10 most watched games list!
1. League of Legends
2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
3. DOTA 2
8. World of Tanks
9. World of Warcraft
10. FIFA 15
I guess the Top 4 is a given and there's nothing out of ordinary here. But it is quite interesting that among all eSports titles and events that follow those games, four non-eSports games managed to enter the list. Basically, if you have a big player base, a big fan base follows suit and therefore a great amount of viewers who want to see and learn different approaches to the game they play.
Looking at the hype certain games have shown on their launch days, three titles stand out. The first being an expansion for the game Destiny, it quickly became one of the Top 5 games for the next two months since the launch date. The runner-up is Fallout 4 and third one being Rocket League, a car soccer game, which went from 165th place to the top 5 in the first month of its release.
As of recently Twitch is moving across platforms and that of course means it's becoming more mobile. Viewers on mobile devices now make up 35% of Twitch's viewership every month. Considering there are 1,000,000+ mobile installs of the Twitch app last year alone, mobile devices are becoming a force to be reckoned with. As far as other platforms go, the web takes up 56% of the viewership; while consoles 7% and other means of viewing only 2%.
Tournament wise viewership records were beaten several times. Last year's most popular events were: ESL ONE - CS:GO in Cologne with 27 million unique viewers on Twitch; Evo 2015 an event focusing solely on fighting games; The International 5 a DOTA 2 event; LoL NA LCS and Blizzcon where the StarCraft 2 finals between sOs and Life took place.
Some notable fun facts! Total Twitch chat messages sent in the year 2015 counts 9,169,726,092 (that's 17,446 messages per minute)! Emoticons had their ranking as well, Kappa being the most used emoticon on Twitch chat.
If you wish to go into detail and see more cool facts about Twitch, I definitely suggest you do so, as it is done in an interactive and fun way.
A research company named, Newzoo, has published a global eSports market report for the year 2016. It's an 80-page report with details on the global and local eSports markets, since this report is not publically available and needs to be purchased; Newzoo, however, did release some interesting facts to the public eye.
According to the Newzoo's last year report, the revenues for the year 2015 were $325 million worldwide. This year's prediction sees the revenue growing to $463 million, which correlates to a year-on-year (YoY) growth of 43%. According to their long term prediction in the year 2019 eSport revenues will reach approximately a jaw-dropping $1.1 billion! The number of eSports Enthusiasts watching their favorite games will be 131 million, in addition, another 125 million Occasional Viewers will tune in mainly for the big international events.
Looking at it region wise, North America will strengthen its lead in terms of revenues while Asia will continue its explosive rate of increasing numbers in audience. Digging into the numbers, the US will see $175 million generate through merchandise, event tickets, sponsorships, online advertising and media rights. What is significant here is the fact that most of the revenues will flow back to the game publisher, earning them additional profits from the same game. Basically, one might not care, but only if it implies the publisher is ready to give back to the community and support their game in eSports through prize money, as we have seen recently done by Valve. Looking at Asia, we can see China and Korea leading the Asian region with 23% of global eSports revenues, totaling $106 million prediction for the present year. Viewership is rapidly picking up in Asian countries, more specifically that being 44% of global eSports Enthusiasts.
Esports remains an industry with great potential for the years to come. Esports is a very diverse space, and for established and worldwide esports brands like Fnatic, it’s vital to follow the developments using reliable and complete data. Our partnership with Newzoo means that we can both stay on top of our game.
• There were 112 major esports events in 2015 and they generated an estimated $20.6 million in ticket revenues. The total prize money of all esports events held in 2015 reached $61.0 million, a 70% year-on-year increase.
• The global Esports Audience was 226 million gamers and the number of Esports Enthusiasts reached 115 million in 2015, a YoY growth of 27.7%.
• Global revenues in 2015 reached $325 million, a growth rate of than 67.4%. North America accounted for $121 million of this.
• Online advertising is the fastest growing revenue segment, up 99.6% on a global scale compared to 2014.
• The average annual revenue per Esports Enthusiast was $2.83 in 2015 and is expected to grow to $3.53 this year, still a factor four lower than a mature traditional sport such as basketball, which generates revenues of $15 per fan per year.
• The Esports Audience boasts a very valuable demographic, skewing towards consumers with a full-time job and relatively high income. The report shows that they are also big spenders on digital media subscriptions, hardware and mobile content including games.
As is with all predictions, it is debatable how accurate they are but we can safely conclude that eSports is on the rise, especially business wise. It is now more evident than ever that the main focus of event organizers and game publishers will be on media coverage and advertisement. With streaming services reaching smartphones and other 'smart' gadgets you will seldom find yourself unable to follow your favorite eSport game. We can already see some traditional media companies entering this market and with Twitch being the biggest streaming service at the moment, it is going to be interesting to see how things will develop in the upcoming years. If the companies like ESPN and Red Bull start screening eSport games on TV, we might witness a big shift in the way eSport coverage will be handled in the future.