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Quake Champions: Australian Contenders Interviewed

We spoke to the Aussie Quake Champions players who are heading to QuakeCon to take on the world.
By Joab Gilroy
7 min readPublished on
There is no official Aussie entry mechanism for the Quake World Championships at QuakeCon this year — despite the World moniker the competition was really only open to North America and Europe. These Aussie Quake players decided to give it a go anyway — one even going so far as to qualify for one of the highest skill twitch shooters with a 200 millisecond ping-based disadvantage.
They've since signed deals with esports organisations JAM Gaming and Corvidae ahead of their trip to Dallas next week, and we caught up with Andrew "Python" Cha Cha and Daniel "Astroboy" De Sousa from JAM Gaming and Tyler "Steej" Joseph — representing Corvidae alongside teammates Frazer ‘Fraze’ Hockley and David ‘ZenAku’ Addati — to find out how they're finding Quake Champions so far.
"[It's] pretty good so far, it's a little unique in terms of what is actually out there at the moment, the most popular arena shooter games are all focused on team modes whereas Quake Champions offers a variety of different modes," Python told us. "The game really focuses on your [individual] fighting ability so it's something I really enjoy."
"Even though Quake Champions is in beta I love every minute [of it], the playstyle is slightly different to previous Quake iterations…" Astroboy explained. "Now even if you are out of control you can still make exciting plays with the help of [Champion] abilities, which can result in you getting unexpected frags. I am a massive fan of First Person Shooters and have played a lot of Overwatch and CS:GO, but there is nothing like the rush I get from testing myself in a one on one game of Duel in Quake Champions."
"I’m enjoying Quake Champions so far, even in its buggy beta stage which is a good sign because it will only improve in future," Steej told us. "The only other arena fps game I have played is Quake Live, which is very different to Quake Champions. Quake Live didn't have much room for creativity, there was a very clear line for what was considered right and wrong. I feel there has been some skill compression in Quake Champions, but also some nice changes. Champions encourages different playstyles and allows people to shine in varied ways."
One of the issues in the beta right now is a wonky netcode, which can be particularly distressing in a game as reliant on pixel-perfect aiming as Quake Champions - not that that slowed Astroboy in his quest to qualify for the World Championships. As Astroboy mentioned, the game is in beta and will improve over time, but we asked about it anyway.
"I'm hoping they fix some of the major issues before Quakecon, as they can make or break games right now," Steej explained. "I don’t think we will see a huge update until after the event. Being on LAN will definitely help but will not solve the problem."
"The only issue I find currently is the rubber banding, and I’m assuming on LAN that won't be an issue," Astroboy added. "I only get to play on 60 ping at best and on that ping most of the guns feel quite good — but I can't wait to get to use some Super Nailgun on LAN, as even with this delay it feels really powerful."
"If you have an NBN connection the game seems to run very well," Python concluded. "On LAN the champions will play differently, Anarki for example might be a little weaker as players will be able to hit him more than what they do online. It'd be great if we could practice on LAN to see what it's like!"
I've heard of lava lizards but this is ridiculous
I've heard of lava lizards but this is ridiculous
Netcode isn't the only thing element that could use some change, of course, and we wanted to know if there were any other changes our Aussie contenders would like to see.
"I would personally like to see Sarge introduced as he was always one of the coolest looking models," Astroboy said. "The only issue right now that I feel should be addressed is the shield ability of Clutch as it is too unpredictable and sometimes fails to work however other than that I am impressed with most of the champions. Just like in previous Quakes I find it really does come down to choosing the optimal position to take fights and having the right weapons for the situation."
"A few champions are a little too strong, like Clutch and Nyx, I think there will be adjustments made as the game goes on," Python shared. "I think there are a few features missing, like seeing teammates health and ability status, little odd bits and pieces that would help new players to the game. It's still in beta and the developers are taking a lot on board from the community."
"There are still a lot of balancing issues with champions right now, some are too weak and other too strong," Steej said. "It's hard to balance them for duel and team modes at the same time as they play so differently which is why some characters are rarely picked in duel. I would actually like to see all champions skills nerfed slightly because right now, you don’t have to work as hard for frags when your ability is up."
The ultimate battle of man vs machine.
The ultimate battle of man vs machine.
As a Quake tragic myself, the real star of every quake game was always the spectacular level design. I asked the guys which maps they'd like to see, and whether they'd like to see some of the other classic Quake maps revisited.
"I hope we see new maps, people have been playing the same map for decades and I think they are a little bored," Steej said. "But I would settle for anything at the moment as there are currently only 4 duel maps."
Steej is in luck, as the Early Access update for Quake Champions — dropping just before QuakeCon itself — will feature two new maps as they begin to ramp up the content.
"The Edge (q2dm1) from Quake2, DM2 from Quake 1 as a rocket only map perhaps, DM3 from Quake 1…" Python said of his favourite maps. "I could go on and on about what maps I'd want in there but I'm not sure too many should be brought over as it's a fresh take on classic arena shooting."
"I have to agree the maps have always made Quake as exciting as it is," Astroboy added. "From the maps so far introduced Bloodrun was always one of my favourite maps so I was very glad to see that brought across early. But personally my favourite Duel map of all time is Vertical Vengeance (previously known as T4) so I would love to see that introduced in Quake Champions."
T4 would be a fantastic addition — it's as great a map to watch players duel on as it is to play on. Our last question sought to find out how they felt about joining their respective organisations before the game was out of beta.
Someone could lose an eye!
Someone could lose an eye!
It feels pretty good to be picked up by an Australian Organisation prior to the game's full release," said Astroboy of his signing with JAM Gaming. "I am happy to know that they can see my potential and hopefully in time I can return the favour with some good results."
"It feels great! I’m no stranger to Corvidae and have played for them before," injected Steej. "Getting noticed early in the game will definitely solidify my position as a top player and hopefully Corvidae can send me to many more events to come."
"It's great, we're looking to do some damage overseas, it'll give us great exposure to the big competitions before the game comes out," Python said. "There definitely will be more tournaments once the game comes out."
They'll definitely do damage when they arrive in Dallas, and here's hoping their efforts — along with those of the other Aussies heading over — will make the Quake world sit up and take notice of the fraggers we have coming out of Australia. Astroboy has already qualified for the main event, and Python, Steej, Fraze and ZenAku will be putting the work in to qualify via the BYOC Qualifiers at the event itself.
We'll be watching their efforts on the official Quake Champions Twitch page when QuakeCon takes place from the 24-27 of August.
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