The $1m Quake World Championships are being held in Dallas this month, but not many will be expecting a home player to be crowned the Quake Champion. Not after a stacked EU Regional Championship in Leicester at the weekend, in which many top European players failed to make it through to Quakecon for the first major Quake Champions tournament.
“The European side has substantially more talent than the American side,” said caster Dan ‘ZSX’ Sanders. “And we saw superstar names being knocked out at the weekend. There’s a complaint in the community that the standard is so high in Europe but not as great in America, yet we both get equal allocation of slots at the competition.”
It was a thrilling tournament, and the competition was so fierce that some legends of the game were knocked out of the single-player Duels. Toxjq, the best Quake 4 player in the world, was eliminated, as was multiple world champion Stermy. Evil, runner-up at Quakecon for the last two years, won’t be competing in Duels, nor will top UK player GaRpY or ex-Painkiller world champion Vo0.
So, who is left? Who are the favourites to win the Duel and Team events at Quakecon. Over to ZSX…
Duel – Cypher is the strong favourite
Cypher looked the strongest and is the most comfortable [with the game] at the moment. The Belarus veteran is one of the most successful players of all time, and while he will only be playing in the Duel tournament at Quakecon, he’s on the Virtus Pro roster.
He qualified very easily, without dropping a map all game. So, from what we saw, he was the best. His style fits the game the best and he’s very adaptable as he doesn’t have a fixed way of playing. He’s always been ahead of everyone else with his playstyle and combat skills and that’s just transitioned into Quake Champions.
Could Av3k beat Cypher?
Av3k was Quake 4 champion – no one knew how good he was going to be in this game, but he defeated Cooller and Strenx. Cooller had been technically the best in the world up to this point, so Av3k is a player who could knock Cypher out. He’s super aggressive.
Team – NOTOFAST are the favourites
The 4v4 team competition is in a mode called Sacrifice, and again, the standard is substantially higher in Europe than in America. NOTOFAST are the superstar team from Europe; they’ve got Toxjq and Stermy, two of the strongest aimers in the game, and they’re joined by Noctis and Fazz. They’ve all been playing Quake for 15 years, since the first game, and have been top-level professionals since Quake 3. They’re all team specialists as well.
2Z could challenge
The other top team is called 2Z – their lynchpin Xron didn’t get a Visa for the UK, but he's secured one for the tournament in America. His absence made them weaker in Leicester, but now he's back they could challenge NOTOFAST with their extremely aggressive play.
The Quake World Championship takes place from August 24-27.