28 June 2018
Quake and Counter-Strike both shared their own respective milestones in the past week. It was a combined birthday week for esports’ two most venerable competitive titles. The games that started it all for PC esports at the end of the previous century will both be on show this weekend at Rush Esports
Quaking and shaking
On 22 June 1996, the very first game in what would become the Quake series was released. Quake was the successor to id Software’s immensely popular Doom series of first-person shooter PC games. For many of us, Doom was one of the first FPS games we ever played. In my case, it was in the computer lab at my primary school back when I was still a young and foolish console devotee. It was outdated already by the time I first played it, but it was a formative experience for me and many others. Doom was a pioneering title in the genre, itself following up on another pioneering title in Wolfenstein 3D. Quake introduced true real-time three-dimensional rendering to the First Person Shooter. It also was a major factor in growing the popularity of deathmatch in the multiplayer setting. The game eventually supported playable online multiplayer through the improved net code of the Quakeworld update in late 1996. Quake is the granddaddy of online multiplayer first-person shooters.
Quake II, Quake III: Arena, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and eventually 2010’s Quake Live all had success as games and more importantly as esports. QuakeCon, the yearly convention celebrating the franchise has been held since 1996. It’s done much to grow the esports side of the title. Legendary players like Shane “Rapha” Hendrixson, Alexey “Cypher” Yanushevsky and Johan “Toxjq” Quick have all won the 1v1 duel tournaments at QuakeCon multiple times. The franchise has been at the pinnacle of esports as the biggest esport in the business. The title has sadly waned in popularity with players and as an esports spectacle in the past few years. The 2017 launch of Quake Champions aims to address that. Whether it succeeds or not still remains to be seen. What is certain is that Quake boasts 22 years of illustrious history and should be celebrated for its contributions to esports and gaming.
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