In the Crosshairs: ETQW Competition Round-up: Webisode 3: Debate Edition

April 25, 2008

Despite many a distraction with ‘real’ work I’ve had time to hack together another brief news round up from the world of the ETQW competition scene.

First, let’s take a look at the current state of the various competitions around the globe. In Europe, the ClanBase Nations Cup XI has concluded with the Swedes (who always seem to win the various Nations Cup games!) beating the Netherlands team 4-0 on Ark and Salvage in the final. Sweden has been less fortunate in the ClanBase EuroCup XVII, though, as their leading clan, Epsilon eSports, have decided to take a hiatus from ETQW and have subsequently dropped from the event. The EuroCup is now entering the play-off stages and with the withdrawal of Epsilon, Four Kings are the clear favorites to win this cup. The other teams in the final eight are n!faculty.Tagan (DE), VAE.QW (UK), Wiechury (PL), Team Infinity (DK), DEFAULT.Team (PL), Geh aB Clan.ETQW (DE) and Inferno eSports (IT).

The Live2Win ETQW season 1 final between Four Kings and Epsilon ended with a 4-0 victory to 4K on the maps Volcano and Ark, whilst the GameStar Liga sees Geh aB topping the table at present but with plenty of games still to be played.

Across the pond in the US, the TGL’s 5v5 Infantry Ladder has reached the semi-final stage. The top three teams at the end of the regular season, FATE, Team n3mesis and Electric Sunshine Machine all eased through the quarters to make it into the semis. In the fourth quarter-final Team Silent Service scraped past Fragapalooza in a reversal of their week 8 defeat to the same team, a result that was considered something of an upset. FATE will play Team n3mesis in one semi-final whilst Electric Sunshine Machine will meet Team Silent Service in the other, the games are scheduled to be played on Sunday April 27th.

FPS competition communities are never short on debate, discussion, baseless whining and red hot flame wars, but it seems to be the season for it at present in the ETQW scene. Epsilon eSports’s choice to take a break from the game in the short term was apparently based on the lack of quality competition in the European scene. This comes at a time when there is a lot of discussion on the forums about the best ways to get the most active and lively community possible. Some members of the community are trying to help get the more casual clans involved in matches, Reign’s second ‘Starters’ Tournament is one example of this whilst Valiant from VAE has put together this small guide to help introduce new players. A more stormy discussion about what is needed to increase the size of the community is being had here, thoughts ranging from the different rule sets used to the nature of the game’s design itself are being discussed. With other factors like the recently announced QuakeCon, the impending 1.5 patch and upcoming ETQW console releases all affecting the competition scene there is no doubt this debate could run for some time yet.

Another debate raging at present has come following a recent exhibition match between Four Kings and TUF. The Europe vs America show match (covered by the guys at the awesome website) turned out to be a one sided affair with 4K easing to a 4-0 win against the CAL Season 1 champions. Despite the mixed rule set and the cross Atlantic pings this one sided victory seems to have sparked some discussion as to why the European scene seems so much stronger than the US one, several top players blaming the varied rule sets used by US leagues compared to the near standard use of ETQW Pro and the Community Rule Set in Europe. It will interesting to see if anything changes in the coming weeks.

The growing influence the US and European leagues are having on one another also looks set to continue as a collection of top Euro players have formed a new team and entered themselves on CAL Main, one of the most popular US leagues. The team, going by the unique and descriptive name of MegaUberSuperEuroMix, is a made up of players from Four Kings, Epsilon and VAE and will have to cope with high pings and late nights when taking on opponents. I’ll certainly be an interested observer of the teams progress as I fondly remember playing in a similar team for Tribes 2, the disturbingly pink and fluffy EuroGh3y! I have to admit, nothing is more fun than beating American clans with a 250 ping at 4am on a Sunday morning. 😀

This mix of discussion and head-to-head games between the US and Euro teams could come to something of a climax later this year, this is because QuakeCon 2008 and has now been announced. Every competition gamer worth their salt is aware of how big an event QuakeCon is and although no tournaments have been announced yet for this years event I’m sure everybody reading this will hope ETQW is going to be there again. Certainly there already seems to be some interest among the top European teams and as a budding reporter I guess I should try to bag myself some free tickets too!