05/05/2020

๐Ÿ’ฅ What Is Quake Champions, And Why Should You Check It Out? ๐Ÿ’ฅ

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Way back in the mists of 1996, legendary first-person shooter developer id Software released Quake. The development process for this shooter was fascinating, and the game still enjoys a large audience today thanks to its fast-paced action and retro aesthetic.

Of course, the single-player campaign is excellent, full of smart level design choices and well-crafted monster encounters, but that’s not where people’s hearts are.

Quake’s massively influential multiplayer arena mode still draws players on a regular basis because it offers a pure shooter experience many modern games can’t match.

Of course, the original Quake isn’t really the esports mainstay it once was. Even id Software’s official replacement Quake Live is suffering from waning crowds and diminishing event presence as a result. While it may be true that the original Quake and Quake Live aren’t the spring chickens they used to be, there’s a new contender on the block and it wants you to know that it’s just as spry and sprightly as its predecessors.

Quake Champions is id Software and Saber Interactive’s take on the esports scene as viewed through a lens of classic shooters, and it’s a game you should check out.

First, a little information about what exactly Quake Champions is. The official Steam page for the game describes it as a “fast-paced arena shooter” in the vein of the original Quake. It plays a lot like Quake III Arena (or its modern successor Quake Live) but boasts hero-shooter-style characters, each with their own abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. If you’ve never experienced a hero shooter before, Quake Champions could be a good place to start. It boasts a cast you’ll recognise, with heroes like Wolfenstein’s BJ Blaskowicz and DOOM’s Doom Slayer making an appearance.

Quake Champions has had a lot of love poured into it as an esport by Bethesda and the developers. Thanks to Bethesda, Saber, and id Software, the time-honoured tradition of betting on Quake matches can continue, albeit in a slightly different format. The reason it works as an esport is very similar to why other games in the genre work; its constant balancing act between different heroes and abilities means that the meta - most effective tactic available - is constantly shifting. No two games of Quake Champions play themselves out the same.

So what professional support is there for Quake Champions at the esports level? The most prominent event is the Quake League, an ongoing competitive esports event that pits various players against one another. Quake Champions does have a team deathmatch mode, but it isn’t necessarily a team-based event, as it has a standard deathmatch mode too. As such, you’re more likely to see individual players climbing the ranks of the Quake League than you are to see teams. If you’re a more individualist type who likes rooting for people rather than organisations, Quake Champions could well be for you.

There are a number of things that set Quake Champions apart from its hero shooter brethren. It’s much, much more fast-paced than even Overwatch or Apex Legends. Champions’ arena shooter heritage means that the perfect frame of reference for gameplay is Quake, Unreal Tournament, or even the recent DOOM reboot and its sequel. If you’re not ready for blisteringly fast shooter action, then Quake Champions might not be the best place to start. It definitely doesn’t have the same emphasis on tactics that its siblings do.

That said, Quake Champions scratches a very particular itch. You’ll see massive cartoony powerups floating above the ground, just as you would in an old-school shooter. Quake Champions aims squarely for a more arcade-style experience than other hero shooters do, and because of that, it’s perfect for quick games rather than marathon sessions. Unlike Overwatch - or even MOBAs like League of Legends - Quake Champions can be enjoyed no matter how much time you’ve got to sit down and frag some noobs, as they say.

If you’re a fan of the more ridiculous and over-the-top arsenals of games like DOOM and Quake, you’ll find those guns in spades in Quake Champions. The lightning gun, in particular, feels immense to use, but even the basic super shotgun has a powerful kick to it that makes firing it an absolute joy. Where weapons in Overwatch or Apex Legends can sometimes feel a little weak, you won’t find that word anywhere near Champions. It’s simply great fun to play the game on a moment-to-moment basis and watching it is just as fun thanks to this game design principle.

In summary, then, you should definitely check out Quake Champions if you’ve got a hankering for a first-person shooter that’s esports-ready. While there are more established and polished competitors on the table - Overwatch and Apex Legends are currently surfing the wave Quake Champions wants to surf - that doesn’t mean Champions isn’t ready for battle. It’s got robust esports support and a wide range of chances to bet on it, too, so if you’d rather spectate than play, you’ll find yourself amply cared for by the game. 

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