QuakeCon: From a Player’s POV: fear_

As many of you know, I, Patrick “fear_,” competed in this year’s QuakeCon with team TRILL. The team consisted of myself, Josh “Avenged,” Frank “cfebns,” Neil “cpy_,” and Jose “N1k0n.” The team was thrown together 2 weeks before the event as a last minute thing and we all knew this was just a “whatever-team.” We figured we would throw together a last minute team and see how things went. Aside from that fact, we all had pretty high hopes to be honest; cpy_ and N1k0n played together last year under a sponsorship from Area 51 Gaming and Avenged/cfebns/myself had played together at some point in time under [LQ]/x_X (myself/Avenged: [LQ]; myself/cfebns: x_X; Avenged/cfebns: 9.c). So given past experiences from playing with each other we figured we wouldn’t do that bad.

Day 1: The Road/Beginning of the Fail

My brother and I woke up Wednesday morning at 6:00am so that we could leave by 7:00-8:00. We got to the car rental place and get a car and this took a bit longer than expected and i think we finally hit the road to Texas by about 10:00. The drive was super boring because it was pretty much one road the entire way. We stopped off in Louisiana around 7:00pm to see a long-time friend  and clan-mate of mine, samer. We finally arrived in Dallas around (can’t remember because I was so tired) 2:30/3:00am CDT (we got delayed big time. Long story, don’t ask..) and immediately went to bed when I got in the hotel because, for some reason, I can’t sleep in a car and it was a 12 hour drive (fml). We had to wake up around 8:00am so that we could have time to eat breakfast, take showers, and drive to the venue since our hotel was about 10/15 minutes away. We arrived at the venue on Day 1 with cfebns and we had absolutely NO idea where to go because the Hilton Anatole was FUCKING HUGE. I’m talking like the size of a small city. It didn’t seem like much from the outside, but once we got inside we were instantly lost. after a 15 minute walk across the hotel we finally found where we were supposed to be. The line was stretching from inside the venue (obviously) all the way back to the hotel (you had to go outside to go to the venue) which was probably, ohh…100 yards? Basically, the line was long…Luckily we spotted RottenRose and she got us into the QdQ (QuakeCon done Quick) Registration line. After waiting for about 30 minutes we finally got to the front of the line, but one of the Volunteer guys asked us if we had pre-registered to be in the QdQ line (they basically paid $20 to be able to register faster, and now that i think about it, that wouldn’t have been a bad idea…) and obviously we didn’t. Luckily he took us to the front of the regular registration line and told us we had to do it there (he basically helped us cut everyone already in line LOL- SORRY EVERYONE!). So we registered all of our stuff and got out badges and we thought we were good to go…wrong. We then had to get our items checked in since we were playing in the tournament. They put bar-codes on our headsets, mice, keyboards, and laptops and scanned it all in. So…FINALLY we were in the BYOC and ready to get things started. After roaming the around and checking out the other booths for a minute, I found my way to the QL.tv booth and met all the staff. I then had to immediately go to the Tournament Area to meet up with my team and get ready to play (already…?) We had our team picture taken and we registered our team so that we could be placed on the bracket and to let the people know that we were actually competing after signing up online. We got sent to our section of the Tournament Area and started setting up our equipment on the computers.

Let me take a second to just thank all of the sponsors of QuakeCon, but specifically Alienware. The computers and peripherals they provided us with were absolutely amazing (even though I didn’t use their keyboard/mouse because I brought my own). The monitors were 21.5″ flat screen LCDs and the computers were Auroras and Aurora ALXs. These machines were absolutely beast and the monitors were very crisp, responsive, and clear.

Anyways, we got all of our stuff setup and we were ready to get in-game and start jumping around/shooting around so that we could tweak our configs if needed and so that we could get used to the LAN feeling. Needless to say, it’s is hard to do so when there’s an electrical fire and the network goes down. So we sat there for hours hitting refresh on quakelive.com in desperation thinking that it would be up any moment…what a great utilization of time, right? I thought so too, but that’s when I looked over to my left and cfebns is trying to stack 2 chairs on top of each other so that he could sit up higher because he didn’t like the height of the tables and n1k0n is making the outside color of his computer blink like a strobe light and playing with the other colors that you were able to customize on the desktops. It was about that time I realized (GONNA BE ABOUT TREE FITTY NAH!) I was wicked hungry because the “breakfast” at my hotel was beyond uber-fail so I went to the QL.tv booth and dominated a family size box of cheezits and sat there for a while and checked out some more displays and such. Around 6:30ish Stevo let us know that the tournament had been called off for the day due to network issues and we were to come back the next day at 11:00am to start the CTF tournament. So the rest of the day was dedicated to t-shirts. Lets just say I left Texas with 6 new shirts without buying one and my brother got 13, once again, not buying any (what a bastard). We went back to the hotel that night to meet up with Avenged because he got there that night around 9:00pm and hung out with him for a bit until going to bed so that we could get some sleep before the next day because we both knew it would be pretty hectic.

Day 2: Bare Naked….Men…?

Seeing as how my brother and I aren’t insane, we bypassed the pathetic excuse for breakfast at our hotel because we learned from the previous morning and just went straight to the venue without eating (not the best of ideas). We arrive and show Avenged around a bit and get him all checked in and we check in ourselves and report to the Tournament Area ASAP. We meet up with cpy_/N1k0n/cfebns and get setup on the computers again and, thank you God, the network is finally working and we are able to play! We get in our server to get ready for our match with .403. and jump around and make any changes to our configs necessary. By about 12:00 we start our match and it is also shoutcasted as the first CTF match. We played very well and won the first map, Japanese Castles, 8-1. The next map was our pick: Ironworks. With confidence from the last map we went all out and took the map in about 10 minutes. I told everyone on my team to play defense to make sure they didn’t cap and I ran offense by myself for those 10 minutes and collected all 8 caps with much needed and appreciated cover in mid from my team. So match 1 gets completed and it was quick and painless for us and we are feeling pretty good afterward even though our next match was against the #1 European CTF team and possible favorite to beat EG: Fnatic. But, that match was to be played at 2:30 and it was around 12:30 the the time so we had a little downtime to go and eat/watch the masters duel which is what I did. I went back to the QL.tv booth for my beloved cheezits and hurried back to the main stage to watch sparks vs prozac. For those of you who haven’t met prozac…the dude’s nucking futs. Like, for real…He was perma-fucked up on something, I’m not sure what, but he was absolutely crazy (or maybe that’s just how he is). I told you that to tell you this. After his match with sparks (he lost 2 maps to 1 I believe), he was cool about it and went back to the tourney area and apparently got naked. Now, he claimed to be changing his shorts but that would mean he was going commando all day, not surprising really. But still, it was awkward, weird, unexpected, (anything else I missed?) and he eventually got thrown out of qcon because of it.

As 2:30 rolls around my team and I get all ready to play against Fnatic. We go over strategies, positions, and what maps we we want to do. We get in the server and we’re all ready to go, but Fnatic is telling the CTF tournament director that they wanted to play their duel matches first for some reason. So of course they get to play their duel matches first and we have to wait for another 5 hours before we can play. as 7:30 comes around we are once again in a server and ready to play. We are all warmed up and feeling good about playing, but that’s when the fail started happening again. Every 2 or 3 minutes there would be about 1 minute of complete lag out (on LAN, wtf?!). Don’t ask me because I don’t know how it’s possible, but thats what happened. So we wait around for 30 minutes being told not to ready up and finally they call off the match and tell us to come back at 9:00am to play our match. Awesome…

Day 3: STFU dude I’m trying to sleep…

My brother and I wake up a bit earlier so that we could get to the venue a little early so that I could have time to warm up and and wake up. Avenged and I are the only ones from our team that actually show up though…and it’s 9:20…So I call cpy_ about 5 times as well as cfebns around the same amount. No answer. So i texted both of them and then called cpy_ 1 last time. Finally he answered and he sounded really tired. “Whats up?” “Well…we were supposed to play at 9:00am and you guys aren’t here…” “Really? I thought we played at 10:00.” *Faceplam* “Nah man, you guys need to get down here right now because they might FF us if you’re not here in the next 5 minutes.” “Aight be right there.” And right as I hung up the phone I get a text from cfebns (him/N1k0n/cpy_ were staying in the same room btw) saying, “STFU man I’m trying to sleep.” LOL!

Anyways, cfebns and N1k0n show up within the next 5-10 minutes and they look like freaking zombies. Cfebns sits down at his computer and just sits there staring at the screen not moving. N1k0n looked like he was still asleep but at least he was moving and trying to get ready. We all get on vent and the first thing we hear is cfebns say, and I quote, “I just woke up in a pile of my own puke…” Man, this is just getting better and better. Apparently the night before, cpy_/N1k0n/cfebns had been drinking, but N1k0n didn’t drink as much, he was simply tired from going to bed so late and waking up so early. But cfebns got mega-plastered and, as he said, woke up in his own pile of puke. Not to mention he punched the flat screen TV in their room because he is apparently and angry drunk (expensive repair bills by the way). So we get in the server and extend the warm up as long as we can to give cfebns and N1k0n every chance to wake up and get their shit together. After making Fnatic wait as much as possible (even though they made us wait 5 hours the night before and we still didn’t play) we didn’t have any other choice but to F3 and cross our fingers. So the first map was Siberia (ctf8) and we had N1k0n on defense, cfebns on RA/High D, and I was kind of just a roamer, helping wherever and whenever I could. We were doing pretty well for the first 10 minutes, surprisingly; they were only up 1-0 and we hadn’t gotten a single quad. So we were feeling good, but that’s when the chain-caps started rolling in for Fnatic. Needless to say we ended up losing 6-0. Next up was their map pick, Japanese Castles. Talk about a cluster fuck. Absolutely nothing went right for us and we had no idea what we were doing. 8-0 them in like 13 minutes. So the tournament is over for us but QuakeCon wasn’t.

The rest of the time I was there I was attempting to win raffles, watching matches and, most of all, waiting for the finals. The semi-finals were awesome matches to watch. EG vs QUAD and Fnatic vs Loaded. EG handily took care of QUAD but Fnatic seemed to have a bit of trouble with Loaded only beating them 2 maps to 1 with all 3 games being very close. So QUAD was set ot play Loaded for the 3rd place match. I have to say, a lot of people were expecting Loaded to take care of QUAD rather easily but they didn’t, at all. QUAD came out balls to the wall and took out Loaded in just 2 maps to capture 3rd place . Congrats to them for their achievement. So the finals roll around and guess who it is? Yes, a rematch of last year’s semi-final between EG and Fnatic. what more could you ask for for a QuakeCon CTF Grand Final? It’s all or nothing. USA versus Europe. Steelseries versus Steelseries. Sexy hair versus buzz-cuts. A team of impeccable consistency in winning versus a rather premature CTF squad that has only been together exactly a year at the time. I’m sure most of you guys watched it live, and for those who didn’t, remind me to slap you. It. Was. EPIC. Everything a final should be; all 3 maps, close as it could be, and remarkable comebacks on just about every map. It certainly was a treat to watch along with the Duel final between Cypher and cooller. Once again, another epic set of matches between 2 duel masters. Just as the CTF finals went, all 5 maps, insane comebacks, and another amazing win for Cypher due to his clutch performance and  keen ability to keep his nerves in-check.

Day 4: Back on the Road…

My brother and I didn’t attend the after party since we had to leave early the next morning and we were already really tired from being up so early and having the tournament end around 11:30. With Sunday being nothing but the tear-down day for Qcon, and Saturday’s epic matches being the conclusion of the tournament, it was time to go home. I had classes starting the next day (Monday) and the drive home was 12 hours (I guess it was really 13 since we gained an hour coming back to the east coast). Needless to say the drive was just as boring on the way back. We stopped at Cracker Barrel for “breakfast” (it was like 12:00pm lol) in Dallas and hit the road for good around 12:30. The only other time we stopped for food was at a McDonald’s in Mississippi around 7:00pm. We didn’t get home until around 2:30am and we had to unload the car and get all settled in again. I don’t think I went to bed until around 4am which gave me about 6 hours to sleep before my first day of classes. Next year I am, without a doubt, flying because that drive was so long and so boring. For those of you who drove from further away than Georgia, I’m sorry. But I think we can all agree that it was worth it. ;D

There was no better way to end my first QuakeCon than with those amazing matches. I met a lot of friends and had a great time with each and every one of you. I had such an amazing time and I can’t wait for next year (hopefully I won’t have anymore drunk teammates to worry about)!

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