derQuaker Interview: Carmac about IEM
Hey Carmac, I am moppz from the Quake Live Community Page www.derquaker.com . I am sure you know me from our epic Av3k Interview and Quake Live Streams on www.bloodywarriors.com.
Yesterday the ESL announced that there wont be a Quake Live tourney for the next IEM. Surely it`s a bad day for Quake Players all over the World. I hope, we can get some information concerning the decision.
Was it hard for you to drop out Quake Live?
“Of course it was hard to drop Quake Live. It´s a fantastic game to watch and Quake is the game that introduced me to the world of professional e-sports. Not only because I like the game, but also many of the top players are my very good friends. I most certainly hope that the game will stay alive, even without the Intel Extrem Masters events. If we find the right partners, maybe we will still be able to run a few Quake Live events in the ESL TV studios as well.“
There are only a few big Quake Live events. The Intel Extreme Masters were a big part of those rare events. What do you think are the main reasons, that Quake Live has not as many viewers compared to LoL? Almost everybody seems to like Quake, still the community growth seems to be at a standstill.
“To be quite honest, I was surprised at how many people from communities, other than ESReality, expressed their sadness at the fact that Quake Live was not announced as one of the games for our league. This means that the potential for viewership is there, but I guess that there are not enough people in the community to build a story around Quake Live. If you look at StarCraft II for example, it has got Day9 but also so many other people who create fantastic content for the community on a regular basis.
On the other hand, if you look at ESReality, which is the largest Quake Live community, there are no original columns there, no articles written, no interviews. Almost only xou is doing coverage, and he is just one guy. It used to be much, much better and people would race to write new columns and add to the community. I think it comes from the fact that the community is very mature – we´re all old and we no longer have the time to do all those things. All of the above is for young kids with a lot of passion. Maybe Quake Live failed to deliver enough fresh blood into the community?“
That could be a reason. If you look at the Quake Live Tournaments and participants, you will see the same names over and over again. There are no new “star players”. The core of the Quake Live professional Gamers consists of ca. 16 players. Everybody else cant keep up with them, its a very closed community. At the beginning of an big event for new games such as Starcraft 2, you cant predict who will place in the top 3. You also said that Day9 and other Starcraft 2 streamers are doing a great job. The Quakelive Streamers are doing a tremendous job too. For instance the lvlup guys or the russian streamers around c58|shadow: They all have alot of viewers and are known for quality work. I think my german viewership enjoys my stream, too. Could it be a fault by id Software that they are not supporting their own “baby”? Maybe they missed out on an opportunity to get young players to play Quake Live as they enter the fps world?
“If you assume that they had an unlimited budget for Quake Live, then they missed something. Are there features that are missing? Yes. Would the game be a much more successful title with those features – yes, yes, yes. But it´s not as simple as that. As far as I know, id´s resources were also limited, so it is difficult to judge them. For example, for every one of our events, one or two of their tech guys needed to stay up in the middle of the night to support the LAN servers (and I cannot thank them enough). This meant that id Software pretty much lost that much time to code new features for Quake Live. Quake Live was an experimental project and going all in into it because some community guy believes in the game is quite risky.“
Yes, we are not allowed to judge about id Software, but as a player it looks like they did not focus on the important things. But this is not the topic today. What do you personally think about League of Legends? Have you played it yet? Do you like the LoL streams?
“If my personal feelings about a game were important, Quake Live would still be in the Intel Extreme Masters (-; ” I think League of Legends is a game with a lot of potential, with a publisher that understands e-sports and is doing a lot to support League of Legends as an e-sports title. Take the DreamHack tournament (Season 1 finals) – how many other publishers do you see putting up $100,000 in prize money for their tournaments? I myself haven´t played League of Legends enough to have an well-grounded opinion on the gameplay. I spent most of my free time trying to become good at StarCraft II for RotterdaM University . Now that the show is over for me, I can try League of Legends.“
Haha! My Starcraft 2 way to the Grandmaster League has stopped too. But as you already said it, the Quake Live community is getting older and older. Maybe more prize money can change it? If there is a $30,000 duel tourney, would it change anything? Is gaming all about money nowadays ?
“Prize money will not change it. It did not help PainKiller, did it? Quake Live desperately needs to increase its player base and find ways to nurture the newbie until he becomes a decent player.If the player base increases, so will the spectator base and so will the prize money. Everything comes from the bottom up, not the other way around.“
Maybe a good working ladder system like the one to be found in Starcraft 2 could help ? As it is right now, it`s very hard to find opponents at your level if you do not know your way around the community.
“I have played over 1,000 games of Quake Live. I like the damn game, but I have no reason to play it unless I have a friend who happens to be about as good as me. I switched to StarCraft II because there´s the ladder system where I measure my own progress, and where I am challenged every day. I felt so happy when I first advanced from Bronze to Silver. Yes, absolutely, that´s what competitive multiplayer games need.“
Which brings us back to ID Software. It seems, that they did not care for the community new needs. But what do you really think: Is there a chance for Quake Live to come back to big ESL events or is this the beginning of the end?
“I don´t think anyone knows if it´s over. A game that does not produce new stars is not the healthiest esports game, though. Let´s see if Quake Live keeps producing stars for its own community first. I certainly see possibilities of us still running tournaments for this game.“
I really hope so! I am watching and playing Quake for over 10 years. I am not sure what to do in eSport if there is no good first person shooter. I really hope that the ESL is still supporting Quake Live. The german Quake Live Bundesliga was a great succes with a lot of different skilled players. Hopefully there will be alot more players joining the Quake Live community. Was there no way to put Quake Live in as the 4th game of the IEM? Maybe as a smaller 16 slot tourney?
“We wanted to add League of Legends to the Intel Extreme Masters. It is the third most popular game in the ESL with weekly cups that feature even over 100 teams and our streaming numbers are very, very good as well. There is the ever present question of quality vs. quantity. I´ve said from the start of my work with Intel Extreme Masters that I do not believe in producing more content than people are able to consume. It is a lot of effort that goes nowhere. We are limited in how many streams we can show, limited manpower and running a Quake Live competition is no joke (especially with LAN servers). Having four games at one event would mean that streaming time and our efforts are divided between four as opposed to three. It´s a big difference and makes an impact on how the four groups of our product´s consumers experience the show.“
I can understand that and I want to come to an end. But one last question came out of our IRC Channel #bw.clan and the question is: Where do you see e-sports in 30 years? Is it the same thing as it is now? Or is it more and more shifting towards casual games like LoL. In the end the games, where you need to have a certain fps/duel skillset, drop out because it is to difficult to learn them?
“Games are only as casual as the people that play make them. Please remember that QW players considered all games after QW newbie friendly, for example. Q3 players considered CS newbie friendly, and so on. BroodWar players, I imagine, would consider SC2 newbie friendly as well, but SC2 is the clear number one game today. Games are only as hardcore as people want to make them. Having said that, I have absolutely no idea where e-sports will be in 30 years. I would imagine a certain game hits the mainstream and gets accepted forever, like chess, bridge and a few other games have been. What kind of game? I have no idea, but that makes things interesting.“
Okay, thanks a lot for this interview “behind the scenes”. I hope that the Quake Live community can understand the decission of the ESL now and that part of the discussions can be laid to rest. It really hurts, but I can understand you and the ESL. One last personal thing though: Please never forget your/the roots and keep all the (Quake) players in mind who ultimately made the ESL what it is today.
“Thank you as well. If there´s a Quake Live tournament somewhere with good players, I´ll certainly be one of the spectators watching. I would also like to thank the Levelup guys and the admins for helping us last season and also the never tired TTimo, Jah, Mike Rubits from id Software, and everyone that followed Quake Live in the Intel Extreme Masters. If I´ve disappointed you, I´m sorry.“