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Pro Gamer Fatal1ty Talks Tactics, Endorsements

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the fatal-l33t-speak dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 58

An anonymous reader writes "Quake master Johnathan Wendel, better known as Fatal1ty, talks about his life and the professional gaming scene over at ZDNet. Asked how he keeps his reflexes sharp, he said: 'I use the same tactics in 'Quake' that I used in tennis. It's all about mind games, knowing what your opponent's thinking, knowing where a shots going to go. Anything in a computer game, I can relate it to something in sports I've played. The rail gun (the heaviest weapon in 'Quake') -- that's like going for the overhead slam in tennis. You set 'em up and then you drive it home with your hardest shot. It's like all the shots in tennis are, back and forth, trying to get them off balance. And when you do, you slam it down their throat. Same as gaming.'"

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58 comments

IS HE HIRING? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8245414)

I'd like a job as professional video game coach please. I can help him be a better player. FP BTW.

hehehe (5, Funny)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8245428)

He says he plays tennis...

I wonder if he blasts one into his opponents skull if he yells "HEADSHOT!"

Re:hehehe (1)

PhyreFox (576728) | more than 10 years ago | (#8245485)

...or throws his mouse on the ground and swears at the top of his lungs everytime he loses...

Re:hehehe (1)

Domini (103836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8246636)

Quake III does not discriminate where a shot hits. It uses a standard bounding box.

A Counterstrike player may be more likely to yell this, but then counterstrike is not about reflexes and more about team gaming.

(doubles tennis and hitting your partner in the head?)
-grin-

Re:hehehe (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8246716)

Actually, the first game to announce it was Unreal Tournament. While headshots have always been in CS, the voice that announces it on some servers is stolen from Unreal Tournament. (Also "Multikill", "Monsterkill", "Ultrakill" and "Godlike". Think that's all of them.)

And Counterstrike is about getting pwn3d by cheaters:)

UT2K3 adds additional words... (1)

waaka! (681130) | more than 10 years ago | (#8246939)

UT2K3 added "Mega Kill," "Ludicrous Kill" and "HOLY SHIT" to the announcer's vocabulary. Incidentally, it's interesting to hear how...excited the Aroused announcer gets once you start racking up the consecutive kills.

Perhaps bellowing "HUMILIATION" in a low voice would be more appropriate for a tennis ball to the head.

Re:hehehe (1)

Domini (103836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8246954)

Seems like you are also partial to 'real' FPS. ;)

Not that I don't play CS... it's really fun MP (even more fun than Q3 RA3)

It's just that I love the level of skill one can strive for and learn in Quake 3 for example. (Accuracy, Rocketjump, strafe-jump, circle-jump, plasma-climbing, armour/map control, grenade jumping) Can't wait for Q4 to build and expand on these... :)

Re:hehehe (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8247233)

I prefer realism. Okay, CS isn't exactly realistic, but I got bored of the Quake series. Still have a soft spot for UT though. Why? Two words. "The Redeemer".

Of course then it goes the other extreme, with Call of Duty... One shot often kills. Harsh.

It's all good:)

Re:hehehe (1)

prator (71051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8249300)

The Quake 3 engine is capable of hit detection. I play a lot of Urban Terror (Q3 mod), and it has head shots and hits on various body regions.

-prator

Ten-nis? (5, Funny)

Cosmik (730707) | more than 10 years ago | (#8245470)

Tennis? Ten-nis? What on this green earth is that?

Sorry, I only follow the professional sports, like Quake.

Re:Ten-nis? (5, Funny)

SamSim (630795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8246881)

Tennis [gamefaqs.com] is a relatively obscure Dreamcast game - well, isn't everything obscure when compared to Quake? The control system's pretty neat, but it could use support for more than four players and really needs some power weapons. And don't get me started on the scoring system.

Nitpick... (2, Informative)

OgdEnigmaX (535667) | more than 10 years ago | (#8245588)

The railgun didn't officially appear until Quake II, though I gather the railgun and Quake mentioned above is III.

Nitpick about Mortal Kombat (1)

orthancstone (665890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8248223)

He says he played it for 2-3 hours on one quarter. If he could be more full of shit, I'd be amazed.

Re:Nitpick about Mortal Kombat (1)

Vermifax (3687) | more than 10 years ago | (#8248649)

I'm assuming he meant in vs. mode.

Back in college we always had people queued up along whatever arcade fighter was popular at the time.

Re:Nitpick about Mortal Kombat (1)

orthancstone (665890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8248899)

I'm assuming that too...I never saw anyone last that long without getting beat and going to the back of the queue for a little while.

Then again, I never saw anyone spend that much time on MK when Street Fighter 2 was around and much better.

Re:Nitpick about Mortal Kombat (1)

Firehawke (50498) | more than 10 years ago | (#8249153)

I've actually SEEN two/three hour game sessions on a single quarter. Mind you, this was back when the game first came out-- oh, 1992 or so-- but you could go down to arcades and find lines of people surrounding a game like MK. I recall very specifically seeing a line of nine people taking their turns against some grand master-caliber player who was taking on and beating every challenger. When I left a few hours later, he was still undefeated. That kind of thing HAS happened in the past..

Good odds though that he's overestimating somewhat. An hour max, I'd say..

Re:Nitpick about Mortal Kombat (1)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8249526)

Not Mortal Kombat, but I've seen people spend over 2 hours on a single credit. One time it was a fighting game (killer instinct) and the other time it was a pinball game where he got the "free game" like 10 times in a row (and setting high scores each time..).

Re:Nitpick... (1)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8250594)

Nice detail, but the "rail gun" style weapon did appeared in quake, it was the thunder gun, since is a weapon that can go through enemies in a single burst. Actually the quake model of guns has never changed (just like the capcom Hado And Haryu Ken and Shempe kick combo) the ID fps (since doom) have had mostly the same weapon combination. Melee. (punch, chainsaw,axe, gauntlet) MachineGun (pulse, nail and machinegun) Shotgun (no explaining required) *Railgun (since quake, thunder weapon, railgun) grenade/launcher(since quake) Rocket (*no explaining required) BFG(*the new BFG is pretty different from the rest though, since is a rapid fire weapon with medium splash damage, instead of a single shot weapon with huge splash damage) They have thrown some new weapons here and there but the combination is basically the same. The grenade and railgun were not "technologically" possible back in doom (the bsp could theorically handle it but it was too expensive for the doom age processors) so they didnt have those.

Lightning gun != railgun; Doom railgun possible? (1)

OgdEnigmaX (535667) | more than 10 years ago | (#8251577)

While its shots might have passed through enemies, the lightning gun did not fire in bursts, but rather continuously fired until you released the fire button or your cells ran out. The only time it fired in a burst was if you used it underwater, and in that case it had a (albeit painful) BFG-like splash spread if I'm not mistaken :)

As for a railgun-style weapon being "impossible" in Doom, while you definitely couldn't make a projectile trail animation (though you can in the modern remakes of the engine), it is entirely possible -- nay, common -- to take out multiple enemies in a single line with the regular shotgun because each shot is composed of several discrete projectiles, which upon firing immediately reach their point of impact (be it an enemy or a wall). A Doomly "railgun," then, need only have a relatively dense and tiny spread of projectiles. Heh, even a shotgun blast compressed into the rough span of a pistol shot could take out four or five zombies if you aimed it properly. I do agree, though, that the general Doom/Quake weaponset has changed fairly little since it was invented.

He's getting into the PC manufacturing game? (4, Interesting)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8245686)

That is impressive. He says he isn't going to be a commodity white box shop, either, but is going to make his own components. I wonder if he really understands how difficult this will be.

Really, he doesn't earn much money and probably would be earning more money had he gone to college and gotten a decent job (at least 50k) and I'm sure he's capable.

But he says he wants to create a company that makes the whole she-bang and doesn't just buy commodity parts. Lets presume that he will actually buy his chips from AMD/Intel. But he is actually going to create a company that is the equivilant of, say, Abit (motherboard) plus Nvidia (video) plus Creative (sound) plus Micron (memory). Seriously. He may as well start making his own CPU, too.

So if he thinks he can pull that off, well.... just never mind what I said about him making more money going to college. Stick to the parent's basement / gaming career.

Re:He's getting into the PC manufacturing game? (4, Informative)

WhiteBandit (185659) | more than 10 years ago | (#8245867)

Really, he doesn't earn much money and probably would be earning more money had he gone to college and gotten a decent job (at least 50k) and I'm sure he's capable.

According to this article [com.com], he took home over $100K in prize money in 2001 alone... :-O

Re:He's getting into the PC manufacturing game? (1)

fain0v (257098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8247847)

Tournaments for quake 3 dont exist like they used to. When quake 3 goes away, his skills will not entirely transfer to the next new game, and some other person who plays 10 hours a day will be the next best player. Anyone who wants to make a living playing a video game should have their head examined.

He probably does fine... (4, Interesting)

LocoBurger (18797) | more than 10 years ago | (#8245905)

He, and others like him fly around to different tournaments pulling down 5 figure prizes quite often. I was at QuakeCon 2001 where he got second, and $10,000, and had just come from another tournament, and was on his way to yet another. So, he needed someone to drive his novelty check home. A buddy of mine volunteered, and we drove it home. So, we took advantage of the situation [locoburger.org]. It was fun.

Re:He's getting into the PC manufacturing game? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8246056)

It wasn't clear who the "we" is that's going to be making all this new hardware. I think it's more likely that he's going to be working with some existing manufacturer to develop "Fatal1ty" branded products, like pro model skis or skateboards. Agreed, starting his own Silicon Graphics seems unlikely, let alone making his own RAM.

Re:He's getting into the PC manufacturing game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8248767)

Since when is 50k a year not good money? The guy's in his twenties. Fifty thousand dollars a year is good scratch. I'd be glad to be pulling down that kind of dough.

Re:He's getting into the PC manufacturing game? (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8250757)

Check the college graduate story a few weeks back; I think the standard for a capable graduate is well over 50k. This guy is clearly supurlative and could probably earn more starting a company that produces something or going to work for any number of companies; he could make more by designing games than by playing them.

Re:He's getting into the PC manufacturing game? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8255434)

No no no. He basically saying he's going to start up a company like Falcon West, or Alienware. These two companies sell highend gaming rigs with benchmarks to back them up. That would have been a good idea on his part, but he is a dollar short and a day late. He can try, and the best of luck to him. But if you ask me, he'll be pissing his money away. Though it would still be a learning experience.

If I was him, I would first be buying a new car, and saving the rest for a college education.

Re:He's getting into the PC manufacturing game? (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8255643)

No no no no. Alienware is the company he is referring to when he says buy's commodity parts and twaeks them. He said he will MAKE HIS OWN video cards, etc. Go read it again.

Re:He's getting into the PC manufacturing game? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8255682)

I really hope tweaking doesn't imply reprogramming the video BIOS with values that over clock the card (such as the memory and GPU). If so, then he is a morron.

Re:He's getting into the PC manufacturing game? (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8260331)

arggh. did anyone actually read the article? He said he WASNT tweaking, he was MAKING.

Sports (5, Interesting)

leadfoot2004 (751188) | more than 10 years ago | (#8245749)

It's interesting that he mentions in the article that in order to keep his reflexes up, he exercises and plays sports. This has two implications. First, this breaks somewhat the stereotype where professional gamers spends 20 hours a day sitting in front of the computer and practise, not getting much exercise. Second, professional gaming might argubly be categorised as sports. You'll never know. One day you might see a Quakefest on ESPN2.

Re:Sports (4, Insightful)

Neppy (673459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8246070)

You'll never know. One day you might see a Quakefest on ESPN2.
I really doubt it. Videogames tend to focus on a single players perspective, as opposed to established sports like basketball, football, soccer, baseball etc. Notice how all those games use a ball to focus attention, and are readily viewable from an "exterior" point of view. Watching someone play quake when you get only a single person's perspective is pretty shallow compared to watching a whole team. until games jump this gap they wont be taken seriously as sports.

Re:Sports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8246201)

What about auto racing?

Re:Sports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8246239)

the people who like Nascar do not own computers

On the other hand, (1)

waaka! (681130) | more than 10 years ago | (#8246285)

He does claim to put in 8-12 hours a day in the weeks leading up to a tournament. I know there were a lot of gamers out there expecting Fatal1ty to say "practice, practice, practice" somewhere in this article. (For those that haven't read it yet, no, he doesn't say it.)

Maybe not ESPN2... (1)

notsoclever (748131) | more than 10 years ago | (#8246707)

But definitely on ESPN3.

I mean, Quake 3 is a lot more exciting to watch than Magic: The Gathering...

Re:Sports - reactions and coordination (1)

bazoomd (748302) | more than 10 years ago | (#8247845)

In other sports, the professional athlete doesn't just play that sport all the time in order to get really good - what he does is break down the skills involved and then work on them individually.

I'm experimenting with something similar myself. I'm running a little site(Video Game Trainer [videogametrainer.com]) where we try and break down video game playing into the fundamental skills, and then work on them individually. So for example, you work on your hand-eye coordination for a while, then you work on your reaction speed. It's early days at the moment - anyone got any suggestions for exercises etc?

Re:Sports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8249044)

Yep I definitely believe sportier ppl who have good balance, reflexes and hand eye coordination are better suited to gaming (non puzzle gaming).
Seen it myself many a time. Thing is many sporty ppl from my experience arent into video games, so I think the geeks and nerds can relax a bit ;-)

btw..He practises before tournaments 8-12 hrs a day he said, gives plenty of time to work out.

played fatal1ty (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8245974)

Or maybe I was played by him.

One of his sponsors had him set up in Kentia Hall at the last E3, going head to head on UT2k3 with hapless fools like me. I'm about an average to slightly above average player (I end up right in the middle when I play online)...with fatal1ty I think we wound up at around 0-30 after five minutes.

Before seeing him in action, I wouldn't have believed that there was such a huge difference in hand-eye coordination and reflexes between a normal player and a pro. Pretty impressive. He said that he had a perfect record for E3 - he hadn't been killed once.

My balls itch (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8246031)

They do!

Re:My balls itch (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8246112)

Wanna lick 'em?

Serious ego problem (3, Insightful)

DeathPenguin (449875) | more than 10 years ago | (#8246117)

Comparing himself to Micheal Jordan? Oh puh-leeze. Jordan could piss in a bottle and sell it as perfume. This "professional gamer" is worth nothing compared to a real athlete.

Re:Serious ego problem (4, Funny)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 10 years ago | (#8246295)

You are correct. Have you smelled the Michael Jordan cologne? Exactly what it smells like...

More than ego, this guy is a BSing jackass (1)

orthancstone (665890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8248264)

Sad thing is he could use an improved education (his lame way of speaking screams that fact) yet he probably thinks he's got it made.

I'm not to sure about this Fatality guy, (4, Funny)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 10 years ago | (#8246178)

he sounds pretty gay.

You set 'em up and then you drive it home...back and forth, trying to get them off...And when you do, you slam it down their throat.

Not the first athlete gamer (4, Interesting)

ReyTFox (676839) | more than 10 years ago | (#8246659)

Thresh played tennis in high school too, IIRC.

Not that anyone remembers him these days. The current world-champion DM player seems to be different every time I look >.>

Disadvantage of going pro in computer games (3, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8247950)

Games like golf, tennis, basketball, chess, etc have been around for a long long time. If you're pro in these games, by the time the game changes significantly due to technology you'd have retired or something.

In contrast with computer games, people tend to _change_games_ quite rapidly. OK so people are still playing counterstrike and starcraft, but will enough people be playing it in years to come, in order to make it worth being a pro? Not many people are still playing Doom, or Quake 1.

Thresh was very good at Doom, Quake but is he still a pro-gamer?

Re:Disadvantage of going pro in computer games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8254200)

Quake isn't getting the version updates that Counterstrike is and Starcraft fans get new games from Blizzard like Warcraft 3 which are essentially the same as the older games. These games still at least have a few more years in them. And as long as the Cyber Professional League is around the older games will have a home in professional play.

Fata1ty speaks of a basic priciple.... (4, Insightful)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 10 years ago | (#8249027)

of combative sports.

In the course of my life I've participated in various forms of swordplay (sabre, shinai, boken, medieval styles, etc.) and have coached others on the same. In all forms of combat, there is a fundamental truth - the person who controls the space between the combatants wins. This is true for his tennis match, a football game, a chess game, hand-to-hand, swordplay, or total war.
.
During a typical contest, there will be moments when you have control and moments when you don't. When you do, you strike - immediately. When you don't, you get the hell out of the way and re-engage under more neutral circumstances. The whole trick is to get control of the space between you and your opponent and strike before he can react.
.
Between novice fighters, combat is like a game of "rock-paper-scissors" as both opponent throw various moves and techniques without much thought as to what the other person is doing, where his center of gravity is, etc. However, between experienced fighters, it's like watching an intricate dance as both opponents try to out position and out think each other....very cool to watch.

Er, was that comment necesary? (2, Insightful)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8250167)

But don't get too jealous. He travels too much to settle down and still lives in the basement of his father's house.

Did you HAD to mention that in your article Zdnet? I pretty much doubt this guy HAS to live with his parents, you already stablished he makes enough money NOT to, I also doubt he doesnt have at least a girlfriend (/boyfriend if thats his taste I dont care) you are just mentioning he is not married or in a serious relationship the guy is 22! what was the point of making hardcore gamers look like rejected kids who live in basements? you tried to be one until you remembered how much you sucked in quake or what?

Seriously is time for the media to realize GAMER is not a social stereotype, anyone can be a gamer we are just people who like videogames just like people who like reading books or watching movies, thats all! We dont tattoo pacman to our foreheads, we dont go screaming "HALO/MARIO FOREVER" through the streets thats nonsense, we are guys and girls with normal lives and normal jobs. not a small ethnic race desserving study.

Computer Geeks on the other hand...

Fatal1ty is a tool. (2, Interesting)

Akira1 (5566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8253782)

Now im gonna go out on a limb here and explain a portion of the community as it existed back around 1999 and 2000, and perhaps after that..

Fatal1ty was straightedge in a community of partiers and drug users. If they ever instituted drug testing in these competitions, 90% of the participants would fail. Weed, speed, coke, underage drinking were some of the things that were quite prevalent from what I saw.

John visited some friends of mine in Illinois and we all went out to dinner at a local TGI Fridays. He wasn't what you'd call blessed with the social skills. Egotistical and just plain annoying and/or boring to be around. One of the main reasons he was so succesful is not because he was particularly better then anyone else, but he was one of the first to realize there was genuine income potential competing, and that maybe it wasn't all just fun and partying, that maybe practicing daily was necessary to stay on the top rung. Many others in the community didn't realize this at first and were quickly left behind. I'm sure they've caught up by now.....
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