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XSi Coverage

Live from Stockholm

Thanks to our hosts Nine Studios, event organisers XSReality, and of course Razer, the company behind the bizarrely shaped Razer Boomslang mouse, who were one of the main sponsors this weekend and have had a stall here.

Index Pre-Tourney Build-Up 1 Index 2 Introduction The Competitors 3 The Rules Qualifier Groups 4 Arrival Warm-ups Qualifier Round Matches 5 Makaveli vs DOOMer - Q3DM13 Makaveli vs DOOMer - Q3Tourney2 Makaveli vs DOOMer - Q3Tourney4 6 Immortal vs Shub - Q3Tourney4 Immortal vs Shub - Q3DM13 7 Kane vs Doomer - Q3DM13 Kane vs Doomer - Q3Tourney4 Kane vs Doomer - Q3Tourney2 8 Timber vs Lakerman - Q3Tourney4 Timber vs Lakerman - Q3Tourney2 Timber vs Lakerman - Q3DM13 9 DOOMer vs Insane - Q3Tourney2 DOOMer vs Insane - Q3Tourney4 10 Timber vs Shub - Q3Tourney2 Timber vs Shub - Q3DM13 Timber vs Shub - Q3Tourney4 11 Vise vs Shub - Q3DM13 Makaveli vs Wombat - Q3DM13 12 Insane vs Kane - Q3DM13 Insane vs Kane - Q3Tourney2 13 Lakerman vs Shub - Q3DM13 Wombat vs DOOMer - Q3Tourney4 Lakerman vs Immortal - Q3Tourney4 14 Vise vs Timber - Q3Tourney2 Vise vs Timber - Q3DM13 15 Final Results Friday Night Fever 16 Evening Night Morning Quarter Final Matches 17 Shub vs Fatality - Q3Tourney2 Shub vs Fatality - Q3DM13 18 Lakerman vs Timber - Q3DM13 Quarter Final Losers' Bracket 19 Shub vs DOOMer - Q3Tourney2 Shub vs DOOMer - Q3DM13 Shub vs DOOMer - Q3Tourney4 20 Kane vs Lakerman - Q3Tourney2 Kane vs Lakerman - Q3Tourney4 Kane vs Lakerman - Q3DM13 Semi-Final Matches 21 Wombat vs Fatality - Q3Tourney2 Wombat vs Fatality - Q3Tourney2 (again) 22 Timber vs Makaveli - Q3Tourney2 Timber vs Makaveli - Q3DM13 Semi-Final Losers' Bracket 23 DOOMer vs Makaveli - Q3DM13 DOOMer vs Makaveli - Q3Tourney2 24 Lakerman vs Wombat - Q3Tourney4 Lakerman vs Wombat - Q3Tourney2 Losers' Bracket Final 25 Makaveli vs Wombat - Q3Tourney2 Makaveli vs Wombat - Q3Tourney4 Winners' Bracket Final 26 Fatality vs Timber - Q3Tourney4 Fatality vs Timber - Q3Tourney2 Finals Losers' Bracket 27 Timber vs Makaveli - Q3Tourney2 Timber vs Makaveli - Q3Tourney4 Grand Final 28 Fatality vs Makaveli - Q3Tourney2 Fatality vs Makaveli - Q3Tourney2 (again) USA vs Clan 9 29 Removed at players' request

The event's other sponsors were -

Creative Labs

Microsoft

Logitech

Act Labs

Everglide

Introduction

The XSReality invitational (XSi) tourney is being hosted by Nine Studios here in frozen Stockholm this weekend.

Twelve of the best players from around Europe and America have come to Sweden to fight it out in a one-on-one Quake 3 Arena deathmatch competition, a trans-atlantic battle of the titans. And we'll be bringing you full coverage of all the key matches throughout the weekend right here on EuroGamer!

So, without any further ado, let's take a quick look at the players who will be competing in the event...

The Competitors

Stefan "Insane" Bech

An 18 year old from Denmark, Insane was runner-up in the Denmark CPL qualifier, narrowly missing out on a trip to the big Frag 3 tourney in America last year. Iikka "Zibbo" Rajala

It might not look like it from this photograph, but Finland's Zibbo (a veteran of Clan Z) is actually the oldest of the competitors this weekend, at 24 years old. Benjamin "Kane" Reichert

Germany Kane on the other hand is one of the youngest competitors, at 16. He's already been runner-up in the TrueGamers Invitational tournament though, and is a member of Clan SK. Marius "Shub" Jones

18 year old Norwegian Shub has a reputation as being one of the best duellers in Europe after his victory at the Quake 2 EDL tournament. Have his skills carried over to Quake 3? Tomi "DOOMer" Kärnä

Sweden's own DOOMer is a member of the infamous Clan 9, and first made a splash by winning the FragFest '96 competition. At 23 he is one of the older competitors, but he proved he isn't over the hill yet by winning the duel competition at the recent LAN Arena 3 event in Paris. Oskar "Lakerman" Ljungström

Another Swede, 19 year old Lakerman was the winner of the TrueGamer's invitational, beating Germany's Kane into second place. Can he do it again this weekend? Ian "Timber" Holder

At 18 Timber is already a veteran of the UK QuakeWorld scene. He was a member of Team UK at the EuroQuake tournament, and won the Logitech exhibition tournament at ECTS '99 a few months ago. Johnathan "Fatality" Wendel

An 18 year old American, Fatality made an impressive debut by winning the AdrenaLAN qualifier for the CPL's Frag 3 last year, going on to finish a creditable third in the main tourney. Mark "Wombat" Larsen

At just 15, Wombat is the youngest of the contestants this weekend. But don't let his age fool you - he is reigning CPL champion from 1999, and if he can pull out that kind of performance again this weekend he could be in with a chance of winning the tourney. Dan "Vise" Larsen

18 year old Vise is Wombat's brother, and has accompanied him over to Sweden for the XSi tourney. Vise is himself a top ten player in the CPL and could do well this weekend - don't expect him to show his little brother any mercy if they end up playing each other! Victor Jose "Makaveli" Cuadra

Makaveli is fairly well known, especially in his native USA, but surprisingly he hasn't actually won a major tournament yet. At 21 he has been in the top four in season 2 of the PGL and the CPL's Frag 2 and Extreme Annihilation tournaments. Will he come through with his first major win this weekend? Kurt "Immortal" Shimada

16 year old Immortal is another Quake 2 player who has done well for himself in the PGL and CPL in America, and was the winner of the Extreme Annihilation tourney.

The Rules

As there are twelve players taking part in the tournament here this weekend, a simple knock-out wouldn't work.

Instead the players have been split into two groups of six, and each player will have to play ten minute long duels against the rest of the players in their group.

The top four players from each group will then go through to the quarter-finals, and their performance in the qualifiers will determine their seeding in the double-elimination knock-out part of the tournament, where they will play fifteen minute games.

Each player will get to choose which map they want to play on from the three selected for the XSi competition - Q3Tourney2, Q3Tourney4, and Q3DM13. All matches will be best of three, with the result being decided on the number of map victories, not frags.

This means that players can't just cruise through the tournament winning on frags by doing very well on their chosen map and then avoiding heavy defeats on the other two - they need two clear wins.

Qualifier Groups

After a last minute swap between US Quake 2 stars Immortal and Makaveli, the two groups of six for the initial qualifier round on Friday are now as follows -

Lakerman Vise Timber Fatality Shub Immortal   Kane Wombat DOOMer Insane Zibbo Makaveli

Arrival

The Hotel Oden where we're all staying is just outside the Odenplan "T-Bahn" (subway) station, and also within a few minutes walk from the venue for this weekend's tourney, Nine Studios.

Which is rather handy, although sometimes heavy snow fall, freezing cold winds, and ice all over the roads and pavements made life a little more .. interesting.

By the time I arrived on Thursday afternoon, several of the competitors were already there. Hakeem and Sujoy had taken Immortal, Makaveli and Fatality to that bastion of Swedish culture .. Stockholm's Hard Rock Cafe. Ahem. You come all the way from America, and the first place you go is a Hard Rock Cafe?!?

When I joined them there they had already gone through the best part of two pitchers of beer between them .. well, between three of them actually, as the other two weren't drinking.

After talking about Quake and the tourney for a while, we ended up talking about the European perception of America as a place where you can sue anybody for anything, including stories about criminals breaking into a person's home who sued the owner because he tripped over something and hurt himself, or got attacked by the owner's dog.

Which soon led on to the subject of guns... Americans might wonder why this is such a big deal to Europeans, but over here we simply don't have guns. It's almost impossible to buy one legally, and even our police forces don't routinely carry firearms.

After Maka had told us all about his pump action shotgun, we finished up the beers and headed down to Nine Studios for my first look at the venue, and some more warm-up time for the players.

Warm-ups

The temperature here in Stockholm is hovering around freezing by day and, aided by a hefty dose of wind chill, the nights are truly bone-chilling... Which brings a whole new meaning to the word "warm-up".

The competitors have been preparing for the big matches down in the basement of Nine Studios, normally home to Swedish giants Clan 9. Draped with camouflage netting and walled with concrete, the basement is rather "cosy" thanks to the heat pumped out by about a dozen high powered PCs and the players using them, and makes a welcome refuge from the Scandinavian winter.

Most of the players who had already arrived were there at one point or another during the Thursday evening, although some were taking it more seriously than others...

Fatality seemed to be glued to his computer for most of the afternoon, Timber was playing on public internet servers at first and even tried out some Half-Life Counter-Strike, and Makaveli took on Frag 3 winner Hakeem in a funny gauntlets-only duel on Q3Tourney2.

Fatality had actually arrived on the Wednesday, and has been practicing hard ever since. Other players came and went, but Fatality was still getting geared up for the big matches, playing hour after hour of Quake 3.

Timber seemed to have managed to turn Quake 3 into his beloved QuakeWorld, with all the graphics settings at minimum - pick-ups and weapons effects were reduced to 2D sprites, other players were blocky and almost flat-shaded, and the walls were a blurred mess of browns and greys.

Despite having apparently drunk more than his fair share of the beer at the Hard Rock Cafe before I arrived, Maka seemed to be on pretty good form, duelling with the other players as well as messing around with Hakeem.

Later on Insane arrived to join in the fighting, as I headed back to the hotel with Maka and Hakeem, who were already planning a hard night's drinking and clubbing for later on...

Unfortunately, after another burst at Nine Studios that evening, by 10pm Maka had been struck down by jet lag and whimped out, and I decided to catch an early night, heading to bed at midnight to catch up on some much needed sleep before the tourney began.

Q3DM13

Makaveli made a run for the rocket launcher and megahealth straight away, but failed to make a kill. Maka and DOOMer were playing hide and seek with each other.

Finally they met on the bridge outside and duked it with lightning guns, switching to rocket launchers before Maka finally managed to knock DOOMer off the edge, firing a rocket into the wall as he fell and killing himself. After three minutes the score was just 0 : -1!

A minute later Maka finally scored the first positive frag of the match, and at half time it was still 1 : -1 in one of the slowest matches I've seen in a long time. Maka made a grab for the red armour and megahealth, but still couldn't find DOOMer. Finally DOOMer made contact, racking up a pair of rapid frags to bring it to one a piece with just two minutes to go!

And in the final seconds of the match DOOMer managed to connect a rocket with Maka, taking the game 2 : 1.

Q3Tourney2

DOOMer took the early initiative this time, gaining a lead of 1 : -1 early on. Maka got back to zero, and after a series of quick and vicious lightning gun battles the score was 2 : 1 to DOOMer.

The game consisted of a long string of close quarters shafting with the lightning gun and longer range battles with the rocket launcher as the two players juggled each other around the map. There were few kills though, and after six minutes it was still only 3 : 2.

Makaveli pulled back to equalise with a lightning gun kill, only to lose the lead to DOOMer again as he was smacked down. It was cat and mouse with both players chasing each other backwards and forwards through the teleporter. Eventually Makaveli just managed to catch DOOMer with his shaft as DOOMer made a leap for the teleporter in the pillar room.

With just two minutes left the scores were dead even at 4 each, making for another tense finish. DOOMer kept running away, which annoyed Makaveli. "Fight like a man!" he shouted out as DOOMer vanished another time.

Finally Maka managed to take the lead with just a minute to go, shafting DOOMer who then respawned right in front of him, collecting a rocket in the face for his troubles. In the last seconds of the game Makaveli took control with another lightning gun kill, ending the game with an 8 : 4 victory.

Q3Tourney4

With one a piece, it was time for a deciding match on Q3Tourney4. "I wonder if he's going to play like a fag again?" Makaveli mused as the game counted down.

Maka grabbed the first megahealth straight away, but DOOMer was nowhere to be seen, lobbing rockets around and then ducking back around the corner and vanishing. He picked up a kill with his rocket launcher after 45 seconds, and then got a rail kill soon after Maka respawned to take a 2 : 0 lead.

Maka responded, chasing down DOOMer (who was on the run again) and trapping him to take a frag. DOOMer respawned and grabbed the megahealth, and both players hit a jump pad almost together. As they fell DOOMer managed to land a railgun slug in Makaveli at point blank range.

"Plays like a little bitch", commented Maka as DOOMer made a run for it again. "Grow some balls!"

Balls or not, DOOMer's hit and run strategy had given him a 5 : 2 lead after three minutes. Chasing around the center area, Maka was down to 2 health after a run in with DOOMer, but managed to grab a health pack and rail DOOMer to pull back a frag.

Then they met in the central slime pit room, colliding in mid-air over the green goop. As they fell Maka managed to hit DOOMer with an impressive railgun shot, and soon after respawning DOOMer was down again. It wasn't to last though, as DOOMer took back three frags in quick succession...

Maka picked up another frag, but DOOMer kept running away now he had a lead, and Maka was chasing him down too hard. After being burnt by plasma at close range, Maka fired back a rocket and blew himself up in the process, losing one of his hard earned frags.

He soon pulled it back again though, with a nice mid-air rail shot at three quarters time. Chasing DOOMer again after he respawned, Maka caught him with a rocket launcher blast as DOOMer tried to duck behind a corner, equalising the game on ten frags each with just a minute to go!

DOOMer had to attack now, but Maka was finally getting into the swing of things and took him down with his rocket launcher. DOOMer brought it even again, but with just seconds to go Maka regained the lead, and after getting badly singed by a plasma attack from DOOMer, he followed DOOMer's example from earlier in the match by running and hiding! The final score was 12-11 after a close and frantic match.

"Hell yeah!" Maka shouted as the game ended. An impressive but closely fought victory.

Q3Tourney4

As the game began Immortal made a bee-line for the megahealth, but Shub knocked him down with a railgun and then finished him off with a rocket to take the lead.

After two minutes the score was 3 : 0 to Shub. Immy sprayed Shub down with the plasma gun but failed to make the kill, and found himself on the run as Shub went postal with the rocket launcher to notch up another kill.

It was another minute before Immy scored his first frag of the match, his railgun finally finding its mark and killing Shub. But it wasn't to last, as Shub respawned, grabbed the rocket launcher, and killed Immy again.

Four minutes into the game it was 6 : 1. Immy rounded a corner and found himself with a faceful of Shub, who had been running the other way. Immy managed to floor Shub with the rocket launcher, and then got him again with the plasma gun on respawn.

At half time the game was getting closer, with Immy pulling back to 7 : 4, just three frags behind. Shub wasn't phased though, and his railgun was just warming up. Three kills in quick succession restored his lead.

Immy made something of a comeback in the dying minutes of the game though, and it was looking very close as the clock counted down to zero. In the end he couldn't quite make it though, and the final score was .. 13 : 12 to Shub! So close.

The view from my hotel room window this morning

Q3DM13

The two players got off to a quick start, with Shub grabbing the rocket launcher and Immy the lightning gun, but it was Shub who made it stick, picking up the first frag of the match after just 15 seconds.

Then disaster struck for Immy as he went for a swim in the lava, obviously seeking some refuge from the freezing Scandinavian winter. The excursion left him 1 : -1 down after only 30 seconds.

The game was fairly quiet for a while after that, until at two minutes the players both made a run for the megahealth. Shub grabbed it just as Immy arrived, and both players took heavy damage in the battle that followed before escaping to lick their wounds.

Immy went to get the red armour and indulged in a spot of camping as he waited for it to respawn, but Shub tracked him down and killed him right after he picked it up.

Immy's game was slipping from his grasp. He was trapped near the megahealth by Shub, and in the chaos of the fighting he managed to blow himself up with the rocket launcher. With a few kills from Shub along the way, this took the score to 6 : -2 with four minutes on the clock.

Immy really didn't seem to be having much fun. Shub hit him with a rocket and knocked him off a ledge, but the hit had reduced Immy to just 1 health (!), and he "cratered" when he hit the ground to reduce his score even further into negative territory.

Finally Immy managed to take down Shub, only to fall into the lava and lose the point again. With Shub showing off some impressive lightning gun skills, the score was 11 : -3 with three minutes left.

Immy finally picked up a couple more frags, but it was too late for him to do anything about Shub's lead, and besides .. he suicided again to lose one of them. After respawning he was dealt out the ultimate insult when Shub managed to kill him with the gauntlet! "Humiliation".

The final score was a soul-crushing 14 : -2 to Shub. "Dude, I can't play", admitted Immy. "I can't play .. like .. I can't play."

The basement at Nine Studios - that's Fatality at the end with his back to us, and Hakeem from XS Reality just to his left

Q3DM13

The game got off to a quick start, with DOOMer rocketing himself into the lead after just 20 seconds, leaving Kane as roadkill on the receiving end of his launcher.

Play soon slowed down though, as DM13 is really a big map for just two players. A minute later it was still only 2 : 0, but Kane was under attack again, and DOOMer soon managed to make the kill. Kane went to fetch the red armour on respawn, then grabbed the megahealth, but he couldn't make it count.

Both players were playing hard to get. Fights were few and far between, and short and intense when they did happen, with one or both players running away before anybody was killed.

After four minutes of sparring Kane finally managed to pick up a frag, bringing it back to 2 : 1, killing DOOMer in a close quarters fight with the lightning gun and rocket launcher. Another frag saw Kane equalise.

After seven minutes of play, DOOMer retook the lead by shafting Kane. It was still just 3 : 2. Kane was making a come back though, and within a couple of minutes he had taken the lead, 4 : 3.

In the dying seconds of the game Kane got in one last frag as DOOMer desperately tried to hunt him down, giving a final score of 5 : 3 to Kane.

Timber gets a pasting at Counter-Strike - his shaft skills won't help him here!

Q3Tourney4

DOOMer got first blood again, and a lovely rail shot through a doorway earned him a second.

DOOMer uses a zoom whenever he fires the rail - it's only FOV 66.6, but it gives him that little bit of extra precision for long distance shots. The scary thing is that he even uses the zoom in mid-range fights as well, and watching him play the screen is zooming in and out all the time...

Kane grabbed the red armour, but DOOMer was on the run and it was a while before Kane could catch him, taking him down after a rail and rocket battle. He picked up a second kill with the rocket launcher soon afterwards to bring the score back to two a piece after two minutes.

Kane had a close call as DOOMer took him to within inches of his life, escaping with just 5 health. He tried to run, but DOOMer smelled blood and chased him down, killing him as he bolted for safety.

A mid-air shot by DOOMer left Kane almost dead again, and the fall to the ground did the rest. Kane left a little crater and lost a frag, though he soon earned it back again.

DOOMer picked up another kill in a close quarters rocket battle, and then took full advantage of his zoom to pick off Kane in mid-air with a beautiful railgun shot. Again, the shot didn't quite kill him, it was the fall which finished Kane off and lost him another frag. Unlucky.

Kane was struggling by now, and managed to blow himself up to lose another frag. DOOMer was on the attack, and pulled out an impressive 9 : 1 lead.

Kane finally managed to pull one back again, but it was far too late to do anything now, and DOOMer was showing some great rail skills. With two minutes left the score was 13 : 4, and Kane was going down.

His last desperate attempts failed to do anything except help DOOMer pick up a few final frags, and the score at the end was a disappointing 17 : 4.

Insane warming up

Q3Tourney2

With the scores tied at one match each, it was time for a decider on Q3Tourney2, the lightning gun map.

After just 15 seconds DOOMer's shaft had made a hole in Kane, whose rocket launcher proved to be no match for Swedish electricity. Another lightning gun kill gave DOOMer his second kill within a minute, although Kane managed to claim one back to keep the scores close - 2 : 1.

A nice rocket launcher shot on the stairs down the side of the map evened up the scores for Kane, and a shaft duel in the pillar room saw him take the lead, the picking up another to take it to 4 : 2 after four minutes.

DOOMer was chasing hard though trying to regain the initiative, and with Kane's health once again perilously low he chased him down, shafting him from behind on the bridge.

It was the turning point, as DOOMer continued to notch up the kills and retook the lead, 5 : 4. Kane managed to grab a yellow armour, but DOOMer took him down with a rocket launcher as he pulled out his lead to 8 : 5 after seven minutes.

Kane could still have won, but DOOMer was making sure not to give him the chance, running away from danger to preserve his lead. A lightning gun battle on the stairs almost gave Kane a frag, but DOOMer escaped at the last minute and Kane couldn't chase him down.

At full time the score was still 8 : 5.

Makaveli in action

Q3Tourney4

Lakerman grabbed the rocket launcher straight away, and almost caught Timber who just managed to scramble clear and get the railgun. Before he could make it count though, Laker had taken him down.

Timber came back with rocket launcher and rail kills to take the lead, but then blows himself up after trying to rocket Laker at point blank range.

Timber was clearly gaining the upper hand though, and pulled out a 4 : 1 lead within the first two minutes. It wasn't to last though, and Laker came back hard with four frags in rapid succession, bringing the score to 5 : 4 at three minutes.

Laker was on a roll now, and Timber was in big trouble, trying out his machinegun against Laker. It didn't get him anywhere except dead. By half time Laker had pulled out a mighty 14 : 4 lead as Timber's game came to pieces.

A lot of the time Timber didn't even seem to know where Laker was, and shots would come out of the blue and strike him down as Laker dominated completely with another four frags in just one minute.

Timber finally pulled one back and grabbed the red armour, but he was already 19 : 5 down by this point and there was no way he could come back from that.

Timber just couldn't get it together, and was often pitting his machinegun against Laker's rockets and rails, coming under attack as soon as he spawned. At eight minutes Laker had pulled out his lead to 26 : 5!

Timber managed to pick up another railgun kill in the final minutes of the game, and recovered some dignity though it was far too late to turn the game around. Final score - 28 : 8 to Laker.

DOOMer in action

Q3Tourney2

Timber grabbed the first lightning gun, but before he could find his mark Laker had found one as well and Timber went down as Laker again took the initiative.

It was looking like being another humiliation for Timber, but it didn't all go Laker's way. As Timber tried to shaft him, Laker fired a rocket at him at point blank range, gibbing Timber but blowing himself up in the process. Nil point.

With a quarter of the game gone it was still only 4 : 2 then, though Timber had soon lost a frag by following Laker's example and blowing himself up. He picked up a frag, but then lost it again by taking a swan dive off the bridge and into the lethal red mist below.

At half time it was just 5 : 2 to Laker. Timber clawed on back with his shaft skills, but a rocket from Laker put him down soon afterwards. Before Laker could restock his health though Timber was at him with the machinegun, and "popped a cap in his ass".

Timber was coming back, picking up another shaft kill and then watching Laker plummet to his death from the bridge. After six minutes both players had five frags, and Timber was playing aggressively with the rocket launcher and shaft.

Laker scrambled away from Timber's lightning storm, but he was almost dead again. Timber ran round to meet him on the stairs, and a perfectly timed rocket finished Laker off as Timber took the lead. Laker respawned only to find himself on the receiving end of Timber's shaft again, and with just two minutes left Timber had pulled out an 8 : 4 lead.

Timber picked up another shaft kill, but Laker was trying to recover in the dying minutes of the game. Timber camped the lower teleporter for a while, then headed into the pillar room to find Laker waiting. After a short exchange of rockets Timber went down.

At this point Timber resorted to some very unsportsmanlike behaviour to ensure his victory - refusing to respawn. Timber was able to sit staring at the scoreboard for almost half a minute before he was forced back into the game, by which time there was just ten seconds left.

The final score was 9 : 6.

Immortal in action

Q3DM13

The deciding match was on the out-sized DM13 then. Both players went for the rocket launcher on spawning, with Timber arriving just in front and smacking Laker down with it.

Timber soon picked up another frag by the megahealth, and then camped the red armour waiting for it to respawn. There was little action, and with three minutes on the clock it was still just 2 : 0.

Laker managed to pull one back with the lightning gun on the bridge outside, and soon equalised. A third frag with the shaft gave him the lead by half time, and he grabbed the next megahealth, dropping down to find Timber just below. A short rocket battle left Timber dead again.

The game was quiet again for a while, stalled on 5 : 2, until Timber managed to rocket Laker as they both took a relaxing sauna in the lava bath. Timber just managed to scramble out of the lava before it killed him, and the score was 5 : 3 with just two minutes left.

Timber was chasing hard, boosted by another megahealth, but it was Laker who got the next kill, railing Timber to death in a corridor. Timber was playing desperately in the final minute of the game, but couldn't pull it back in time.

A trip through the lava reduced him to 10 health, and as he climbed out a well placed rocket from Laker finished him off. Timber took another dive into the lava, and by now he realised it was all over. The final score was 11 : 2.

Shub in action

Q3Tourney2

DOOMer got off to a quick start with a rocket launcher kill in the pillar room, then picked up a second right after.

DOOMer's shaft was his real strength though, and he was soon dominating the game to rack up an easy 5 : 0 lead after just two minutes. Insane couldn't cope with DOOMer as he hoovered up the weapons and continued to build up his lead, and by half time it was looking like being a crushing defeat for Insane as DOOMer led 16 : 0!

Insane managed to pull back a couple of quick frags though, but it was too little too late and DOOMer was once again on the rampage. With three minutes left the score was 22 : 2. Insane was trying hard as the game drew to a close, and picked up three frags in quick succession for his efforts, but there was no way he could overhaul DOOMer's massive lead.

Final score, 26 : 6. Ouch.

Kane in action

Q3Tourney4

Insane was under heavy pressure from DOOMer right from the start, blowing himself up with the rocket launcher.

DOOMer soon picked up a frag for himself, demonstrating once again his great rail aim with a pair of beautiful mid-air shots. Insane actually survived the second rail shot .. just long enough to crater on the ground below. The score was now 1 : -2...

DOOMer earned a second frag, but by now both players were stalking each other and there was relatively little action. DOOMer was hiding in the slime pit room, until Insane flushed him out with his railgun. DOOMer was low on health, but just managed to escape.

Eventually Insane tracked him down and picked up a pair of quick frags. Then DOOMer grabbed the megahealth, but before he could make it count Insane had smacked him down with his rocket launcher, bringing the score to a more respectable 2 : 1 at half time.

DOOMer was killed again on respawning, and then managed to kill himself, taking the score to 3 : 1 to Insane in a sudden reversal! Seeing his lead slip away, DOOMer went on the charge and picked up a couple of quick kills to equalise again.

His quick bursts of zooming in for rail shots weren't doing DOOMer any good in this game though, as his firing was wide of the mark. Eventually he gave up and closed in with the machinegun, but Insane took him down with a rocket at point blank range. With just a minute left Insane was winning 4 : 3.

The final seconds of the match were tense as DOOMer ran low on health, but somehow managed to take down Insane with his rocket launcher to equalise with just 30 seconds left on the clock. Then as the clock hit ten minutes, DOOMer's rail finally found its mark and won him the match - final score, 5 : 4. An exciting end to a less than exciting match.

DOOMer in action

Q3Tourney2

Shub had a good start, grabbing a pair of yellow armours and the lightning gun before going hunting for Timber.

Eventually Shub found Timber and there was a running battle of rocket launchers and lightning guns down the stairs at one side of the level, with Timber eventually turning tail and running, though unknown to him Shub had only had 18 health left. A quick shafting took Shub down to 2 health, and despite grabbing a health pack he was soon dead giving Timber the first frag of the match.

Shub soon pulled back to equalise with a rocket launcher kill, and took the lead three and a half minutes into the game. Timber was on the case though, and finally caught Shub with a well-placed rocket to finish him off, leaving the score at two a piece.

Shub picked up another frag, and then watched Timber as took a tumble, losing one of his hard earned frags. He was soon back though, and by half time it was three frags each, with Timber picking up a pair of quick frags to take the lead a minute later. A shaft battle in the pillar room left Shub on the floor again.

As the game neared its end Shub pulled one back after another shaft battle in the pillar room, taking the score to 6 : 4. More shafting on the stairs gave Shub another, and a convenient respawn left Timber in his sights again for a second kill to equalise the game.

Timber wasn't having any of it though, and got another two frags to make the score 8 : 6 with just ninety seconds left. Shub clawed one back, putting a rocket in the face of a shafting Timber in the pillar room, and then catching him again on the bridge below to even things up again, with one minute left now.

With the game entering extra time it was too close to call. Eventually it was Shub who came through though, chasing down a wounded Timber and finally finishing him off to take the match 9 : 8.

"My heart was like boom boom boom", said Shub as he won. "Shit!"

A close and exciting match, especially towards the end.

Lakerman in action

Q3DM13

Shub made it to the megahealth first and took the early lead with a rocket kill outside, before running for the second megahealth.

Two minutes in, Timber caught sight of Shub again and took him down with a good solid shafting on the bridge to equalise the match on one frag each. Kills were few and far between at the start of the game, and Timber was 4 : 2 up after five minutes. Shub pulled one back though, rocketing Timber at close range in the central area.

It was neck and neck through the second half of the game, with the scores at 5 : 5 with just one minute left to go. Finally Timber got the lead again, only to lose it again in spectacular fashion. A rocket battle with Shub sent Timber flying off the ledge and into the lava, where he burnt to death just ten seconds before the game would have ended!

With the scores even again it was into extra time, with both players looking for one frag to decide the game. Shub grabbed the red armour and then a yellow armour, and went to wait by the megahealth for Timber. After a fierce rocket battle both players were hurt. Timber ran, but Shub only had 23 health left.

Finally Timber's shaft found its mark and Shub went down for the count. Final score, 6 : 5.

Timber in action

Q3Tourney4

And so the decider, on Q3Tourney4.

Shub started well with a nice shotgun kill, but Timber was soon back and blowing Shub away with his rocket launcher to equalise again. There were lots of short fierce fights, usually around the edges of the map. Eventually Shub took back the lead with a beautiful snap rail shot, but once again Timber wouldn't stay down and came right back at him with the rocket launcher to even up again.

Timber took the lead for the first time with another rocket launcher kill, but then slipped up and killed himself, only to get railgunned by Shub on respawning, which was followed up with another shotgun kill. Timber was back with the rocket launcher again though to pull one back .. I think he likes his rockets, showing his QuakeWorld roots.

A lovely shot from Shub up on the ledge took the lead back to 5 : 3, but Timber decided to vary his routine by using a railgun to recover this time. With just four minutes of this tense game gone, it was 5 : 4 to Shub.

Shub got hold of a plasma gun and sprayed the stuff all over the place, but he didn't seem able to hit Timber who kept escaping alive. Eventually Timber connected a rocket with Shub in the slime pit room to equalise again, and with a plasma gun rampage he quickly pulled out a 7 : 5 lead by half time.

Timber trapped Shub in the central room again, but this time Shub managed to kill him, though he only had 5 health left after the exchange! It was almost the end for Shub though, as Timber picked up two quick frags, a railgun at close range followed by a shotgun kill. With four minutes left it was now 9 : 6 to Timber.

Timber was taking charge now, melting Shub with the plasma gun and then taking him down again with the shotgun. After another minute it was 13 : 7, and Shub was on his last legs. Timber kept coming at him with the plasma gun, as Shub's game went to pieces. His rail aim started to falter, and Timber took advantage to pull out a nice little lead in the final stages of the game.

With a minute left it was 17 : 8. Shub grabbed the red armour and megahealth and took down Timber, but it was far too late to do anything about his lead now. With less than thirty seconds to go Shub picked up another rocket launcher kill, but in the end Timber held his position to win 17 : 10...

DOOMer limbers up

Vise vs Shub - Q3DM13

Shub grabbed the first megahealth and ran into Vise, but he got away with his hide. Shub picked up the second megahealth as well, but still couldn't get a kill.

After a minute and a half Shub hurt Vise with a well placed rocket and then finished him off on the bridge outside with his shaft to get the first frag of the match. Vise respawned and grabbed the megahealth straight away, but Shub was there right behind him and blew him up with his rocket launcher.

A grenade kill near the megahealth two minutes into the game took the score to 3 : 0, and Shub picked up another soon afterwards with his rocket launcher as the action heated up.

A rocket launcher rampage from Shub followed by a lightning gun duel on the bridges took the score to 7 : 0 as Shub dominated the game, with just three minutes gone.

Vise almost caught Shub with his rocket launcher, but Shub managed to limp away to the megahealth to restore himself. Again Vise came so close to killing him, this time Shub escaping with just one health! After four minutes Vise finally managed to get a kill, and after respawning Shub cratered.

Vise pulled back another kill with his shaft, and then rocketed Shub near the red armour as the match began to swing. At half time it was 6 : 3 to Shub, his lead shrinking.

Again the two players met at the megahealth, which is the most desirable item on the level, and low on weaponry Shub was forced to leave it for Vise. Vise gave chase and shafted him as he ran, but on respawning Shub picked up the next megahealth and picked up another frag after a short rocket battle, quickly followed by a second as Vise respawned nearby.

With seven minutes gone the score was 8 : 4, and Shub grabbed the megahealth again, ready to go Vise hunting. After a shaft battle he managed to corner Vise with his rocket launcher, Shub on the bridge and Vise on the ledge below.

As the game drew to a close Shub picked up another megahealth and set about Vise with his lightning gun. Heading for the red armour again he ran into Vise on the bridge above it and took him down with the rocket launcher. "Fucking gay!" shouted out Vise.

Shub picked up another frag in the last seconds of the game, despite only having 20 health left after a trip through the lava again. Final score, 11 : 5.

"I hate Quake 3 so much", said Vise.

Insane in action

Makaveli vs Wombat - Q3DM1

I missed the first six minutes of this game unfortunately, but Wombat had already notched up a 6 : 3 lead. A rocket launcher battle in a corridor leaves Maka another point behind.

Maka caught the next megahealth though, and Wombat tried to make a run for it. Maka took him down with a rocket to bring the score to 7 : 4 after eight minutes of play.

Wombat soon took control again though, with a lovely mid-air rocket hit on Makaveli, then a lightning gun kill on the bridge after he respawned. With a minute left to go it was 10 : 4 to Wombat. Maka was caught out by Wombat who was waiting on the low wall at the edge of the central area, dropping a rocket down on him.

Maka knew it was all over, and was messing around in the final seconds, leaving the score at 16 : 4.

Shub in action

Q3DM13

This was actually the second match - I missed the first one (which was won by Insane on Q3Tourney4) as it clashed with another game I was watching...

Insane picked up the first megahealth and a yellow armour to go with it, but he still only had his machinegun whereas Kane had already picked up a rocket launcher.

Insane grabbed the second megahealth as well, and this time he was fully armed. As the megahealth began to run out he picked up the red armour, coming under attack from Kane.

Just short of two minutes, Insane finally managed to put a rocket in Kane and kill him, scoring the first frag of the game. DM13 is usually pretty slow, but this was glacial... Insane was creeping around at walking speed after taking the lead!

Insane went back for the red armour again after a shaft battle with Kane, but he was pinned down for a while with only 14 health left and Kane firing rockets down at him from the bridge above. Eventually he broke out again, and headed for the megahealth.

After grabbing it he ran straight into Kane, who promptly rocketed him to death. With three and a half minutes of our lives gone forever, the score was still just one a piece.

Obviously developing a strong affinity for the megahealth, Insane picked up the next one as well, but there was no sign of Kane. Finally they met on the bridge outside for a battle with rockets and lightning flashing backwards and forwards across the central arena. Both players took heavy damage, and in the end Kane made a run for it.

Kane finally scored a second frag by taking down Insane with the rocket launcher near the red armour, and then shafted him soon after he respawned to pull out a slim lead. Another quick rocket kill took the score to 4 : 1, with slightly more than half the game played.

Insane was waiting for the red armour to reappear again when Kane next found him, but his rocket failed to connect and Insane got away, grabbing another of his beloved megahealths. It wasn't to last though, with Kane rocketing him down to just 6 health.

Insane managed to limp away somehow and found some of the level's plentiful health pick-ups, but soon he was back on the bridge, battling with Kane and going down. Respawning he was rocketed again as Kane started to pull out a lead - 7 : 2 at three quarters time.

A near collision by one of the doorways to the central arena caught both players by surprise, and both kept running after the encounter with only moderate damage sustained. Insane headed back for the red armour again, and pulled back two frags in quick succesion.

Kane helped him out by going for a quick dip in the lava, and the scores were closing up towards the end of the game - 7 : 4, but only one minute left to play.

Insane rocket jumped over the low wall at one side of the central arena, dropping a rocket on Kane as he dropped down behind him, only to have Kane turn round and frag him. Insane made one last attempt, but he was soon smacked down after respawning.

Final score, 10 : 4.

Timber in action

Q3Tourney2

Both players spawned near the lightning gun and made a bee-line for it, but Kane got there first .. just. The two players ran into each other, and Kane managed to shaft Insane before he could recover.

Insane managed to pull a frag back and Kane suicided, but after a minute of fast paced action the score was back at 2 : 1 with Kane recovering his lost frag.

Insane picked up another frag, only to be taken down by Kane's machinegun when he respawned. Kane grabbed the shaft and killed Insane with it, then damaged him again badly on respawning, though this time Insane managed to get away and grab the rocket launcher and lightning gun before coming back for more.

It didn't help though, as Kane knocked him down again with the rocket launcher on the stairs at one side of the level, taking the score to 5 : 2 as he started to pull out a small lead.

Lightning gun battles in the pillar room are common on this map, with the two players ducking from side to side, trying to keep their opponent behind the pillar and sneaking out to fire a rocket or shaft at them before ducking back again.

This time round it was Insane's turn to get the kill from one of these battles, closing down Kane's lead to two frags. Insane was soon back, coming off the bounce pad after collecting the rocket launcher, only to find Kane waiting for him above.

Making a run for the teleporter, Insane was knocked off course and landed next to it instead. Fumbling he got stuck, and Kane picked him off with the lightning gun to get his frag. Kane w

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