In The Keep Podcast – #27 GNiK (Quake Champions Pro)

GNiK by Hawr1x

GNiK recently made his way into the Quake Pro League by qualifying through the Challenger’s League and competing at Lucca. Here we cover topics such as picking up Quake 3 as a 5-year-old, his controversial escapades as a teen in Quake Live and his journey into the QPL over the past year.

First and foremost, we need to say thank you to Smango for making this interview happen. It is because of his diligence in monitoring the Quake Pro League (something I do not always have time to do myself) that this interview came to be. I’ve been a fan of GNiK for a long time but in all honesty; I had no idea GNiK was doing so well in the Challengers League. Fast forward to the weekend before Lucca Comics & Games when I receive a message from GNiK:

“QuakeFans is doing some thing on me and one of the questions was about you doing a podcast with me.”


You can read that article (which is a profile of GNiK’s gear and settings) here.

Suddenly I’m up to speed on the recent happenings and GNiK is on his way to Lucca for his first ever major LAN event and to pursue his dream of becoming a professional Quake player. AND HE DID IT! The weekend of Lucca I had just transitioned to night shift at work, freeing me up to be awake during the event where I watched GNiK defeat Br1ck in an epic best of 5 match-up. More importantly, this win meant that GNiK was now an official member of the QPL.

After the event we quickly scheduled some time to sit down and record this interview as a celebration of GNiK’s victory and a peek into his unique journey to get here.

GNiK w/ Br1ck by Hawr1x

GNiK’s Journey

GNiK is a 21-year-old from British Columbia who had never (until Lucca) been further from home than Alberta. His Quake journey began while he was a child playing with his father and brothers. As he grew into adolescence, he made a controversial name for himself in Quake Live (more on that in the interview). Fast forward to Quake Champions. After the infamous Christmas patch of 2018, the official competitive scene took a LONG lull. Luckily, people like S L I P & UNKiND of State of Quake and IamFortyLions kept the North American competitive scene alive through various community events.

Enter GNiK.

Throughout that season, GNiK fought his way to the top, winning a disproportionate amount of events and showing the world that he was a force to be reckoned with. When the QPL began at Quakecon 2019, who better to throw their hat into the Challenger’s League than GNiK? You know the rest.

GNiK w/ belt by Hawr1x

Talking about Quake Champions

Now I am perfectly aware of how critical I have been of Quake Champions over the past 6 months. I’ve been involved in several interviews where I have laid out my opinions on the game, most notably my appearance on Beyond Strafe Jumping with Shazzik. None of this is to say that I am any less enthusiastic about Quake Champions or the QPL. Quite the contrary. It is only to say that my relative lull in involvement with the game left me a little out of the loop over the past few months.

So… we brought in an expert. I asked Hawr1x of to join us for this interview as there is no one I can think of more qualified (and easily accessible) to ask questions of about Quake Champions eSports than the man who dedicates himself to covering it. Furthermore, Hawr1x was AT Lucca to witness all the happening in person.


Artwork by Haducant/Spaced.

Music by Immorpher:





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In The Keep Podcast – #08 M3ssia (US Quake Community)

M3ssia, “The Messiah of QuakeWorld”, is an admin for the United States Quake Community where he manages their Quake servers and events. His team is at the tip of the spear in the effort to revitalize the QuakeWorld and AFPS community in North America.

M3ssia/USQC Links:

ITK Podcast available: iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube, Google Play, Alexa, or whatever podcast app you prefer.

State of Quake // Episode 11: Jehar (TastySpleenTV)

Episode Description

In this packed 2-hour episode, we’re honored to have special guest Jehar (Alex Popa) with us. Jehar is the host and creator of TastySpleenTV, he’s been a pillar of the Quake and Doom community for over a decade and is a seasoned esports caster having covered big stage events like Quakecon, Dreamhack and PGL.

Jehar on Twitter

TastySpleenTV on Twitch

Time Stamps

  • 0:27 – State of Quake community events
  • 2:47 – Jehar Intro
  • 6:00 – The origin of Jehar’s gamertag
  • 8:18 – Rotten Rose / The Quakecon proposal
  • 11:34 – How’d you get hooked on Quake?
  • 14:50 – Quake 2 <3
  • 16:12 – Least favorite Quake game
  • 17:40 – Quake mods spawned future game franchises
  • 21:10 – Doom or Quake?
  • 24:44 – Exploration and creativity in video games
  • 28:40 – How’d you get into casting and commentating?
  • 32:10 – TastySpleenTV origins / The Planet Quake days
  • 37:16 – When is a game “dead”?
  • 39:50 – The evolution of streaming
  • 46:50 – Most memorable casting moment
  • 50:30 – Advice to new casters / Jehar’s approach to casting
  • 56:46 – Behind the scenes help
  • 59:28 – Quakecon production
  • 1:00:25 – Casting at Quakecon
  • 1:04:52 – Who do you like to cast with?
  • 1:06:50 – Watching people play video games
  • 1:08:12 – Quakecon then vs now / What is Quakecon like for a newbie?
  • 1:15:00 – Quake: The granddaddy of gaming communities
  • 1:16:54 – The difficulties of modern AAA game development
  • 1:19:00 – Will id ever allow the community to help?
  • 1:26:50 – Jehar’s take on the id/Saber takeover rumors
  • 1:28:33 – What would John Carmack do if he was still at id?
  • 1:34:50 – Bringing people into Quake
  • 1:36:52 – The March patch – do or die?
  • 1:37:58 – What if they pull the plug?
  • 1:39:50 – Apex Legends
  • 1:40:13 – Things we should be thankful for in Quake Champions
  • 1:42:50 – Apex Legends contd’
  • 1:44:46 – Diabotical thoughts
  • 1:49:04 – Is this game alive?
  • 1:51:36 – Doom Eternal thoughts / Spectator mode?
  • 1:54:52 – We’re all part of the same Quake family tree
  • 1:56:08 – What players to look out for in 2019 (NA)

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