Opinion: Esports Fans Take Note Of This Non-Esport Event

by Kevin Knocke

It is simply math that if someone plays esports, they grew up on video games. For gamers who think that retro game knowledge is useless, it is time to think again.

Twice a year, the good folks at Games Done Quick hold a big event series for charity, where the top speedrunners get together and marathon through your favorite old school games as quickly as possible. Right now, they're in the middle of Awesome Games Done Quick where they're raising money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Typically, the GDQ folks raise over one million dollars for their chosen charity at each event, and all around this is probably the coolest non-dedicated esports event for esports fans.

Competitive gaming takes many forms, and for those in esports, its easy to think that competitive multiplayer online games are the only way to compete at games. Speedrunners show us that isn't true.

The concept of speedrunning is simple: Take a game and beat it as quickly as possible. But with that concept a ton of fun competitions can be created.

Speedruns are often times broken up into multiple categories. So lets use an example for this, an easy one like Super Mario Bros. Yeah, the original one for the NES.

If somone completes Mario as quickly as possible, using any combination of warp pipes to skip levels, this is referred to as an "Any%" run, meaning it's a measure of physically how quickly a game can be completed.

Now let's say that same person beats Mario again, this time progressing through every single level and every single Bowser castle, this is a "100%" run.

Typically, those are the most common "runs" for a game: How fast can one complete the game at all and how fast can one complete the game given that they complete evey single task in the game. However, many games have runs specific to that game. For example, for games with different difficulties, the most competitive and sought after records are often speedruns on the highest difficulty in the game.

Or maybe a game is known to have a particular overpowered weapon, so maybe a run is designed as an "Any% -OP Weapon" which would mean that this is a run designed to be completed as quickly as possible without using that particular weapon.

GDQ then takes the best runners from around the world and puts them on stage one after another for a full week, 24 hours a day to bring attention to the runners and raise money for charity.

At the time that this is being published, AGDQ is on day two with over $170,000 already raised for charity.

Want to tune in, support the event, and watch classic games get destroyed as quickly as possible? Then check out AGDQ's Twitch page and enjoy the memories.

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