Bethesda hopes Quake Champions will give it a 'large esports presence'

In a recent interview with Russian gaming site (translated by ESReality), id Software creative director Tim Willits said Bethesda is committed to establishing a "a large esports presence" with the upcoming online arena shooter Quake Champions. He also confirmed that the game is scheduled to enter closed beta testing "in the next few weeks," and that buying the Champions Pack, the all-in purchase option revealed a couple of weeks ago, will include access to all champions released in the future, as well as those present at launch.

Willits said that a new team-based game mode called "Sacrifice" is being developed with a specific focus on helping Quake Champions find a place in the pro esports scene. Interestingly, it has similar hopes for the one-on-one "Duel" mode, a type of do-or-die competition that Willits said isn't properly offered by any current first-person esports game.

"We are committed to having a large e-sports presence," he said. "We want to make a game [that is] esports-friendly, spectacular, with different spectating features and we want to have game modes that are esports-friendly, and we feel, after talking to a lot of pro players, that the one-versus-one (Duel) is something that is missing in the first-person esports scene. As well as one esports game mode which we're currently working on (Sacrifice) based on a feedback from some number of pro players. So yes, we [are] very, you know, we [are] very focused on e-sports."

Willits' confirmation that the Champion Pack will provide access to all of the game's characters is important because when it was announced, it was promoted as including all the champions the game launches with—leaving open the possibility that post-launch champions could be left out. The translation of his response to question is a little murky, but he answered a flat-out "yes" when asked if purchasing the pack would grant "access to all the Champions even [those] introduced in future."

"If you're buying the Champions Pack in the very beginning of the game you are getting all the Champions already released in the game, or that will be released as base of the game," he said. "So best option for everybody is to buy the Champions Pack. You will get the Champions!"

(Google Translate backs that up, converting the response to, " Yes, a full package means full access to the current set of Champions and to all future.")

Details haven't been nailed down yet, but Willits said Bethesda also plans to run a Quake Champions tournament at Quakecon, which this year will run from August 24-27 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Texas. If you haven't already signed up for the closed beta, you can do so at

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.