How Kaspersky fell in love with speedrunning - Dexerto
Gaming

How Kaspersky fell in love with speedrunning

Published: 6/Aug/2020 17:06 Updated: 7/Aug/2020 10:21

by Jacob Hale

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Esports as an industry has grown exponentially over the last two decades, and speedrunning has been along for the ride since the very start.

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While many competitive gamers might seek to beat their opponents with higher scores, the aim of speedrunning has always been simple, since as early as the 1980s and the days of arcades and Pacman: play as fast as possible.

Every year, there are multiple huge speedrunning events that make millions for charity, as well as crown world record holders — just like what happened at Break the Record: LIVE, as Xiae smashed the Doom Eternal record in the Kaspersky-sponsored event.

Despite how long speedrunning has been popular, it has never quite broken into the upper echelons of esports, but that might not be the case for much longer.

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“Speedrunning has always been grassroots, built from the ground up by passionate players,” said speedrunning YouTuber and commentator Karl Jobst. “Now that it has become more popular, we are starting to see some money come in. This is a great thing and will help take the niche to the next level.”

Kaspersky helped the European Speedrunners Assembly and Break the Record: LIVE bring something that has “been severely lacking in previous years” according to Jobst: competitive speedrunning.

But it’s the way Kaspersky went about it that is most notable. Far more than simply attaching their name to the tournament, the global cybersecurity company sought to integrate with the community — engaging with, listening to and openly showing their affection for the burgeoning esport. Quite simply, they’d fallen in love with speedrunning and the community’s non-stop quest to go faster.

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It was through this willingness to listen and learn, that they managed to find a meaningful way to play their role, and contribute to the growth of the sport.

While speedrunners search for ways to maximize performance of their console or PC to make transitions and actions that much quicker, cybersecurity software is often one of the first things cut — despite the perils of doing so.

Through their ongoing dialogue with the speedrunning community, Kaspersky was able to validate the existence of this risky behavior, and then address it in emphatic style during the event.

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As planned, competitors took to Doom Eternal to compete for the quickest time. Impressively six personal bests were achieved, and the world record convincingly broken. Once the event concluded, the winner — and new world record holder — Xiae began to reflect on his extraordinary achievement, revealing that he’d actually achieved his feat with Kaspersky Internet Security installed and its Gaming Mode functionality enabled.

There was no obligation for competitors to use Kaspersky Internet Security at all, and the winner himself was not sponsored by Kaspersky, which says a lot about what the product offers to competitive speedrunners and those looking to perform at the peak of their abilities while staying safe online.

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Of course, Doom Eternal itself is one of the most hardware-intensive PC shooters out there right now, not even factoring in the fact that these runners were trying to complete the game as quickly as possible as well as streaming it to thousands of viewers.

Xiae beats the Doom: Eternal world record
Kaspersky / ESA
Break the Record: LIVE was filled with plenty of high-octane action.

The importance of Kaspersky creating a good product, without gamers needing to sacrifice the ability to perform to the best of their abilities, was paramount. By all means, it passed the test with flying colors, as new world record holder Xiae can attest to.

What’s next for speedrunning, then? Jobst believes that while old classics such as Super Mario 64 and Zelda: Ocarina of Time will remain popular, the future of speedrunning lies in new games.

“I think the future will involve speedrunning competitions featuring new releases,” he said. “I think it would even be in the interest of developers and publishers to nurture and facilitate such events to bring attention to their games.”

Jobst says he’d like to see similar events to the Doom Eternal Break The Record: LIVE event, but for many other new games, because they “showcase how quickly speedrunners can understand and break apart a game.”

With the excitement of Break the Record: LIVE still fresh in the minds of speedrunning fans, the big question this poses is which game comes next?

Smash

Microsoft responds to the possibility of Master Chief in Smash Ultimate

Published: 1/Oct/2020 18:08

by Michael Gwilliam

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With Steve from Minecraft finally revealed as the seventh DLC fighter in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, many game companies have been asked if they want a character appearing in Nintendo’s flagship fighter. Now, Microsoft has responded to whether or not Master Chief from Halo will appear in the game.

On October 1, the official Xbox accounts retweeted the Nintendo announcement that Steve was joining the cast of Smash Ultimate. This makes sense after all, as Microsoft has owned Minecraft’s developer Mojang since 2014.

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However, the French Xbox account took things a bit further and remarked how Steve and Alex had received an invitation – a common motif in Smash Ultimate fighter announcements.

In the comments, a user appeared to joking ask when Master Chief will be added to Super Smash Bros, leading the French account to reply: “He’s still waiting for his invitation.”

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What does Microsoft’s comments on Smash mean?

This is incredibly interesting because it seems to suggest that Microsoft is open to the idea of Master Chief joining Smash Ultimate as a playable fighter.

Amusingly, Microsoft does have several fighters in Smash already, albeit retroactively as the Vault Boy Mii Fighter outfit was added before the company purchased Bethesda.

Of course, Microsoft allowed Banjo to be in Smash and now Steve, so the chances of Master Chief being added seem like more of a possibility than ever.

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Microsoft Master Chief
Microsoft
Master Chief could be the biggest Smash reveal ever.

On the flip side, it’s also possible that by “still waiting for his invitation”, the account is suggesting that Nintendo and Microsoft haven’t been in talks about the Spartan joining the game.

The last possibility is that this is just the French Xbox account having some fun, but given how big the idea of Master Chief appearing in Smash is, this is hardly something that should be joked about.

There are still four more characters coming in Fighters Pass Volume 2. Will Master Chief be included? Only time will tell.

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