Gaming

How Xiae beat the Doom Eternal world record

by James Busby

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American speedrunner Xiae claimed first-place at Break the Record: LIVE, beating six of the best Doom Eternal speedrunners and securing a new world record in the process.  

The latest European Speedrunner Assembly event was sponsored by cybersecurity company Kaspersky, and Xiae - like many of the other speedrunners competing at BTRL – had the firm's Gaming mode on for his run, which gets rid of any annoying pop-ups that slow down gameplay.

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With players all seeking marginal gains like this, the competition was fierce and while many players set personal bests throughout the 14-hour marathon, it was Xiae who claimed the ultimate prize. 

Achieving a scintillating finish time of 1 hour, 8 minutes and 52 seconds is not an easy feat, especially when 10,000 peak concurrent viewers from around the world tuned in to see the action unfold. So we caught up with Xiae to discover how he secured the Doom Eternal world record and what he aims to do next. 

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How did you prepare for Break the Record: LIVE?

Xiae: There was lots and lots of grinding. Competing with the other speedrunners was a repetitive but fun process. Learning from my mistakes and correcting inconsistencies along the way proved to be the best preparation.

What was the toughest, most nerve-wracking moment for you? 

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Xiae: Every single BFG shot. When a run can die from a single crash out of your control, it keeps you holding your breath. Fortunately, I maxed out my luck stat before that particular run!

How do you remain so calm during such high-pressure situations?

Xiae: You don't. You just deal with the jitters. Every now and then I would shake my hands to try to calm the nerves, but in the end, it was more about living with it rather than forcing it away.

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What was going through your mind during your final run?  

Xiae: Mental notes about every upcoming thing. It's hard to be dealing with what is happening now and getting ready for what's about to happen, but the amount of preparation for the event definitely made this second nature.

What was it like when you finally secured the Doom Eternal world record?

Xiae: There was so much relief, but also a sense of excitement to do better. Speedrunners will see mistakes in every seemingly-perfect thing they do, and in my run, there were of course many.

Xiae after his dominant victory at Break the Record: LIVE
Kaspersky / ESA
It's smiles all round as Xiae sets a new Doom Eternal world record.

What difference did the Kaspersky Gaming mode make to your gameplay? 

Xiae: With past antiviruses, I've specifically had to turn them off to keep them from churning up the CPU at important moments. In Doom Eternal, we hit CPU bottlenecks all the time, making every cycle count. I need something lightweight and unnoticeable, or I would rather have nothing. With Kaspersky, it was a nice change of pace finding zero impact to my game performance. So to answer the question, the difference it made was that it made no difference at all. At least to my gameplay.

Lastly, what challenges would you like to take on in the future? 

Xiae: I just want to play what's fun, otherwise what's the point? For now, I'm planning on taking a break from the current No Major Glitches classic category to try my hand at 100% Ultra Nightmare instead. It's something I've wanted to try for a while and is what got me into speedrunning Doom Eternal to begin with.