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Challenge - The Early Days   1 comment

Logo by Catnap <>

I was digging through the vault and I came across some of the first pages from Challenge.AU. In those days, there was only CHAU and CHUS, though Hoony couldn't find anyone in the US to take CHUS on. Way back then international Quake was a new and radical concept, and CHAU helped to bring it to our attention. The pages are an interesting record of some exciting months in the world of Quake and show the beginnings of our crazy network.

To give you an idea of what's on each page I've summarised some of the more notable stories. Enjoy.

The CHAU Pages

Origin: 6 March - to - 16 April, 1998
Challenge.AU is born on Malby's Quake.AU. The first few posts are from Malby. It's not a news page yet. Challenge.AU has been created by Hoony for the "Australian Challenge", which is a plan to have two of AU's best players challenge sCary and Kornelia via direct dial ISDN. We didn't know at the time that ISDN wouldn't cut it between the US and AU. The original AU players were Bro and Crazy Daisy.

9 May - to - 18 May, 1998
A few weeks later, is born. Hoony starts writing news on a regular basis. The initial idea of an international challenge between AU and the US leads naturally to the idea of a trans-Tasman challenge.

19 May - to - 24 May, 1998
GreySeer joins the Challenge.AU team, and we get our ISDN line installed at my work. The focus has now shifted to New Zealand and the first explorations of new territory.

25 May - to - 31 May, 1998
A new plan emerges - to get an AU team to New Zealand. An article featuring Bitchy's photo is published. Hoony begins to bring news on the EURO scene. The Irish fall in love with Bitchy. We finally get a direct ISDN connection happening with New Zealand. Malby plays the Irish on their home servers. GreySeer and I are testing the ISDN conection with in NZ. The first historic AU vs NZ "test" match is held and the Kiwis win.

1 June - to - 9 June, 1998
Hoony brings news on Quake in Asia. CHIE's Earthworm Jim makes an appearance, sending us news of a demo which gives us our first look at the EUROs and DM4. He writes: "a pommy lad called timber. I played him last week - yuk! He's playing a top Norway bloke. It's aussie rules (noquad =]) It's a dm4 1-1 and if you haven't seen it, its... skillful and good fun to watch - even the warm-up is funny". Talk of demos leads Hoony to discover a treasure trove on Methos Quake. It's announced that Deathrow will be heading to Stockholm to play Clan 9. We have our second set of ISDN games against New Zealand.

10 June - to - 15 June, 1998
While thinking about the thorny issue of how to decide an AU national team, Hoony does some research and finds out a number of EURO countries already have national teams, and have held internationals. CHAU discovers Sniket - DM6 is never the same again. CHAU reports on The Raven's Clan match between AU and NZ - the historic first international clan battle between the two neighbours.

16 June - to - 25 June, 1998
Hoony interviews Sniket. CHAU has coverage of the EU 5 Nations Tourney. Id Software announces that Quake 3 will be exclusively focused on multiplayer only. More demos emerge and Australians hear the name Kane for the first time. We see Kane in action against Sniket on DM4. CHAU discovers top German Clan Schroet Kommando. Hoony gets an email from Methos about cheating, from Cetra about SK vs Clan 9, and from Wrecker about Lithuanian Quake.

26 June - to - 3 July, 1998
Hoony works on a 2on2 format for AU vs NZ. Methos and Hoony talk about each other on their websites too much. With players like MikeJ reportedly switching to Q2, debate ensures about the future of Q1. Hoony talks to sCary, Kornelia, [9]Xenon. Griff emails Hoony - first contact with the future Challenge network partner?

4 July - to - 10 July, 1998
CHAU reports on the 2on2 matches. The 5 Nations concludes. CHAU interviews Kane, and hears of LakermaN_of_SC for the first time. Preparations for the historic Deathrow vs Clan 9 Match are underway.

11 July - to - 17 July, 1998
EWJ's "DM4 Gods" competition has a winner - Ser. CHAU reports on the Irish Quake League. Challenge.AU Pty Ltd is born. Hoony interviews LakermaN_of_SC. Thresh asks "Is Quake Dead?", kicking off much debate. Hoony comes up with a 7 point plan to keep it alive. Meanwhile, the 9 vs DR buildup continues.

18 July - to - 24 July, 1998
The current CPL event gets coverage. Gandalf is made an international Quake star. Hoony looks at Quake in Korea. Izn0 emails Hoony about his new site, Quake.World. New Zealanders arrive for Australia's big LAN of the moment - Gibcon.

25 July - to - 31 July, 1998
Hoony comes across a young player called Reload at the GibCon LAN. Rix and Gollumn are finalists in the last great CPL Quake 1 LAN. Hoony dreams up the idea to hold an *invitational* duel tournament. In a poll 76% predict DR will beat Clan 9. Hoony talks to Kornelia. Methos decides to come to Australia for the 16 Player Invitational Duel Tourney. The Koreans get in contact. New Zealand postpones it's big "AGN" LAN.

3 August - to - 8 August, 1998
The CPL announces its next event will be Q2, leading to more discussion on the future of Quake. It's the week Deathrow meets Clan 9, and CHAU has extensive coverage of 9's historic victory. Frank "Ignatu" Cabanski emails Hoony with the immortal words: "Would Australia be interested in an International Quake Tournament?" BD-m0rm0r gives a Swedes-eye view of the action in Stockholm.

9 August - to - 14 August, 1998
Everyone, including Hoony, interviews [9]Xenon. Thresh explains why DR lost. Frank continues to develop his monumental plan for an International Quake tournament. Hoony interviews Methos. Hoony and GreySeer announce their revolutionary new format for the 16 player invitational duel tournament.

17 August - to - 21 August, 1998
Methos launches his first Ultimate Quake Poll poll. ClanRing is thinking about an international Quake tournament. The UK plays Germany in a one-off international. Hoony confirms "It's On" - blowing the lid on the planned WORLD DEATHMATCH TOURNAMENT. A number of countries begin organising their national teams already. Reprimanded for breaking the big news on the WDT, Hoony starts talking about Klaatu and the World Policeman's Ball. DeVore organises Ireland's Quakapalooza. Switzerland's SwissCon98 is announced.

24 August - to - 28 August, 1998
The issue of "what rules" grows ominously for the World Deathmatch Tournament. Australia prepares its position. The Australian organising group grapples with the issues of how to pick a team. Slovenian Quake makes an appearance. Methos publishes the results of his Ultimate Quake Poll, and Challenge.AU makes "Favorite Quake / Gaming Site", drawing 4th-equal with PlanetQuake, behind BluesNews, Fragzone, and sCary's ShugaShack. Thresh thinks aloud on making 1on1 a part of the WDT. HeKSeN reports that the Danes have created a "Board of Justice" to determine their position with respect to the WDT.

29 August - to - 4 September, 1998
Through the incredible noise of some 50+ international quakers on IRC reacting to the collapse of the first organising meeting by the WDT country representatives, Frank "Ignatu" Cabanski announces that he quits. The WDT is in tatters. The Euros pick up the idea. Sujoy plays in Denmark's Cybergate Challenge. Z plays and defeats SK. Chenome makes an appearance with a demo of South African Quake. Stealth makes an appearance for Brazilian Quake. The issue of cheating is once again hot. CHAU prepares for it's upcoming invitational duel tourney.

7 September - to - 11 September, 1998
Reload wins the Challenge.AU 16 Player Invitational Duel Tournamant, Tim taking second place. CHAU has extensive coverage of it's first event. Methos' blonde neighbour makes her first public appearance.

From this point on, the archives are a bit patchy. A lot more exciting stuff happened, of course, including two AU vs NZ LAN internationals and Reload taking on the world's best at the TGi. But these first pages were undoubtedly the "golden days" of Quake news for the Challenge.AU site. Hope you enjoyed the nostalgia.

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