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uNleashed - Quake Japan
     JP Naonobu "uNleashed" Tahara   
  Twitter, Twitch  

Used to play bunch of TFC, TF2, and is also a former professional quake4 & quakelive duel player from Tokyo.

LAN Party afficionado. Current alias: taharasan Former alias: uNleashed


こんにちは直信お元気ですか? - Hello Naonobu how are you doing?

I'm really glad that given the nature of The QUAKE PUB, we are able to sit down, have a cup of Amazake and chat a bit about you and the Japanese Quake Community.

Can you tell us more about your Quake history? Where did it all start for you?


My first Quake was Quake4 and I've started to play it in 2007 if I remember correctly.

I was a univ student, and I had an accident and destroyed my left knee ina a Ultimate frisbee game, so I had plenty of time to kill. I used to play bunch of Team Fortress Classic over the years however it was dead then, and Quake4 still had an open international tourneys like QuakeCon, WSVG, ESWC.

I had never really played Quake until then
but everybody knows the name and its competitiveness.

So I took the shot, but Japan only had 3 players playing.

I loved duel and I craved for more games. I decided to take a plane and attended Quakecon and WSVG in 2007. I didn't do any good in these tourneys however I was planning to attend further - until we saw the recession in 2008 and all tourneys got called off.

After coming back to Japan, I played TF2 for a year or so, while running tourneys, then I played Quake Live for a year, and attended QuakeCon 2010 to get my ass whooped.

I remember that Quake Live tourney was even harder compared to Quake4 circuits, since most of players have years of experience and I didn't stand a chance. like at all.

After my graduation, I didn't play video games much for the next 5 years, and came back to Quake Champions in 2017.


There is sadly not much I know about the Quake Community in Japan and I would like to know more about it. Can you please enlighten us about its history and players that are part of it?

To put this into perspective, the Quake Community in Czech is small, always stuck together (now at Discord), we meet from time to time in pubs and talk about life and friendships made there are everlasting.

Does the Japan Community work like that as well? 


Yes, we've got a teeny weeny community and discord is our go-to place to hang around. We have 756 members as of today, but a handful of people are playing actively.

Not much is happening lately but we're coming back to Quake Champions periodically. We play 2on2 pick ups and duels mostly.

I'd say 90% of players in QC discord are new bloods who started with Quake Champions. Only a handful of people have history in other Quake games.

Most of old schoolers have just gone missing(most of them), or they stuck with Quake Live/CPM up to this moment(a few).


Is the Japanese Community somehow isolated, or does Quake Champions allow you to play with other regions with some reasonable ping? 


I wouldn't say we're necessarily isolated ping wise, however the franchise is just not too popular among asians.

(Also, mainland China is basically firewall'd inside, and they can't play QC unless they do some tricky stuff.)

Our prime servers would be Korea with pings about 40, and Singapore with 60-80.
We can also play on California now that our pings would be as low as 110, and Sydney at 130.

It's been ages since the last time I played quick games in asian servers so I might be out of touch, however I always added NA/Aus Servers for queueing since you can't find a game in reasonable time, or at all, when I limit it to asian servers.

As for the communities, I believe Australian community is the biggest and functioning as a hub for the asian region as they have many passionate players and tourney organizers who keep the scene alive.

A few Japanese players and SEA players take part in their tourney for a proper competition lately.

We have tiny communities scattered around the region. As I see it there's two reasons:

A. Languages.

English is not universal especially in far east Asia/Russia.
When it comes to Russia-Korea-JP-SEA communication, it's pretty tricky, and I assume most Japanese players would run off and take a cover when they're greeted in English.
SEA/India/Aus players are just fluent with it. I envy them.

B. Gap in competitiveness

Most of us (including myself) play Quake Champions pretty casually, and only a handful of players are looking for serious competition.

Communities are always formed around purposes. Japanese discord has more casual players than competitors, on the other hand Russian community consists of competitive players.

Although we play the same video game, the communities are apple and oranges if you ask me.


I would like to ask you about Quake Champions Japan 年末調整王決定戦 2021 Tournament.

You announced this tournament a few weeks ago and from what I understand, it should be some kind of high light Cup for 2021. Is this some traditional big tournament or lets say - one of many, you are playing in your region. 


Yes, it's a light and fun domestic tourney with a joking touch to it.

I've started this annual tourney to make it a tradition around here.

Last year we had 20 players in and this year I'm expecting around 15 players taking part. The prize for the last year was a box of expensive mochi(rice cake) which we traditionally have in new year's holidays.

Actually, 年末調整(nenmatsu-chousei) is a kind of tax form that balances your tax at the end of the year.

So the idea is that even though you were too busy with your life or playing other games and not playing quake much this year, you can still "balance" yourself and claim you're still a quaker by taking part of this tourney.

I'm running this so that we can keep the community casually alive,
and I guess I'll be doing this as long as I can.

I'm also up for running a serious competition if people want it, however I don't see that happening in near future with Quake Champions.

Though I love Quake Champions, I'm also looking forward to the next multiplayer quake for a reboot opportunity for our community!


Do you have in the community some new young players that have potential to make it to the Quake Pro League, or compete internationally? 


I'd say there's a huge skill gap between our top duelers and pros, so unfortunately my answer would be "no" at this moment.

However the way I see it, if only they could have a proper training in EU I believe our top duelers such as JP Lainchan or JP Royalruby could possibly improve their games significantly.


Is there any central website for the local community, or are you using Discord as a main means of communication? 


Discord is our hub:

We still have 756 member in it, chat is dead silent however we see 1 or 2 pick up games a day.


You have competed in global tournaments, and did pretty well back in 2010 by placing 3rd in IEM Asian Championship and later made it to QuakeCon 2010.

Are you missing such competitions where players were able to travel the world to compete? Do you think that Quake has a chance to return to this level of competition? 


Good old days! As a matter of fact I've been to Dreamhack Winter 2017 and QuakeCon 2018 also! I took part in whatever I could join there (QC 2on2 in qcon and QC duel & Sacrifice in DHW).

I'm a big fan of traveling and a gaming conventions like these, I see myself going around when the world gets back to normal.

I also host the biggest BYOC party called "C4 LAN" so it's good for me to take a peek in those awesome parties and tourneys too.

I wouldn't say I'm too old however there's no way I'm going back to pro gaming as I know I'm a casual who just like to play a lot.

I'm more inclined to help and support people who are up for challenges like that.


What do you think the community on Global Level can do to attract new players and organise itself a bit better? 


That's a tough question and honestly I don't come up with a straight answer.


Thank you for your time and all you do for Quake


Thank you for having me!


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