Australian Quake icon Daniel “dandaking” De Sousa surprised everyone at Premier tournament Kuachicon in Melbourne last year when he finished 3rd, taking down Pro League players cha1n and ZenAku in the process. At the World Championship in Bucharest the same year, De Sousa notably beat GaRpY 2-0 and took a map off k1llsen, who later won the whole tournament.
The APAC scene undoubtedly have talent, but have historically seldom had the chance to compete internationally due to lack of regional qualifiers.
However, following another year of a regional APAC qualifier for Quake World Championship 2023, and dandaking coming out on top just like last year, I had the chance to have a brief talk with him about some interesting topics.
How is life at the moment?
Life is great and I am truly blessed for being able to experience one of the most amazing adventures a person can ever be lucky enough to enjoy, watching my son grow up. My personal life has been continually improving since he came along, and I am enjoying life more and more with each year that passes. I am also the luckiest man who has a partner that gives me the freedom to compete, so thank you to her for everything she does for me and our son.
What expectations do you have for 2023? Do you have any goals?
In terms of Quake I don’t have any specific goals, I am just happy to be able to compete. I would love to make it out of groups and give ZenAku the rematch I know he is looking for, even though I expect the result to be the same as last time. I would also enjoy the opportunity to get to compete against rapha in peak form during a QuakeCon tournament, so hopefully I can perform well enough to get to play him. I honestly hope I can put on a show and give the viewers what they want to see, some amazing plays!
If I’m not mistaken, QWC 2022 was your first LAN in Europe since 2018. How was that for you, and what expectations did you have going into that tournament?
It was, and from a player perspective I would say it was the most enjoyable international LAN I have ever attended. The staff from both PGL and Bethesda had the setup amazing at the venue and absolutely everything from travel to the assistance during the tournament was perfect so a massive thank you to all the staff. My expectations for the tournament were low, I didn’t have much time to prepare due to work and honestly thought I would just lose every map and head home. Luckily for me I managed to win a few maps against some great opponents in GaRpY and k1llsen, and hanging out, drinking, and watching the games with all the players was great fun. And the alcohol was cheap.
You had a great performance at Kuachicon, taking down notable names such as cha1n and ZenAku and finishing 3rd. How was that experience for you?
Thank you, I was very happy with my performance and playing from QuakeCon 2022 through to Kuachicon had me in amazing form for the tournament. My brother and friend travelled across with me, and we basically went on a bender from the time we arrived until we left so it was a massive amount of fun. The venue was amazing, you could order food and drinks to your PC and the tournament format was perfect because we all got to play a lot of games vs great opponents. I have to say a massive shoutout to Kuachi, Artisan and all the admins at Kuachi Cups for such a great experience as it was the best LAN event I have ever attended and hope there will be another.
What does it mean for you and the APAC scene to have your own regional qualifier for QWC now?
I am very happy that our region is being recognised for the massive amount of talent that we have, and think the spot is well deserved. We have several elite level players who are at the calibre of the Quake Pro League and a massive number of up-and-coming players who regularly compete in an active scene here. Having the regional qualifier for Quake World Championship gives them all something to play for and keeps them motivated to keep improving, and with the competition it creates it continues to improve the level of gameplay here.
dandaking’s next attendance will be at Quake World Championship 2023 in Grapevine, Texas, August 10-12. You can find more information about the tournament and the other attendants here.