English Clique Esports player Reece “RMV” Vince is one of the newest faces in the professional Quake scene. After rising through the weekly online tournaments, the 20 year old managed to qualify for Quake World Championship 2022 in Romania, where he was the second youngest player among the 24 participants. I had the opportunity to sit down with Reece for a quick interview about the year that’s passed and his thoughts going into 2023.
What expectations did you have going into 2022?
Going into 2022 I had just recently been signed to Clique esports and was trying to improve as much as I could. My main focus at the time was to try get a better result each week in the Estoty cups and to try qualify through challengers as I did the previous time.
How did you feel when you qualified to QWC?
When I qualified for the QWC I was so overwhelmed. I found out that there would be a qualifier for four extra slots and was super excited. However, the qualifer took place two days after I got back from a family holiday, so I only really had a day and a half to practice. It was a huge surprise that I actually managed to get top four.
How was the experience in Bucharest?
The experience in Romania was incredible. It was my 2nd time out of the UK (first being the family holiday just before) so I was nervous to be travelling alone to an unknown place. A lot of the stress was allieviated once I got to Amsterdam and saw Rapha. We were chatting for a couple of hours which was pretty cool and made the lay over pass in no time. The actual event was also amazing despite my bad performance. I enjoyed every second of it and especially meeting everyone that I had been watching/playing with for the past year. The staff at PGL were super helpful with any issues and the food provided each day was lovely.
Can you share any memorable moment from the event?
In terms of memorable moments from Romania, I have two that come to mind. First is the insanely close game vs dramiS on Vale of Pnath. I just rememeber eating a grenade and three rails and just thinking “shit, I have just been Dramised, ggs”. Second would be sitting outside the hotel that all the players were staying in and watching the grand finals. That was also a pretty cool thing to experience.
You were one of the first international players to decide to go to Barcelona KeenCon 2022. What were your initial expectations for the LAN, and did you expect it to attract so many pros in the end?
After playing versus the pros of the scene on LAN at the QWC and managing to hold my own, all I wanted to do was play more Quake, even more so on LAN. As soon as I heard about the Barcelona LAN, I knew I was going to attend. I didn’t care about prize pool or who I would be playing against, I just wanted to play in that environment again because it was awesome. The fact that a bunch of the pros turned up just meant that I could get even more high level practice in, and try prove myself against some of the worlds best.
What did you think about your performance, and what are your general thoughts on the event and the trip?
I was extremely happy with my performance at Keencon. I came away from the event knowing what I needed to improve on as I lost to maxter and cnz in the same fashion – I was too aggressive when I had a good lead. Overall, I think I enjoyed Keencon more than I enjoyed the QWC simply due the fact that it was open to public. The Spanish Quake community are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and the fact that I could have my girlfriend with me helped with my nerves a lot to be honest.
In 2023, what are your plans with Quake?
I am unsure of my current plans with Quake as there doesn’t seem to be many tournaments aside from the Estoty cups and I don’t really enjoy playing ranked. If there is an oppurtunity for me to go to another QWC LAN I will most likely practice and try to qualify, not just to play quake but also just to see everyone again as it was a good vibe. As of right now due to there not being much going on in the competitive scene I have just been playing Elden Ring for the first time. I didn’t play it when it came out as I was focused on getting to the LANs.
From basically playing online estoty tournaments to going to QWC the same year, how was it for you to change competitive environment so quickly?
Changing from just playing for fun and being a high gold player in the middle of 2021 to participating at the QWC the next year was insane. Pretty much all I ever thought about was Quake. Who to watch to learn, who to play against, what I need to change, what I need to improve on or what my strengths are. I was thinking about it all the time because I just wanted to improve, and in my opinion the best Quake players are the people who have the best mindset. If you can have the advantage of not tilting over your opponent it feels like you win 90% of the time.
Did you ever face any obstacles when converting to playing professionally?
The biggest obstacle that I faced when I was trying to play at pro level and the biggest issue I still face is my nerves. You will see games where I start out incredibly well, for example at Keencon where I went a few frags up against maxter and I did the same thing vs cnz later in the tournament. However, as soon as I start thinking about how well I am doing I get super nervous and make countless mistakes. Another issue I struggled with early on was giving too much respect to a name. By this I mean for example I would load into a game vs Rapha/Vengeur/Killsen etc. and immediately think I am going to lose just because of how good they are. At the end of the day Quake is a game and the person who plays better will win, regardless of experience.
Thanks for the oppurtunity of this interview, I hope my answers are interesting to some people and I look forward to seeing what 2023 brings.