gurureview’s extensive interview with Fatal1ty

Three times CPL World Champion Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel is travelling the globe in the wake of his crowning as the first Quakecon Doom 3 Champion at Quakecon 04. The reason for his tour is to allow gamers of all talents, whether you be a hardcore gamer or a casual gamer, to have a chance at playing against a world champion gamer and, if you are good enough to beat him, you could bag yourself £1000. This is by no means an easy feat and, out of thousands of challengers, only 3 have managed to defeat him
and one of those was one of his main Quakecon 2004 rivals.

While in London, Fatal1ty took the time out to answer a few questions for us here at GuruReview. As the interview was recorded and not written down at the time there may be some minor mistakes with some of the gamers names included.

For those that don’t know, could you tell us where the name Fatal1ty comes from?
“I think most people know that Fatal1ty came from Mortal Kombat which I was a big fan of when I was 11 or 12 years old and I started browsing BBS’ when I was a young kid, when the internet wasn’t really out and I had to choose an alias and I thought ‘Yeah, Fatal1ty sounds cool’ and I didn’t think anyone would use that name. So I’ve been using it for about 10 or 11 years now.”

How did you get into gaming and at what age?
“Well I’ve been gaming since Nintendo, when Super Mario Brothers hit the market for the first time, but I’ve been playing first person shooters since I was around 12 or 13 years old. So I’ve been playing FPS games for the past ten years or so.”

What was the first game you played professionally?
“Well, I played Quake I semi-professionally. I went to tournaments locally and in the mid-west, won some tournaments, won some prizes. Probably won almost a thousand dollars worth of prizes playing Quake I, but I wasn’t really taking gaming seriously until Quake III where I actually devoted a lot of time to practicing and training and actually going to the major events and then winning. So Quake III was probably my first professional game.”

Do you remember what hardware you had in your first tournament rig?
“Well the first computer I had was a Pentium 166MHz with 32MB RAM, which was insane back then and I played Quake I on that for a long time. Then I went to a Celeron 300A overclocked to 450MHz with the Abit BH-6 motherboard which really let you overclock the CPU like crazy, so that was probably the first computer I started travelling around with.”

So what technology do you have in your current setup?
“Well it’s kinda funny really because I started with Abit and now I’m partnered with Abit. I’m actually making my own Fatal1ty Abit motherboard, so if someone had told me about 5 or 6 years ago that I was gonna be partnered with one of the top motherboard manufacturers in the world, I never would have believed them, but I’ve come a long way. We’re making some awesome products and I’m looking forward to my Fatal1ty Abit motherboard being exactly like the BH-6 motherboard was to the consumer because the BH-6 was an incredible overclocking machine and we already have some results back from our board and it’s doing the exact same thing, so we should definitely be ahead of everyone else.”

When exactly are the Fatal1ty branded products being released?
“We are probably looking at the end of October now. We have to wait on a couple of other major companies to release their products before we can actually distribute ours to the mainstream.”

For people who play games a lot at home but have never been to a tournament what would be your tips to get involved?
“You really have to know who the players are, you have to know what the leagues are and you have to be in the community. That’s the best way to learn and to find out what’s going on in the scene. So, going to local LAN parties is great, but the major tournaments (CPL, World Cyber Games, e-sports World Cup, and Quakecon). If you have the chance, you should try to attend all those events every time you get a chance because even if you’re not competing at the highest level, it’s still the best party in the world, you get to hang out with all your friends and play games and just having a blast.”

Who would you class as your biggest rival?
“I probably have a lot of rivals now because I’ve switched between so many different games. So I think in Quake III one of my rivals was probably ZeRo4, then in Alien vs Predator 2, I only played one tournament which was Godspeed and KXO, but it’s kinda interesting because all the top three players in that tournament were all from Missouri, so it was kinda cool. Maybe Missouri has some kind of special water or something like that. In Unreal Tournament 2003, Infinite was my rival, with him playing me on MTV and
then playing at the World Cyber Games and then he came to my shootout in Los Angeles so we had a lot of matches where it was back and forth, but it was exciting playing him and I think it was great for spectators. Now in Doom 3 I think my biggest rivals is Daler right now. Daler is an awesome player, he is very professional and he was extremely good at Quake III aswell. He actually took me out of the Doom 3 tournament in the finals in the winners bracket and then I had to come back and beat him twice to win it. He actually beat me at my Fatal1ty shootout and then he beat me again at the tournament and then in the final I came back and beat him two in a row, so I think we have a bit of a rivalry going on as well. ”

Do you play any non-FPS games now?
“I’m a big gamer so I love playing games, but I try not to get too sucked into the non-FPS games as I know they just suck some peoples lives away so I try not to get too addicted to that kind of game. I actually like playing console games. Well not all console games, I actually like playing Mario games like Mario Kart: Double Dash and Mario Golf. Those games are awesome. I am actually a big Mario Golf fan and I love
playing it. Me and my friend are always competing with each other all the time and it never seems to get old. It’s like what Quake III was and what Doom 3 is gonna be. You just play it and it will be fun, always, it just never gets old.”

I play in a clan with a female gamer and have heard a lot of abuse from idiots who think that games are made for guys so, what’s your take on females in gaming?
“Females game too and there are some awesome girl gamers . I can tell you Cornelia and Succubus can kick the butts of pretty much 90% of the guys in the community, I’m sure. So girls can definitely play and the guys should give credit to them because they love playing games just as much as we do. It’s not a guy’s game or girl’s game, of course it might be more dominant to guys because guys play games more, but you know girls love to game too.”

That leads on to my next question which is, “Have you ever been beat by a girl?”
*laughs* “Erm…maybe physically, hah. Erm…but no I don’t think I’ve ever been beaten by a girl.”

What exactly is the reason behind doing the Fatal1ty shootout tour?
“We’re doing the Fatal1ty tour to promote the Fatal1ty Abit motherboard and to let the people know what we do for the community and how we’re trying to build the e-sports community. So through the Fatal1ty brand we will be able to turn around and start sponsoring gamers, giving them what they deserve to be sponsored and be playing at the highest level. We are working real hard to improve the gaming community and I look forward to leading that role to help the community grow for all of us.”