Professional video game speedrunning is a truly niche aspect of the gaming world, but also one of its most impressive; the superhuman feats these pro gamers demonstrate not only attract a sizeable number of viewers for their respective streams, but also inspire gamers to polish their own mechanical abilities. While there are speedrun records set for almost every game imaginable out there, there are specific titles that are better suited for a more competitive nature.
A quick glance at the central hub Speedrun.com yields a wide array of games that speaks to the dedication to this craft as well as the viewership numbers to support these amazing accomplishments. There are even speedrun categories for very specific conditions unique to each title; the niche might be small, but the possibilities are endless.
Respecting the time and effort these gamers sink into these titles, the Global Speedrun Assocation has announced its first live competitive event to not only give a chance for them to shine, but to reward the best ones out there as well.
We’re excited to announce our first competitive speedrun live event: PACE
Watch the Grand Finals of our SM64, SMO and Celeste Leagues, panels with some of your favourite speedrunners and much more!
Happening April 2019
Location and ticket info to be announced in the coming weeks! pic.twitter.com/zxId46nJ20
— GSA | Global Speedrun Association (@GlobalSpeedrun) December 22, 2018
In a tweet announcement, the GSA has revealed the officially named PACE competitive event, with separate Grand Final leagues for its preliminary titles of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Odyssey, and Celeste. Super Mario 64 is perhaps one of the most famous speedrun titles, arguably one of the earliest games to set the trend for this genre of gaming. Garnering fame from the infamous infinite stair glitch, SM64’s numerous records are still being attempted to this day. In fact, a world record was broken just this year for the “Any%, 0-star” category, for a 22-year-old game no less.
In the same spirit as SM64, Super Mario Odyssey has become quite a popular game to speedrun these days, largely due to the ubiquity of its collectible moons and the simple-yet-complex mechanics of its platforming. Celeste, on the other hand, is a notoriously difficult 2D platformer that has picked up universal acclaim since its recent release. While the first two titles necessitate creative pathing invented by gamers due to the simplicity of Mario platformers, Celeste relies on incredible precision and fast reaction times to pull off successful runs.
Whatever the style of speedrunning, it’s clear that the competitive genre still appeals to large portions of the gaming population. Much like other sporting events, there will always be casual viewers that seek to be awed by the unfathomable skill and versatility of these speedrunners, and it seems the GSA shares the same sentiments.
The PACE live event will take place sometime in April 2019. Location, ticket info, and more details will be revealed by the GSA at a later date.