ESA Winter 2019 Raised $30,080 for Save The Children

Subject: General Tech | March 12, 2019 - 06:12 PM |
Tagged: esa, speedrun, charity

It’s been a few weeks since the European Speedrunner Assembly (ESA) Winter 2019 marathon ended, although the organizers have, just last Thursday, announced the results in a press release. Combining both streams, the event raised $30,080 USD in the six days that it ran. All of this money went to Save The Children.

Moreover, ESA Winter 2019 was the first event from the group that was sold-out.

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In previous years, ESA had sponsors that did donation matching up to some amount; I distinctly remember something like a 10:1 multiple a couple of years ago. As far as I can tell, that was not the case this time, so that was all contributed by the fans, including the runners and attendees.

Two more events are planned for this year. In April, on the 13th and the 14th, ESA will be at TwitchCon Europe. ESA Summer 2019 will take place from July 19th through July 28th, which is about a month after Summer Games Done Quick 2019 (June 23rd to June 30th).

Source: ESA

European Speedrunner Assembly (ESA) Winter 2019 Begins

Subject: General Tech | February 18, 2019 - 11:27 AM |
Tagged: esa, speedrun, charity

Another video game speedrun marathon has just begun. The European Speedrunner Assembly (ESA) Winter 2019 event started a few hours ago, at 7am EST, and will continue until the games are done, which should be Saturday evening. The last item on the schedule is a race of Cuphead between kalevan_herra, Kirthar, and TwoCPlus in the All Bosses, Regular, Legacy category, although there is a $1,000 donation incentive where kalevan_herra will do an extra solo run of All Bosses, Regular, Current Patch after the race.

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One interesting feature of ESA is that they tend to run two streams with separate games. While the second stream is not online for the whole marathon, it allows them to separate out some (not all) of the long runs so that the main stream can have a faster pace. The Stream 2 game with the fastest estimate (2 hours and 10 minutes) is Jade Empire on Tuesday at 4:30pm EST, and Stream 2 game with the longest estimate (10 hours and 45 minutes) is Final Fantasy X on Thursday at 7am EST.

ESA Winter 2019 benefits Save the Children.

Source: ESA Marathon

Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 Sets New Personal Best

Subject: General Tech | January 13, 2019 - 05:40 PM |
Tagged: speedrun, gdq, charity, agdq

The latest Games Done Quick marathon wrapped up at around 1 o’clock (EST) last night as the reverse boss order run of Super Metroid killed the poor, harmless animals. The runner took the detour to the “Save the Animals” room, opened the door, then fired a few times through it without entering… just to troll. I can appreciate that (despite donating to save the animals -- after the other incentives were met, of course).

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A few minutes later was the closing ceremony. Organizers thanked the staff, volunteers, and partners, and then added revenue from Twitch subs and bits, $217,226.12 USD, to the donation tracker. This brought the overall total to $2,394,423 USD, which is more than any other Games Done Quick event; the next highest was last year’s AGDQ at $2,295,191 USD. As usual, donations are still being accepted even though the stream has ended. It is currently sitting at $2,397,767.51 USD from 46377 donors, which benefits the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

The next Games Done Quick is Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) 2019, which starts on June 23rd, 2019 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Next year’s Awesome Games Done Quick 2020, despite just moving to Maryland this year, will move again for its 10th anniversary… to Orlando, Florida.

If you don’t want to wait until the summer, then a different organization, the European Speedrunner Assembly (ESA), are holding their Winter 2019 event starting on February 18th.

Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 Starts Tomorrow (Sunday)

Subject: Shows and Expos | January 5, 2019 - 05:25 PM |
Tagged: agdq, gdq, agdq 2019, speedrun, charity

Twice each year, Games Done Quick hosts a week-long, 24-hour marathon of games done quick… or blindfolded… or two games done on one controller… etc. The entire event is donation-based, with the money raised going to a specific charity. Typically, the winter event (Awesome Games Done Quick) raises money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation and the summer event (Summer Games Done Quick) benefits Doctors Without Borders.

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Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 continues with the Prevent Cancer Foundation. The last two AGDQ events brought in over $2.2 million USD, and the most recent Summer Games Done Quick was just under $2.2 million USD.

The whole schedule is available at their website. One interesting slot should be Friday evening’s TASBot plays mari0, which is Super Mario Bros. 1 with a Portal gun on custom levels. TASBot blocks also sometimes contain innocent-looking segments that are much more entertaining than they let on. For example, one year TASBot played Pokémon Red, although “playing” actually meant overloading the game’s controller input and using that memory access to install a Twitch chat client. As such, it’s always a good idea to watch the entire TAS block... just in case.

I also want to check out The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 1-Hit K.O. block on Saturday early afternoon. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was also entertaining in the past, and it’s being run again on Tuesday evening.

The event starts with a one-and-a-half-hour run of Hollow Knight, Sunday (tomorrow) at noon.

ESA Summer 2018 Speedrun Marathon Underway

Subject: General Tech | July 22, 2018 - 02:41 PM |
Tagged: speedrun, pc gaming, esa, charity

The European Speedrun Assembly begun yesterday (July 21st) at 10am EDT with a two-player Dark Souls III All Bosses race. Like Games Done Quick, it is a week-long, 24-hour charity marathon on Twitch. They do not have GDQ levels of viewers and money raised, but they do have a sponsor that pledged to double donations up to $50,000 USD. Note that they have two streams, listed one after the other in the schedule, so be sure to look through both parts of the schedule (in case there’s a Stream 2 game that catches your eye).

Watch live video from esamarathon on www.twitch.tv
Stream 1

They are currently sitting at $11,686 USD, which, I believe, is pre-match, so it should double to $23,372 USD. ESA Summer 2018 benefits Save the Children, which helps children affected by conflicts and natural disasters.

Watch live video from esamarathon2 on www.twitch.tv
Stream 2

While this run has already ended, I was fascinated by the Co-Op GeoGuessr segment. One user is given a Google Streetview location from somewhere in the world, and the other has a Google Maps view of the world. The two then need to work together to find where in the world they are, by the one looking around Google Streetview and the other trying to piece the clues together.

Summer Games Done Quick 2018 Wraps at $2.1 Million USD

Subject: General Tech | July 1, 2018 - 11:03 PM |
Tagged: speedrun, gdq, charity, pc gaming

While there are still a few late donations coming in, the Summer Games Done Quick 2018 event has ended with a seven-hour run of Final Fantasy VI… and $2.1 million USD. This donation amount ranks it as first place of all Summer Games Done Quick events by almost $400,000 dollars (and third place of all Games Done Quick events).

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Its last day, however, did not break $1 million dollars, unlike what we’ve seen in Awesome Games Done Quick. I was expecting, assuming it would have a similar last day, that SGDQ 2018 to be the highest grossing of all events when I went to bed on Friday night / Saturday morning, but it didn’t. I don’t know why. The line-up seemed good, especially with the Super Mario Odyssey donation incentive being met, but it brought in just a little less by the end.

(It’s possible that they calculate their values slightly lower this year, because they kept saying that the donation total doesn’t include their sponsors at the end, but I don’t think that’s the case.)

Even though its last day was slightly low, relative to previous years, breaking $2 million USD is still amazing for Doctors Without Borders. I was out of town for much of the event, but, if I were to pick a highlight from what I’ve seen, it would probably be the TAS block at the end of the second-last day. The tool-assisted runs were interesting, and the creative segment involved taking over F-Zero GX to connect with a Gameboy Advance and play a 3D cutscene via zero-day exploits. It’s worth checking out when it comes out on their YouTube channel if you missed it live.

The next event will be Games Done Quick Express in October (during TwitchCon). Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 will follow on January 6th – 13th in Rockville, Maryland.

If you cannot wait that long, then you can check out ESA Summer, from the European Speedrunner Assembly, running from July 21st at 10am (North American EDT) through some time in the afternoon or evening (North American EDT) of July 28th. It's run by a different organization, but it's a similar blend of fast video games and charity donations.

Summer Games Done Quick 2018 Has Begun!

Subject: General Tech | June 24, 2018 - 12:30 PM |
Tagged: speedrun, pc gaming, gdq, charity

The twice-annual, week-long marathon of gaming speedruns has just begun. First up is a 30-minute pre-show at 12:30pm EDT with SpikeVegeta, feasel, Protomagicalgirl, darkman78, and JHobz. This is where they go over what they feel will be the highlights of the week, from the most interesting runs to the donation incentives and raffle prizes. Also, puns.

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At 1pm EDT, the show will transition into the first two games, Banjo-Tooie and Spyro the Dragon, which are good examples of speed-run games because of their platforming / collecting mechanics. This will go round the clock until next Sunday at around 1:15am (plus or minus a bit) with Final Fantasy VI and a “thank you” speech. Unless this event is different than the previous, they will also slowly add the runs to YouTube in case you couldn’t check out your favorite game at 4am or something.

Watch live video from GamesDoneQuick on www.twitch.tv

Last year’s Summer Games Done Quick set a record for the summer event at $1.79 million USD. That said, they have been steadily increasing year over year, and the last two winter events have surpassed $2 million USD each. As usual, Summer Games Done Quick 2018 benefits Doctors Without Borders.

Is there any event that you’re looking forward to? Point it out in the comments!

Awesome Games Done Quick 2018 Raised Over $2.26 Million

Subject: General Tech | January 14, 2018 - 11:59 AM |
Tagged: speedrun, pc gaming, gdq, charity

This winter’s event set another new record for Games Done Quick. The current total, although they leave the donation form open a little while after the event for late entries, is $2,263,633.19 USD. This is the sum of 44471 donations from 32286 unique donors. The previous record was set a year ago at January’s AGDQ 2017: $2,222,791.52 USD. The current record set for a Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) event, typically held in July, is $1,792,342.37 USD.

AGDQ 2018, like the previous eight AGDQs, benefits the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

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The premise of these events is simple – the organizers bring in enough video game speedrunners to run a 24-hour stream for almost a solid week. These segments can be several hours or just a handful of minutes, depending on how long it takes to accomplish the set goal. While most are typical speedruns for a well-known category, some of them are races, some of them are glitch expositions, and some of them even force the runner to play in a non-typical way, such as blind-folded or two different games on a single controller.

If you're interested in the runs, then check out their YouTube channel.

Summer Games Done Quick 2017 Ends Over $1.75 Million

Subject: General Tech | July 9, 2017 - 05:52 PM |
Tagged: gdq, speedrun

After a week of 24-hour streaming, Summer Games Done Quick 2017 came to a close with a four-and-a-half-hour glitchless run of Earthbound. While late donations are still coming in, the current total is $1,776,475.79 USD across 30,065 separate donations from 22039 different people. This benefits Doctors Without Borders.

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2017 has been a record breaking year for Games Done Quick events. The January show, which often outperforms its July counterpart, brought in $2.22 million USD when it seemed like ~$1.2 to $1.5 million is where we were going to settle at. While we didn’t eclipse that this week, it did beat the previous Summer event by over $500,000. Maybe we’re still in a growth period, and 2016 was just unusually low?

I guess we’ll find out on January 7th - 14th for Awesome Games Done Quick 2018.

Summer Games Done Quick 2017 Begins Sunday

Subject: General Tech | June 28, 2017 - 11:39 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, gdq, speedrun

Starting on Sunday, Games Done Quick will be hosting their twice-annual, 24-hour speedrun marathon until 3am on the following Sunday. It will begin with a one-handed playthrough of NieR: Automata, and just keep going through game after game, including a handful of races between popular runners of applicable titles. (Personally, those tend to be my favorite segments.) Many are run on the PC!

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This event will benefit Doctors Without Borders.

Until Awesome Games Done Quick 2017, it looked like the amount raised per week-long event settled at around 1.3 million. That one, however, leapfrogged the previous year’s total by a whole million dollars, ending up at $2.22 million USD. Summer Games Done Quick, apart from last year, tends to do a little less, but who knows?