Kaspersky will team up with the European Speedrunner Assembly (ESA) this July, to present a special online edition of Break the Record Live – the showcase event of ESA’s Summer Online 2020 charity marathon. Break the Record Live will this time see seven elite gamers compete head-to-head over 14 hours to record the fastest play-through time on Doom Eternal – one of the most popular gaming releases of 2020.
Speedrunning – a type of gaming where players try to complete a game (or in some cases, a level) as fast as possible – is a showcase of elite gaming talent. It attracts players from all over the world, across a broad spectrum of titles, ranging from traditional platform games such as Super Mario World to popular modern classics like Call of Duty.
Kaspersky Vice President of Marketing, Andrew Winton explained why the company has taken an interest in speedrunning:
“With a fast-growing and dedicated fan-base, speedrunning has in recent years moved from a gaming niche into the mainstream of gaming. The appeal of the sport to the spectator goes beyond simply watching an elite gamer racing through a game. There is a strong community focus, with the bulk of speedrunning events aiming to raise money for charitable causes. This is a major part of the attraction and one of the reasons we’ve fallen in love with the sport,” he said.
Despite having decades-old roots, interest in speedrunning has recently rocketed, recording double-digit growth year-on-year, making it one of the fastest growing Esports today. Events like those run by the ESA have helped build loyal global audiences and brought a level of fame and recognition to individual speedrunners who have spent years honing their craft.
“As one of the top organizers of key speedrunning events in the world, ESA strives for independence, transparency and innovation – which aligns closely with Kaspersky’s core values,” Winton added.
ESA will hold the online only event – Summer Online 2020 – between July 24 and August 2, with the primary goal of raising donations for Alzheimerfonden, a Swedish Alzheimer’s Foundation. Break the Record Live, the main event of the weeklong celebration of speedrunning, will take place on July 26.
Qualifications for the event will begin on June 12, 2020 – with the top seven fastest runners at the end of the qualification period earning a place in the competition on July 26.
“Kaspersky understands the importance of speed and how it can be compromised when processing powers are overtaken by antivirus software. We are continually improving our solutions to ensure a smooth gaming experience and provide our key consumer products with Gaming Mode – a feature which saves CPU powers for games and ensures an uninterrupted gaming experience. With the help of the ESA and the speedrunning community, we look forward to learning more about how to further improve our cybersecurity products for a wider gaming audience,” said Winton. “It’s also important for us to support charitable goals that accompany ESA events, and we believe that jointly we can make the world a better place,” he added.
“We’re pleased to collaborate with Kaspersky and bring the excitement of speedrunning to more people around the world. This partnership with the world’s top cybersecurity vendor means a lot for the ESA and for succeeding the charity goals of our events. It also brings new opportunities and expands horizons for the whole speedrunning community”, said ESA producer Andrew Bell.
Kaspersky’s cooperation with the ESA started in late May, when the company became the silver sponsor of the Assembly’s Corona Relief speedrunning marathon in aid of Save the Children’s Coronavirus Emergency Appeal. The event took place from May 28 to 31, attracting around one million views and collecting nearly $25,000 to stop the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the world’s most vulnerable children.