Summer Games Done Quick 2020 Online (SGDQ 2020) has come and gone, but it isn’t time to say goodbye just yet! The event, which raised approximately 2.3 million dollars for Doctors Without Borders from August 16th to the wee hours of August 23rd, was full of incredible displays of gaming from runners across the globe. While it is always hard to select just a few favorite speedruns, here are five which had really stuck out to us over the course of the event — in no particular order.
1. Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen – Any% Glitchless Race by JP_Xinnam and PulseEffects
Pokémon runs always have a lot of twists and turns, and this run was no exception. One of the main features of this race was that each of the runners utilized a different starter through the entirety of the run. JP_Xinnam ran with the more common Squirtle evolution line, while PulseEffects went with the more experimental Charmander evolution line. Both speedrunners needed to perform frame perfect RNG manipulation to get a usable starter, and both executed it on the first try, which was incredible to see. With each runner taking slightly varied routes, the run was neck-and-neck up to the Elite Four, where JP_Xinnam had some more favorable luck and was able to get the victory with a time of 2:21:17. After getting mercilessly trolled by Lance, PulseEffects had to bow out after a heartbreaking defeat. Nonetheless, this race had so much to offer the SGDQ audience, and the runners seemed thrilled with the performance.
2. Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure – Any% by Helix13_
Who doesn’t love some well-timed product placement? Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure (DESA, for short) is a skateboarding game in the vein of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series. The goal of the Any% run is to unlock all eligible skaters as fast as possible. Helix13_, however, could not resist throwing in an incentive to collect a series of Nokia ringtones in the Olliewood level. Once collected, this led to a hilarious moment of goofy-looking NPCs dancing along to the sound of a ringtone. Just let that sink in. After that moment of peak comedy, Helix13_ took us through several Disney based environments such as Pride Rock, Pizza Planet, and Tarzan’s jungle in order to complete goals and unlock characters. Rails were grinded, combos were performed, and laughs were had.
3. DOOM Eternal – Any% No Major Glitches (Nightmare Difficulty) by BloodShot9001
This speedrun showcased some seriously peak gaming performance. It is not an understatement to say that BloodShot9001 absolutely destroyed this game. DOOM Eternal, the most recent addition to the DOOM franchise, is a very fast-paced and precise speedgame. Movement is very quick and fluid, with awe-inspiring tricks such as “Yeethooking” being utilized to propel the player across vast sections of the map. Not to mention, the amount of dexterity and aim it takes to pull off consistent headshots over the length of the run is hard to fathom. One of the many bright points of this run is the excellent commentary. The individuals on the virtual couch were simultaneously knowledgeable of the lore and techniques of the game while bringing energy and excitement after every insane execution of a trick or skip.
4. Super Smash Bros. 64 – Break the Targets, All Characters (Blindfolded) by Bubzia
This is the Super Smash Bros. game that started it all. While at first it may seem unusual to have a fighting game on the Games Done Quick stage, the level of skill put on display by Bubzia will go down as one of the most impressive feats in GDQ history. Throughout the run, Bubzia completes the Break the Targets levels with every character on the Smash roster as fast as possible. Sounds cool, right? Well, of course, it had to be taken to another level. So, Bubzia did the entire run BLINDFOLDED. This means lots of audio cues, beat counting, and backup strategies where needed. Additionally, the run was completed in a blistering 8:29. The amount of practice it must have taken to nail this on the biggest speedrunning stage there ever was is enough to make one shudder. It was truly a spectacle to behold.
5. Half-Life Alyx – Any% No Spin by Buffet Time
You simply cannot talk about SGDQ 2020 Online without talking about Buffet_Time‘s speedrun of Half-Life Alyx, the first display of a Virtual Reality game ever shown at a Games Done Quick. Buffet Time put on an incredible performance which included running, crawling, and crouching in his room in real time. The pinnacle of this is shown while performing a trick called Hatch Skip, where Buffet Time dips below the walking surface using height adjustment, and then crawls and rolls on the ground while moving underneath the textures in order to skip opening a hatch. It’s a significant time save as well as a physical technical achievement. Not only is this run physically and technically impressive, but it is historical. This run will be looked at as the gold standard for all future VR submissions, and rightfully so. It made us all excited for the future of Virtual Reality speedruns.
There are so many more incredible speedruns from SGDQ 2020 Online which showcased precision, comedy, insight, and technical achievements. These are just a few that stuck out to us. Have some other notable runs that stuck out to you? Feel free to mention them in the comments! Thank you for reading.
About Nate, the author of this article:
Nate is a world-record speedrunner, handheld gaming enthusiast, and speedgaming event personality. When not streaming or actively working in several gaming communities, he can be found spending time with his loving fiancé and his adorable pug, Jabba.