For those who’ve loved video-gaming since the days before eSports were cool, and E3 was a global spectacle, this year’s most important event is QuakeCon 2018.

The free event is one of the world’s largest and most beloved video-gaming events. After first being founded in 1996 the festival has grown into a major gaming event. Nowadays it is sponsored by id Software,  Bethesda Softworks and a variety of other mainstream gaming companies.

The main focus of the event is, as you may have guessed, Quake. Thousands of gamers get together to play the classic game (which first launched the same year as the original QuakeCon in 1996) and compete for major cash prizes.

However, as the event has grown, so has its scope. Nowadays, players can enjoy even more games from ZeniMax Media (the owners of id Software, Bethesda Softworks, and various others). The event has also become a place for ZeniMax Media’s various game studios to share updates on new projects.

Where is QuakeCon 2018?

This year, QuakeCon is returning to Grapevine, Texas, a location it already visited in 2004, 2005, and 2009.

The event takes place from Thursday 9 August to Sunday 12 August.

This year the hotel hosting QuakeCon is the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center. Guests can get a special room rate of $185 per night by mentioning QuakeCon when they’re booking. The full address is Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine, Texas 76051.

QuakeCon 2018

The hotel should be the perfect backdrop for the event. It overlooks the beautiful Grapevine Lake and includes some seriously luxurious elements, top quality restaurants, shops and huge indoor garden spaces. There’s also an onsite fitness centre, and spa and salon to help pamper visitors after a long day of gaming.

However, guests can also stay at the following hotels which will run shuttle services to the Gaylord Texan Resort:

Hyatt Place Dallas Grapevine

  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Free shuttle service to the Gaylord Texan
  • Reference corporate or group code: G-QUAK

SpringHill Suites DFW North Grapevine

  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Free shuttle service to the Gaylord Texan

Super 8 Hotel – Grapevine/DFW Airport

  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Free shuttle service to the Gaylord Texan, DFW Airport, and local restaurants
  • Free wifi and business center
  • In-room coffee, tea and safe
  • Free parking
  • Private outdoor pool
  • Free fitness center
  • Several dining options within walking distance

The event itself is free and open to the public, but visitors are advised to register in advance so they don’t have to queue.

What to play at QuakeCon 2018:

The main focus at QuakeCon is the Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) tournaments. The organisers put together North America’s biggest local area network (LAN) party and gamers can battle each other. All they need to bring is their computer and register for a place.

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Aside from Quake Champions some of the games available to play at the convention include Prey: Mooncrash, the new DLC for PreyElder Scrolls: Legends, Doom, and the tabletop game Fallout: Wasteland Warfare.

Talks and addresses to see at QuakeCon 2018:

In addition to the playable games, there are also plenty of other games on show at QuakeCon 2018. A keynote address will give updates on most of ZeniMax’s big E3 announcements. These include Quake Champions, RAGE 2, The Elder Scrolls Online, and DOOM Eternal. That keynote address takes place at 11am CT Friday 10 August. Those who can’t attend will be able to livestream it here.

The following day, it’ll be time for a panel talk on the brand new Fallout 76 with Todd Howard and others from Bethesda Game Studios. Part of the discussion will involve answering fan questions about the upcoming game. That event takes place 11am CT Saturday 11 August.

For a primer on what games to expect to hear about, check out Verdict’s guide to Bethesda’s E3 presentation here.

Where to eat at QuakeCon 2018:

Of course, QuakeCon does provide plenty of great food options of its own. Six different food trucks will be available on site for those who want some quick and easy food. These include Soulgood (vegan and vegetarian food), Easy Slider (burgers and chips), Bobaddiction (boba tea), Not Just Q (BBQ and Mexican), Nammi (Vietnamese), and Tutta’s Pizza (pizza).

However, for those who fancy eating somewhere a bit more upmarket, here are a few picks of the best restaurants in Grapevine with options for every budget.

Bargain basics: Tommy Tamale

Where: 1689 West Northwest Highway, Grapevine, TX 76051

Cuisine: Mexican

Opening hours: 10.00 – 20.00

Description: A little café selling nothing but tamales which can be eaten in or taken away. Guests have often commented that Tommy himself has been on hand to show them round. The venue is famous for piling plates high with plenty to eat, but keeping prices much lower than expected.

#tamales #chili #bowl ; #chili #guacamole #salsa #dip

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Mid-range: Mi Dia From Scratch

Where: 1295 S Main StGrapevine, TX 76051-5545

Cuisine: Mexican, Southwestern, Latin

Opening hours: 10.00 – 23.00

Description: Another Mexican restaurant but this one is slightly more upmarket. The restaurant is known for its buzzy atmosphere and the top quality food it serves made with as many local ingredients as possible. The chefs really know what they’re doing so you won’t find a better example of classic South-Western cuisine in Grapevine!

Fine Dining: Old Hickory

Where: 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine, TX 76051-1945

Cuisine: American, Steakhouse

Opening hours: 06.30 – 22.00

Description: Of course, we can’t talk about classic Texan food without visiting at least one steakhouse. This up-market restaurant is within the Gaylord Texan resort, so it shouldn’t be too far from QuakeCon’s visitors’ rooms. The menu may be pricey but Old Hickory’s staff know what they’re doing. Everything is fine service from the beginning to end, with top quality chefs and waiters who really look after their guests.

Miyazaki Wagyu A5 BMS-12!!!! #whitetruffles #wagyufamily

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Where to drink at QuakeCon 2018:

Seeing as gaming is a serious business which requires quick reflexes and fast judgements, you’re probably best off not drinking while playing. However, sometimes when you’ve won a particularly spectacular bout you need libations to celebrate, right?

For that reason, we’ve also picked out some of the finest drinking dens in Grapewine too. Most of these also serve food, so if none of the restaurants above tickled your fancy, why not try these too?

Grapevine Craft Brewery

Where: 906 Jean StGrapevine, TX 76051-4112

Drinks: Craft beer

Opening hours: 15.00 – 22.00 (every day except Sunday) 12.00 – 18.00 (Sundays)

Description: While people do admit that the food is disappointing here, everyone who visits purely for the beer comes away impressed. The large venue apparently has a great ambience and a huge selection of locally made beers to try with knowledgeable bar staff who are able to help visitors identify the right drink for them.

Sloan & Williams Winery

Where: 112 E Texas StGrapevine, TX 76051-5307

Drinks: Wine

Opening hours: 13.00 – 21.00 (weekdays) 12.00 – 00.00 (Fridays and Saturdays)

Description: A winery opened by two army veterans who wanted to put a bit of integrity and respect back into the wine business. All of their wines are made in either Texas or California, and the pair have a great relationship with all their suppliers. The wines are specifically chosen from vineyards with very unique soils, climates, topography and geographic locations. In a town called Grapevine, you’d expect to find plenty of wine bars, but everyone agrees, this is the best of the best.

Happy hour

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Lucy’s Lot

Where: 451 E Northwest HwyGrapevine, TX 76051-3336

Drinks: Cocktails and beer

Opening hours: 12.00 – 00.00 (weekdays) 12.00 – 02.00 (Fridays and Saturdays)

Description: It’d be easy to dismiss a bar in a shopping mall, but Lucy’s Lot proves you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. This classic dive bar offers classic bar food including homemade burgers and onion rings, but its the cocktail menu which has really got locals talking.