Marco “Vengeur” Ragusa: Italy’s Quake Hero

POSTED BY Dylan Winn April 18, 2020 in News, Quake Champions
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Welcome to the very first article in our new series, Myztro Profiles. In this new series, we look into a Myztro player’s life and share their stories. I hope you enjoy this article about Marco, a good friend of mine and an even better Quake player. I hope you enjoy!

-Dylan “SuRpLu5” Winn

Ever since he was a young boy, Marco “Vengeur” Ragusa loved competing no matter what form it took, from fitness and exercising to his eventual career as an esports competitor. 

“I think competition and adrenaline is something that you can’t stop having, even when you taste a little bit of it,” Ragusa said. “Of course, trying to become the best is probably the best feeling in the world, in anything you do in life.”

Ragusa, a 21-year-old esports athlete, is from Italy and plays Quake Champions for Myztro Gaming. Ragusa said he is considered to be a fresh face on the scene, being the youngest player in the Quake Pro League.

“I know that I’m the youngest player in the pro scene, but I don’t see it as a good or a bad thing,” said Ragusa. “I’m just living my own career and my own path, but I like to think that I’m a good example that young players can become professionals in a game like Quake, and that it’s not a game only for older generations.” 

Ragusa said he loved playing Quake from an early age, starting with Quake Live, and later Quake Champions. Rather than selecting another game to play in, Quake stuck with him for a simple reason.

“The main reason I love Quake is the process there is behind it. To the viewers, it may seem like we are only talking about aim and map control, but the game is much more than that,” Ragusa said.  “Behind every duel, there is a ton of practice, patterns, movements to do, predictions, and a lot of other stuff.”

“The main thing that I love about Quake is the challenge to be the best you have to be, the best in every aspect of the game, not just aim,” Ragusa said.

According to his Liquipedia page, Ragusa began his Quake Champions career in November 2017, when he joined Contact Gaming. He later signed with Myztro Gaming in January 2019 and is sponsored by Bonehead Systems, an Italian PC building company.

While he wasn’t always at the top of the Quake leaderboards, his teammates can attest to why he is such a good player now. 

Gareth “GaRpY” Marshall, a Quake player and co-owner of Myztro Gaming, has nothing but praise for Ragusa. “Marco’s work ethic is probably the best I’ve ever seen,” Marshall said. “You don’t have to ask him to do anything really, and if you do, it’s done straight away.”

Though Marshall does most of his work behind the scenes in Myztro Gaming, he’s been a player for close to 20 years, and practices with Ragusa occasionally. “He’s a great teammate, always picking you up with his positive attitude, and he’s always pushing you to achieve anything to the best of your ability,” Marshall said. “Then, he pushes you [to do] more.”

Ragusa’s interests are not only focused on esports. He said he loves exercising and being with friends and family. He’s also learning how to play the piano.

“I’m more into hip hop songs, but I was trying to learn some Beethoven and Chopin, and one day I started learning,” Ragusa said.  “Fur Elise is the first piece that I managed to master that was harder for me, but without having a teacher, it is nearly impossible to keep going. So I mostly just have fun playing it.”

Vengeur preparing for a match at the QPL Stage 2 Finals. Source: ESL
Outside of gaming, Vengeur knows how to dress to impress. Source: @myztrovengeur on Twitter
Vengeur winning a critical match in his home country during the QPL Stage 1 Finals. Source: ESL

The Attack on Italy: COVID-19 through Vengeur’s eyes

As the COVID-19 virus pandemic continues, people around the world have been adjusting to a new normal of staying inside and working from home. 

Quake Player Marco “Vengeur” Ragusa has been in this situation for a lot longer than most. 

Residing in Palermo, Sicily, Ragusa is facing the utmost challenges of quarantining in one of the more extremely infected countries. As of April 8, Italy has seen 135,586 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 17,129 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

“[In Italy,] the situation is terrible. Hospitals are full, there aren’t enough medications, and so on,” Ragusa said. “It affects me so much, cause my dad is already sick from post-surgeries. So I’m trying to avoid going out at all.”

While the epidemic in Italy rages on, Ragusa has not lost his extreme passion for his country.

“It has been my dream [to compete for Italy] for many years,” Ragusa said. “I have never been more proud to represent my country, my friends, and my people in a game like Quake.”

On March 9, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte extended lockdowns to the entire country, meaning that Ragusa couldn’t leave the country to compete. He had just returned from IEM Katowice in Poland on March 3, after taking fourth place in the Quake Pro League Stage 2 Finals.

Recently, Italian internet service providers have been struggling to keep up. According to Cloudflare, internet traffic in Italy has grown by more than 30% with internet usage up at all hours of the day. It doesn’t help that Ragusa has to compete in the QPL remotely, sometimes experiencing ping, the delay between a player and a game server, into the 90s, causing him to lag in critical matches. 

However, Ragusa said he doesn’t like thinking about himself during this crisis.

“I always wonder about the people that can’t afford food or a house,” Ragusa said. “I really apologize for them, and I hope everyone can be safe and healthy.”

Being the only Italian in the Quake Pro League means a lot to Ragusa now more than ever.

“I know that the flag of Italy was carried with honor in the past from so many legends in the Italian Quake scene,” Ragusa said, “especially when I’m the only one from Italy doing it at the moment.”

“It is probably the best feeling in the world knowing that I have the passion and the support of the people watching me from home or from the live events,” Ragusa said. “For them, I say, Forza Italia!”