A Love Letter to the QcK
When I first started gaming online - well before I knew anything about esports - I played on the very first MacBook Pro. Trackpad and all. I would queue up 4v4 RT games on Warcraft III ROC and be extremely, extremely slow. Everyone hated me.
Eventually I graduated to a DELL 4600, which came with a ball mouse. Remember those? The ones you had to clean the lint out of in order for it to track properly? Well, new mouse means new mousepad - so I ended up with one of those cheap travel agency style pads with a hard paper-like top. It was oval in shape and was barely 5'' wide and 8'' long. It did not have a lot of real estate...
For the next few years I would bounce around from crappy pad to crappy pad, even using my desk itself as my surface of choice for a time. Eventually enough was enough and I needed a legitimate pad. A SteelSeries pad. A QcK. All my teammates said it was the pad to have, nothing could compare, or ever would. It was the pad to end all pads.
At the time, I recall people touting the QcK due two factors:
- Tracked the best for laser mice (which I had at the time)
- Size (it was the biggest at the time)
Because it tracked well for laser mice (which at the time were trendy as the Razer Copperhead had just released), and because it was so big, it was the pad to have. You would have fewer tracking issues, and you would run out desk space sooner than you would mousepad. A winning combination in my eyes at the time.
In reality I don't know if it ever did track better than other pads, Im sure there is benchmark data somewhere that proved that it did. But as an avid pet owner, there are constant extraneous dog or cat hair getting stuck on my mousepad so I really cant attest to that.
But what I can say is that...
Going from a small pad to a proper pad is a huge change. You might not think that it makes much of a difference in your gameplay, but it does. It opens so many doors for you to control movement in game to extremes you otherwise would have to constantly adjust for and risk being out of position or making mistakes.
It also gives you a larger natural arc when you are moving your mouse. What I mean by that is, when you move your mouse on a small surface, you are confined to very small movements, so you either need to move a lot or change your sensitivity to compensate. It makes it really frustrating to perform under these conditions.
When you graduate to a larger surface, you have a much large range of motion possible. This allows you to set your sensitivity to a place that feels natural for you. You no longer have to compensate and worry about whether or not you are about to go off the edge of your surface and be stuck for a few moments in game when it really matters.
Floppy > Hard
The other thing that made me fall in love with the QcK is that it is a soft-backed pad, meaning that the pad is flexible and can just roll off the edge of your desk, rather than sticking out rigidly.
For gamers who play with their wrist on the edge of their desk, this is a Godsend. You will not longer have to deal with sharp edges or pad movement due to your preferred hand positioning. Because the QcK can flop down the edge of your desk, it creates a soft surface for you to play from, reducing sharp friction and pad instability.
QcK Over Time
Over time the SteelSeries QcK has gone through a number of changes and product expansions. From different team/brand editions, to the latest QcK that lights up as you play, the QcK has rolled with the punches and withstood the test of time as my personal favourite mousepad, but also probably the most popular mousepad in esports.
Today you can buy all kinds of QcK's - small, medium, large, special designs, ones that light up, and even the trendy extra-wide style that looks more like a MTG mat than a mousepad. No matter what your needs are, there is a QcK for you.
For me there isn't anything better than a QcK Heavy. It has been my goto pad since I bought it, and I can't really imagine changing to anything else. From Warcraft III to CS:GO to League of Legends, and everything else in between, the QcK has been there for me without fail.
If you are on a budget, I recommend a variation of the SteelSeries QcK Heavy. The reason being it is insanely durable, you can wash it in the washing machine, it has various sizes to fit anyones needs, and is extremely comfortable. It will last you an exceptionally long time. It should outlast any of your other gear by a long shot.
If you are on a really tight budget, then the SteelSeries QcK Mini - all the same features, just a little bit less real estate for you to take advantage of.
If you are not on a budget and want to show off your battle station to the world, then why not opt for the extreme? The SteelSeries QcK Prism has all of the features the QcK Heavy does (except it is 2mm thick instead of 4-6mm), and also comes with RGB lighting, which you can fully customize.
What is your experience with the SteelSeries QcK? Do you have a different favourite mousepad you think outperforms the QcK? Let us know by joining us on Discord, the link is down below.