Perhaps we should do a comparison with standard textures at best settings to see which one looks best I'm curious now how good this will look.
My current screenshots were only preliminary and by no means indicative of ideal settings for this client. Maybe you're worried that the final screenshots will not do these maps justice, so I shall tweak them in the future.
I'm sure there are other SP clients that look nice, but some of them use a different protocol from Quake 2, so we cant really use them as our standard due to risk of losing players. For example Q2 Evolved might be very nice for SP, but then again it requires normal maps, and HD textures to achieve that look, plus it lags online. These engines are more optimized for SP experience on high end machines, while Q2 Pro is meant for multiplayer.
Since this contest is MP, what good is tailoring the look for a client that ultimately our players will not see or even use in Deathmatch. In my opinion it's best to focus on a decent multiplayer client, already established with most of the people, suited for handling all kinds of textures thrown at it (not just HD), and supported by all the servers.
First of all, its your decision, but, given what you are saying about the variety of engines and settings, then the more reason to use the only default we all have, Quake 2's original engine defaults (or similar ones from other engines), even more considering one of the rules of this contest is that the map works on it, so all the mappers have tested their maps on it, so the intended for the mapper look is that one, so it looks like a better option than choosing a subjective point of way like what looks best. If someone uses another engine or settings and it looks bad, its his problem, if it looks bad on the original engine and settings, is the mapper's problem.
So, in my opinion, is that when you show the contest's maps, the intended way the mapper thought off (or similar looking settings) should be used, to put all of them in equal footing and respect the mapper's choice. Truth to be told, this can be seen as something trivial, but i have seen problems arise due to things similar in other mapping communities. Small non mapper intended changes in looks can break maps. Not in this case, as this is an small issue, so this is just an example.