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Interview with ZeratoR

He is known for hosting the biggest, craziest and most popular cups in Trackmania, and now he is ready with another edition. We asked him about the upcoming Trackmania Cup 2017, the idea behind the cup, his maps, being popular on Twitch and more!

Enjoy!


Hello ZeratoR. It is a great honour to do this interview with you. Can you introduce yourself for people that might not know you too well?

Hello! Sure thing! I am a video content creator on Twitch. I basically livestream when I’m playing video games, and people watch my broadcast to have fun or learn a bit.


Many people, including myself, have been a fan of your own Trackmania event ever since its first event. Can you describe why you ended up making an event in Trackmania?

Originally, when I thought about the Trackmania Cup, I asked myself a simple question: “What would be the result if someone created lame circuits (me in fact) but there was still a cashprize at the end to catch the interest of the pro players? Will they try the maps and play? Even if those maps suck? Will people like the event? So I decided to give it a go and I realized that people enjoyed it. I even got better with mapping! Meaning everything is possible really!

Picture of ZeratoR

ZeratoR

Age: 27

Country: France

YouTube channel

Twitch

Twitter

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You are one of a few, if not the only one, who have an own map style named after you. What goes through your mind when you open the map editor? Do you get any help or feedback from more experienced map makers?

As crazy as it may seem, I don’t get any help. I just start the editor without prior thinking about what I’m gonna do. I’m not sure where the inspiration comes from to be honest. Directly from hell if I recall what some contestants said about the cup. My viewers sometimes make suggestions when talking in the chat on my livestream, and it can be quite useful!


Last year we saw for the first time ever an offline event hosted by you. The event took place in Paris, and sold out over 2200 tickets. Why did you want to move the event from online to offline and did you think it would sell over 2200 tickets?

In fact there were 2700 tickets! That makes a difference believe me! It was a huge bet for my team to go for an offline event. Originally we booked a smaller theatre with only 500 seats available, but tickets were all sold in 13 seconds! When we learned that the booking for the biggest stage (of the same theatre) had been cancelled, we just made another CRAZY bet, which was to book this big stage instead. To my own surprise, it worked out pretty well! I had never done something like that before, it was the first time that I made an entire show by myself (with the help of a production company owned by friends of mine).

Even worst, at the time we booked the big stage, the date of the Trackmania cup was already announced and only 3 weeks were left to re-make the whole show from scratch. We had our load of bugs and problems to solve of course, but overall it went great. If we cumulate everything, there were 40000 viewers, which is… amazing!


This year you will once again host a cup, the Trackmania Cup 2017. Can you give us a brief overview of the information we need? Are there any changes from last year?

There are quite a few changes compared to last year’s event. First of all, this time it will be held in Lyon and not in Paris. The theatre has more of a round shape, kinda like a colosseum. Also, I had this impression that last year’s competition was very “serious”. I decided to lighten the mood a bit by creating fun challenges. There will be three:

  • Number 1, during which you have to play a whole track blindfolded (the map will be adapted obviously).
  • Number 2, where you’ll have to play with your controller (or keyboard) upside down.
  • Number 3, during which you’ll have to go touch (physically) a specific point on stage whenever you cross a checkpoint and get back to your seat to continue playing.

The idea was to create challenges you can train for at home, because the goal wasn’t to destroy the competitive aspect, just to make the whole show more entertaining and spectacular! I don’t want people to think of the TM Cup as a tournament, but as a show. That’s the main difference.



Last year’s ZrT Cup #4 winner, JaviFlyer, has taken a break from Trackmania to focus on real life. Without the defending champion at place, who do you think will be the biggest favourites?

Indeed, it’s a shame that JaviFlyer won’t be there to defend his title. On a side note, when you’ve won a TM Cup you’ve won with your life so does it really matter? On a more serious note… there are a bunch of strong candidates this year, I’m not sure that the level has been that high before. I have no clue who’s the most likely to win at the end, but it seems hard to imagine the semi-final in Lyon without CarlJR, Bren, Paco or Aurel.


Having hosted four previous editions of your cup, I assume there have been a lot of funny and memorable moments. If you would have to pick one moment so far, which one is your favourite and the one you remember the most?

I think that the most emotional was when I got on stage in Paris facing a crowd of 2700 people. That’s when I really thought: “Damn, this joke transformed into a real show in Paris, that’s unbelievable!” It was both moving and funny.


Showing up year after year to host events in a game is for me a sign that you love the game. What kind of fan would you consider yourself as; do you play casually on servers, follow the e-sport scene or mainly focus on the event hosting part?

To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t focus that much on Trackmania except for my event. I’ve always been a fan of the game, but more in casual sense. I completed the solo mode with gold medals of every game in the series. It doesn’t require a very good level but a few hours of playing still! Even if I haven’t played that long, I’m pretty satisfied with my level. I haven’t completed the solo mode of Lagoon yet! Time will come!


Recently Trackmania has been updated with Maniaplanet 4. How do you experience the changes and updates?

Visible changes for someone like me are minors. That being said, having way less landing bugs is really cool, especially for the competitive aspect. Pro players will be more serene and I can create maps full of complex jumps, which is reeeeeaaaally fun! The game is also prettier, which is nice. There are new block editors, but it was a bit too early to try that out. Maybe next year if we decide to make another edition!


As a big streamer you play a lot of different games. If you would have to recommend a game for the people of Trackmania to try out, what would it be? Are there any games you play that are similar to Trackmania?

It’s actually pretty tough to answer because Trackmania is really a “one of a kind” video game. Nonetheless, I think Rocket League can be quite fun for every player who is good on Trackmania and would like to try another game with bigger tournaments. I’ve seen previous Trackmania pro players try out that game and they were really good. You have to handle your vehicle perfectly and even if the physics and controls are different, it’s still a game based on precision and decision making. In my opinion, those are also mandatory qualities to be a good TM player (in round mode at least).


Thank you so much for doing this interview, and good luck with the upcoming Trackmania Cup 2017. I will let you have the final word, if you have a message to the people or wanna give a shoutout to anyone.

Thank you very much for this, it’s always heart-warming to see that people are interested in the event. I hope to meet you in Lyon, even if it must be quite a trip for you!


Not satisfied yet? Consider watching the last Grand Finale from ZeratoR's TM Cup 4:

 

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