The story in 2017 was a game that, for the first time since 2009, missed an official world championship. Only two offline tech events were hosted. The start of 2018 looked to be similar. ESL leaving the game, as well as Team expert. The official end of the strongest line-up TrackMania has ever seen. However, when some giants leave, it opens up for other organisations to join and move the game forward. And the TrackMania story of 2018 is exactly that.
It’s hard to argue against the squad who represented Dignitas for so many years, and later Team expert, isn’t the strongest squad we’ve ever seen in the scene. Having won 6 out of 7 world championship titles since 2010, alongside multiple online team and solo events. However, after taking Top 3 at Gaming WinterFest 2018, Team expert leaving TrackMania became reality. The squad then agreed to split way, and find home in different teams. At the time people were saying this was the official end of TrackMania. But the story seems to have shifted the other way. Having the best players representing different organisations brings more competition to the scene and more fun for spectators.
Already at the next event, Gamers Assembly 2018, a new organisation claimed its first title in TrackMania. GamersOrigin winning both the tech and dirt event.
If 2018 would have the same story as 2017, there wouldn’t be any other offline events taking place. However, we saw the rebirth of an old online event taking place offline in Paris, France. The story of Giant Cup 2018 also included the rebirth of an old legend, tween, who has played TrackMania for over 10 years. His most memorable results before this were taking 1st places at Gamers Assembly 2014 and TheNest 2015. Arguably this is his biggest win in his career. This win came right after joining Team Sampi and the streak of the newest organisation taking home the title continued.
Team Sampi didn’t stop there. Already at the next event, TrackMania World Championship 2018, they once again proved that the newest organisations are the ones taking home titles this year.
If there is one person who is the definition of a new hope in the e-sport scene, it’s softyB. Not only bringing GamersOrigin into the scene this year, and recruiting arguably the best tech player in 2018 - Pac. But he’s also the one in charge of bringing TrackMania back to Paris Games Week and once again having an official event to crown a world champion.
But it’s hard to talk about the future of TrackMania without bringing up the guy who brings the most attention to the game - ZeratoR. Hosting the 6th edition of his ZrT TrackMania Cup in Toulouse, France. But also hosting his Fight For Subs online and TM AllStars at Paris Games Week, it’s hard to argue against the fact, that TrackMania needs a guy like ZeratoR and that he is essential to the game moving forward.
What started off as a year with bad news and organisations leaving the game, turned into something that can be viewed as a spark of hope. Hopefully 2019 will be built of this momentum and become the year, when TrackMania reaches the popularity we saw back in 2010 and finally breaking into the e-sport scene.