News Article

Interview with Schumi

Today we will have a chat with a guy who is most known for creating car skins, but recently he has had success as a player himself. We had a chat with our French friend "Schumi" about making skins, being a leader of a Trackmania team, playing for Planetkey Dynamics and the future of Trackmania. Enjoy the interview!

Let’s see what he has to say:

Hello Schumi! Glad you took your time to do this interview with us. Can you introduce yourself?

Hello, my name is Schumi, I have been playing this game since 2011 by mostly playing Nadeo maps solo. I started playing competitively in 2014 with the French team called NgM at Stadium Team Cup 10. During mid-2015, I played 24h race with the old SAW team and decided to join them. At ESL cps 15, we decided to rename Saw as 4o2 and played in the proleague division. Unfortunately, as Cap went to aAa, we decided to disband. So then, I decided to launch SmartLine, together with Guigui.Jr and Bren. As sL recently retired, I am now driving for PlanetKey Dynamics for a trial period. As well as being a player, I am also involved in our community. I make skins for esports teams mostly under the name of "SchumiSkins". I also did some stuff on YouTube. Lastly, I help the French team named “F1 team” to organize open races.

You have for a long time been known as the best skin maker on the scene. Can you describe and take us through the process, when you make a car skin?

Well since I discovered Trackmania, I have been interested in painting liveries for cars. Firstly, with the in game painter because I did not know how to use specialized software. When I make a car skin my process is to firstly think of the dominant color and place all sponsors logos on the car. Then I really focus on the painting itself which takes the most time. I always try to find an overarching theme for the livery; it is really rare that I completely improvise a painting. I did it once though and it worked really well, lucky me ! Sadly, the problem with doing skins is that everybody can use your files, which makes it hard to keep our creating secrets, and that’s also why I am kind of bored of skinning. Some others aren’t really innovating but only copying...

Picture of Schumi


Name: Jean-Sebastien "Schumi" Cassingena

Age: 20

Team: Planetkey Dynamics

Country: France

Used TM perspective: Cam 2

Controlling device: xBox 360 Pad

After a break, you’re now back with a new car skin, and it’s the official HuntMania car skin. Are you happy with the end result? And why has it been so long since the last skin?

Well yeah, back to business somehow! Hmm I focused more on playing recently so skinning became less important and so on. About HuntMania Skin, I am quite happy with the result, black/green color combination suits well a carskin as you can see below! I also focused on some little details to innovate a bit. Over all I am satisfied with the end result, I hope that people will like it!

Being a guy who is known to be the best at something, you probably get a lot of requests, and people want you to make stuff for them. Are there any projects you want to do more than others, or what do you require from people wanting a skin from you?

That is true, even if 2016 was probably a less productive year than 2015 in terms of skinning. Back at the start of my skinning career, I was really determined to paint for top teams because that was the best way to gain notoriety. But at the same I felt that I was also climbing the TM’s competitive ladder which made me less interested in doing skins for small teams. Concerning my requirements, I choose the projects that I find attractive..... I prefer to do skins for teams to be honest, teams which I know will still exist after some months...

Our next event "Mixed Short Hunt 2016" will take place the next three weeks. Tech, fullspeed, dirt and RPG will be played, will you give the event a try, and if so, do you think you are able to do well overall?

I will give it a go for sure. I like to play some Dirt maps and even RPG. Problem is that I do not play Fullspeed maps at all, so let us see how it goes. I will surely try to do decent times on tech maps though.

Wanna join Mixed Short Hunt 2016? We are live, and all info is available on our event page. No registration needed!

Besides being a skin maker, you have also been the leader of smartLine. Recently the team disbanded, and the players have found other teams. How was it being a team leader, and why did it come to an end?

Being team leader of a team is something really rewarding to be honest. It was a really good experience to lead and manage a group close to the top level of Trackmania. Of course there have been some good moments as well as some downs. This experience led me to believe that Bergie is probably one the best team leaders Trackmania has seen. Leading team Dignitas to the very top that long time was quite outstanding. Concerning smartLine, it ended due to a lack of my motivation to lead the group. Some players were planning to leave as well and so it was a very natural decision.

You have also found another team. You are currently on trial for a top team in Trackmania, Planetkey Dynamics. How does it feel to get an opportunity like this?

As you know, Trackmania is quite a competitive world. From the beginning, my goal was to reach top level and play with the very best. Actually, I have been thinking about joining a pro team since this summer. In addition, how does it feel? I am really proud and happy to have a chance to show how good I can be thanks to Flow - PkD’s manager. Let us see how it goes!

Being lucky enough to play for a top team, you can go to offline LAN’s. Is this something you have done, or are thinking about doing?

LAN’s are sadly too rare on Trackmania in my opinion… how do you want our game to gain more notoriety? … Anyway, I went to Gamers Assembly this year as a player. That was definitely a good experience meeting online players in real life is something funny and challenging as well. Unfortunately, as I had exams the same period I could not train the maps enough to perform that well. However, I recently heard about a French LAN tournament planned for February 2017, which will host a Trackmania tournament. I am curious about it, but I am still not sure about participating there.

Talking about offline, LAN’s, the most prestigious event, Maniaplanet Worldcup, has just finished. Many people think the replacement of ESWC was a step down, and that the World Championship this year, was lacking in many areas. Did you watch the event, and what is your view on the event?

I do not think Maniaplanet Cup was a true World Cup. To me, that was a shameful event ran by Ubisoft, as I expected since the announcement at the end of summer. Honestly, that was disappointing. In my mind, Ubisoft is sadly not a video game developer able to host tourneys and develop their games as esports titles… We could not even go to the event as spectator. There are many Trackmania players not far from Paris, what a pity for them! So yeah, I watched some matches, Grand finale, WB finale and some matches from Kronos and Cocow. By the way, what is the goal to play a Grand Finale Monday at midday? Nobody could follow it live… For me, this MWC was indeed a step down compared to ESWC. There was no hype about this MWC even players were sarcastic. I still enjoyed watching this offline event, because that Trackmania’s top level. I was surprised to see Royal winning Time Attack seeding and Carl kind of missing his Grand finale match, as he was a beast during the WB finale. Huge congratulations to Pac for ending his reign and becoming the new world champion!

There is no secret that Trackmania has a strong and active community, and that is the main reason that the game is still alive. What is your main motivation for staying in game, and putting so much effort into it?

Trackmania has by far one of the best communities, which is enjoyable. Check YouTube and look at how many masterpiece videos have been made; look at all websites created around Trackmania, look at all the events and tournaments hosted... This is very impressive. That is also, why I would bet that our community could run our game better than of Nadeo/Ubisoft. To be honest, my motivation has clearly dropped in the last few weeks. I feel that without a real support from developers we cannot really do anything to make our game better known despite our constant work. I also feel that our community is degrading itself, sadly. At least in France, there are more and more people coming up to you and criticizing your job, wanting you to stop at once… The fact is that we all love our game, that’s why we keep doing so much for it and that we will not leave it!

Thank you so much for this interview. Is there anyone you wanna give a shout-out to?

Well firstly thanks a lot for having me ! Huge shout-out to Bren and Guigui, for all the funny moments we shared, “cc” to all SAW boys, riSbo, Salman, Capucinno, Benco, Papou and Tirli, even strangers, Harni, mCon boys. Thanks also to Flow who gave me the opportunity to play for PkD and lastly to all teams, and players who trusted me to paint them a very unique carskin.

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