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Interview with Trackmania's event admins

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2017 has just started, and we hope to see many successful events will be hosted. To get a nice overview of what's gonna take place, I thought it would be cool to ask the admins of the biggest events out there on what they are planning to do. Maybe we will see some new event or maybe we see some events missing from the 2017 calendar?

Let's see what they have to say.

Railag, admin of STC/NC

The last team event that finished in 2016 was the Stadium Team Championship, as well as the Nations Cup finishing some weeks before. It's some time before it usually takes place. Will you guys host any other events before or what's the status for 2017?

As some people are aware by now, Electronic Tournaments website will be shut down by the end of the January, 2017, which means that many cups ET hosted throughout the years are now over and most likely will never come back. It has been coming for a long time and to be honest STC/NC was probably the only reason ET was kept alive for the past ~2 years, because for most of the league admins the ET as a platform for organizing the tournaments died when the TMUF community shrinked to what we could call a critical point, I guess the game just never really got new players and the oldschool community just got older/tired of the game and went inactive.

But to explain what's the actual reason for the shutdown: in the end, admins just got eventually stopped paying the servercost from their own pocket to keep it alive, considering that lately the website was only used 3 months in a year to host a single tournament, in a Trackmania environment that management and most of the admins weren't the biggest fans of in the first place.

If you should name one other event you look forward to see or an event you wish to see taking place in 2017?

Although STC/NC was in a way a part of this problem, In the future I would really like to see more tournament admins experimenting with the format, for a lot of people that have been around for a while playing it gets quite boring to play the same format with minor or no changes over and over again each year. For example I feel like eXeS TC #1 format, while not perfect, was a step in the right direction, some of the ideas were certainly refreshing, at least for a Trackmania tournament.

Do you think someone will pick this format up, and take over it like Spam did with fB's Weekly Race?

Actually, some parts of STC/NC were already adopted not too long ago, eXeS TC rulebook was partly based on it. But as for taking over, for now the plan is that ESL will pick up and host STC/NC in the future, as it is really important to fulfill the empty space in the calendar, because tech community already has rather excessive break during the summer, making it twice as long certainly wouldn't be positive for the community, but I'm sure Rasque will tell you more about these changes in his part of the interview.

And how does the future look for you, are you done hosting events?

To be honest, when ET announced recruiting to the stadium admin team I was applying as a maptester only and never really thought I'd be the one hosting STC/NC, so me becoming a tournament admin was accidental in a way, but as for the future, even though I've recently had some offers to consider - right now I don't have a definitive answer since it depends on a variety of factors both inside and outside the game. Just have to wait and see. :)

Rasque, ESL admin

The yearly team event hosted by ESL was removed from the calendar late in 2016 due to the new eXes Team Cup. When will we see the next prestigious ESL Team Event?

Indeed, the CPS, which is hosted twice in a year by the way, was skipped due to the eXeS prized tournament, so the players could have another chance to win money, not only in TMM. We did not want to be the barrier of that.

My plan is to keep the CPS in a yearly basis, and to start hosting other events, which will be the sequel of the ones lately dropped by the organisation of ET.

The yearly schedule of team tech tournaments changed a lot in the previous years, but I'm on gathering the main admins of these events, to have a look at the schedule, because it went a bit random lately. The goal of this conversation group is to plan all our stuffs strictly but conveniently, for us, and of course, for the players too, and most of all, to have all these registered in ManiaCalendar.

ESL is known to host a lot of events, and did so in 2016. What kind of events can the players and spectators look forward to in 2017?

Most of our time in 2016 was spent on the development of the Competition Titlepack, which was normally, to be released in April 2016, however, some more time was needed to finish all the stuff which had been planned before.

Also, which has been said above, and maybe this is the most important to mention, we are going to pick up STC and NC so they can take the position of one of our CPS tournaments. Regarding the question: when exactly, I don't know yet, but will know more after we discussed about it. Note, that everything will be the same, nothing changes, only the hosting will be on our side. I'm already planning with Railag on how he can start working on one of the most prestigious TM tournament by us.

For now, I can say that the Stadium Nations Challenge will come back somewhere in the regular period, together with a CPS season, and maybe together with another Speed Premiership. The expected date depends on when TMM's cup ends, but I assume it would end somewhere in May as usual. Should there be schedule problems, we will use TMM maps for the first rounds so the players don't have to train multiple mappacks.

Normally the Nations Dirt Cup was also planned in my mind, although it seemed, that the community wasn't absolutely ready completely for another tournament as the NDC, at least based on the information what I have, coming by my admins. I would still love NDC to see working, with a convincing amount of participating countries. All in all, its not forgotten completely. Same goes for the Dirt Premiership.

For Canyon, the usual schedule will take place in this year too. Canyon events are normally organised after the community needs, whether it should be a Team Premiership, a Nations Challenge, a Solo event, a Cup series or an Endurance race. A survey for the next upcoming Canyon event is out as we speak.

Sadly for Valley I cannot say anything, it is enough to check the online people. To be honest, the weekly races by Smurfs conviniently cover all what the Valley scene needs. Forever hoping for a big change regarding driving control for this awesome-looking environment - but I know, it is hopeless. The support for Valley in ESL has not stopped, however.

We had to stop for Turbo though, completely. People simply went out of interest in the game, despite the fact of hundred thousands of people playing in the first months online but now its almost empty.

Cups-wise, we are currently quite out of free time in the evenings, also the YOLO plugin is not totally ready yet. Once it will be ready, it will be a very popular plugin, and maybe will gather a lot of people for YOLO Cups, also for Speedrun events. Everything else depends on free times and admins. An admins wanted news should be out as well, soon.

If you should name one other event you look forward to see or an event you wish to see taking place in 2017?

My all-time favourite tournament on ESL was always the Nations Challenge (formerly Country Championship), because it always brings people together. So we can say I can't wait to see that cup happening again.

Another favourite event type of mine is the YOLO Cups, which are currently still quite hard to manage by hand, so I'm looking forward to have the plugin to be completed, and to be played.

Outside ESL, and maybe this isn't too surprising, I'm mostly interested in what people will make with the new blocks, how they turn this title pack into the most necessary tool what a trackmaniac needs to have in the first place. The latest update offers almost too many possibilities, which haven't been even started to be explored. Also I dream of the thing, that once NADEO also will start letting the builders to use it on official tournaments. But first of all, I'm more into maps in this question. To put this in one sentence: I'm really curious of all events!

For the development side, cannot wait the MP4 to be released, so we can finally seriously go indepth into the new codes of the title pack. Then it would make sense to start building a really useful surface for everyone's needs, to support streams, organisations and put every important info there, also to start adding all mappacks of the most important stadium tournaments.

Dino, TMM admin

Trackmania Masters has been hosting events for a long time, with the True Talent Cup being hosted almost every week. Lately we've seen edition taking place with over 350 players at the same time. Can you tell us how the future of this cup will look like? Is it gonna be two servers all the time, is it gonna be TM2 or TMNF, and is there something new that's gonna be added?

Hey! The future on the one hand depends on what the community demands and on the other hand what is possible for us. Some wishes or suggestions definitely sound great, but due to server-, game- and plugin-limits they are not possible. Since 2016 at least we brought some more variety into True Talent Cups with lots of different editions, which is also the plan for the future. But, as mentioned before, it just depends on what the players demand. We're trying our best to satisfy every participant as good as we can.

True Talent Cups on two servers was first of all to see how many players are actually out there wanting to take part. We've reached the 235 serverlimit since quite a long time and now we finally know how many are around. But since it's way more work hosting it on two servers and people moaned about some extra waiting time due to server merging process we will not see "XXL TTCs" everytime, they will remain something special.

With the new eXeS Team Cup we've another event that keeps the teams busy. Will this event affect your yearly team event or will it take place as usual?

The new eXeS Team Cup will definitely affect the yearly Team Cup by TrackMania Masters, as it lasts until March where we've usually started off with our Team Cup already. ESL are about to start another CPS in around May, which leaves hardly any time for another Team Cup. Furthermore, three major team cups in a row is probably not what everyone wants to see.

If we will have a shorter Team Cup or just something completely different is not decided yet - it also depends on if we successfully find new admins who are trying to keep "TrackMania Masters" up.

After following your facebook page, I saw that you are seeking a new admin to take over. Can you clarify why, and what kinda person do you wish take over TMM?

Unfortunately I will have less time and probably not even internet access from March until September. To keep True Talent Cups, a potential Team Cup and TrackMania Masters in general alive we need admins who are ready for this. The person should preferably have experience with hosting tournaments and must be a very reliable person, cause on True Talent Cup evenings over 200 participants and a few hundred viewers are dependent on the Admin's appearance. Further information can be found on our website's post:

Thank you,

Mali, DDE admin

You guys ended the last half of 2016 with hosting the big 24H Race, aswell as hosting the 6H Mix Race. Do we need to wait until after summer before we see more of these hour events?

We first planed to host a new 24h road at the end of spring with the very new plugin we coded, and maybe a "Play with Aliens" just before. But sometimes in life you also have side IRL stuff to take into consideration and, for the moment, we can't say when will be our next event.

In 2016 one of the biggest highlights for players, but more so for spectators, was the ZrT Cup #4 taking place in Paris. We know that DDE is helping Zerator with hosting these events. Do you have some inside information on when the ZrT Cup #5 will take place, and will it be as big?

We know that ZrT Cup #5 is on the road again (tulululu lululu). But we don't have any more info to be honest. Actually, Palteza is the one who's in connection with ZeratoR so maybe he already knows some information that Claude and me don't know.

If you should name one other event you look forward to see or an event you wish to see taking place in 2017?

I really wish that Gamers Assembly will be as amazing as last year. We don't have so much info for now, but I really hope dirt, tech and fullspeed will be gathered again. It was a really huge party for the Trackmania scene and I can't wait to see it again. We need this, at least once a year, to meet each other and have fun all together, because it's the force of our community!

SoftyB, admin of eXeS TC

The newest event host in the game. Your first event, eXeS Trackmania Championship, is still taking place. How is it going? Are thing going as planned? And when will the Grand Final take place?

Hey NMD, yes as you said first experience for eXeS and for me to host a Trackmania tournament. I didn't know how it was going to happen, but after some weeks I've been really pleased to see how the community responded about it. How is it going and are thing going as planned ? Well perfectly for now, luckily everything is going like it was planned and I truly hope it will continue like that until the end of the competition . The Grand Final will take place on March 12th and we are preparing something special for it. Stay tuned!

Being so new to the game, it might be hard to look into the future. But will we see this cup taking place yearly? Or will we see some other events gonna be hosted by you in 2017?

Our goal was to provide a team competition with some cash prize for the community and mainly to introduce softly the Pick&Ban phase which for me stick perfectly with a game like Trackmania, so I guess we will continue like that. I didn't really start discussions about a second edition with the eXeS staff but I can already tell you that there will be one for sure. I'm not really a big fan of individual events or fun events, I'd prefer to let that to HuntMania which did a really great job with the MvM or to TMM organisation with their TTC event. So eXeS will be mainly focused on Team Cups and will try to provide a better cashprize and organisation during the next editions/years. For this to happen, we need a good team around it, and currently we do with Jonni from Huntmania, TIRLI, Skadi and the whole map testing crew. I mean there is no "tournament hoster", it's only about a group of player, from the community, motivating themselves to provide the best tournament that deserves this game.

If you should name one other event you look forward to see or an event you wish to see taking place in 2017?

Well, being a big fan of TMM maps and system it will be a pleasure to play the next one. The only wish I could have for Trackmania it would be to have more offline/online events with cashprize so we can together with the community see Trackmania at its true place.

Jonni, HuntMania admin

Why not end the interview with informing the players on what we plan to do in 2017. Jonni, can you give us a brief overview on what HuntMania will be doing in the coming year?

At the moment we’re hosting the online event of TMX Driving Academy, and it’s running smoothly, everything as expected. But after that, we will take a temporary break from the Trackmania scene. The main reason is NMD, who is leaving his homeland to study in Perú from February to August, but I’ve to admit that I also haven’t got that much time due to other projects and school.

But we won’t disappoint you: we’re planning our comeback with two big events. While one of it will definitely be a TA event like Hunting Weekend or Weekly Short Hunt again, but heavily improved, the other one will be in cup mode, especially made for the pro’s.

To get an overview about the future of HuntMania: our main focus will be to refine our best competitions and improve them as much as possible, but at the other hand we want to continue experimenting with other formats too, like Railag said a few lines above. We think Trackmania lacks of tournaments which are made for the whole community, and that’s why events should be for every player with any skill level, and that’s something we have to work on – together.

We’ve a lot of things planned, but we’re confident. If you’ve any idea for a new format or any suggestion to improve our existing formats, feel free to ask us! We are open for every feedback and everything new. Just to mention, we won’t be lazy in the background, and yeah.. Maybe some new systems are currently being developed, waiting to be finished and to surprise you after we’re back? Who knows?

Big thanks to all event admins who took their time to answer our questions. We hope you're interested in them, and if you like our interviews, write a comment and give us some feedback.

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