News Article

Halfway through TrackMania Grand League BETA Season

Since TrackMania Grand League was announced back in January, the event has created debate among the community members. Is this the right event to move the game forward? If so, does the event needs some improvements?

Although voices from different sites should be heard, the players feeling about the event is the most important ones. So to sum up TMGL halfway, I contacted all 16 players who had played the 5 steps. 15 out of the 16 responded. Sky being the only one who I was not able to reach.

Here are the questions the players were asked:

  1. What is your overall experience of this event as a player so far?
  2. Is the event working better or worse than you expected?
  3. If you could fix one thing in the event, what would that be?
  4. Who will win the BETA Season?

Carl-Antoni ‘’CarlJr’’ Cloutier (

  1. Experience: I really enjoy it, I used to play a lot of lap tourneys back then, so it suits me well.
  2. I thought the tournament would work well and it does, nothing surprising.
  3. x2 points in the last step and not x2.5 points.
  4. The guy who will win the last step.

Thomas ‘’Pac’’ Cole (

  1. I've definitely enjoyed the latest steps, for myself I've figured out how to play them well and now just to be calm when playing as I don't need to drive how I first thought - which was risky. I definitely didn't enjoy the steps where I lost all my points, for obvious reasons haha.
  2. The implementation of Nadeo maps has actually been okay, just a shame them always being the last map in some cases. I love the format, maybe some things can be touched upon in the future like only part of your points being removed because next season is gonna be even stronger so we will see people losing their points a lot of the time.
  3. Probably answered that already haha, the points removal or even distribution, 1st obviously needs the boost it has but I believe so does 2nd and 3rd, whilst still 1st gets the biggest, the other 2 are worth a lot as well. Also, maybe to make things more interesting for the spectator, a pop up of the fastest lap overall on the race, like a drop-down at the top which is quite visible so they can see who's pushing it.
  4. I'd go with Carl, don't count me out on trying though.

Martin ‘’Kappa’’ Krompolc (

  1. I'm enjoying the event more and more, especially when the community made maps are taking over the Nadeo ones, but also the quality of Nadeo maps has improved.
  2. Everything runs smoothly and the point-loosing system is not that punishing when you get used to it. Mostly because there's a noticeable skill difference between the players this season. I'm not sure if that's a positive thing though.
  3. The qualification process. And please, announce info in advance, sometimes the admins unnecessarily rush.
  4. Hopefully the best player.

Tim ‘’Spam’’ Lunenburg (

  1. It is a very thrilling and new experience for me personally. In the past, I have participated in numerous tournaments which use the laps mode as their main objective but TMGL is nothing like this. The constant pressure to remain in the top 8 gives it that extra touch. Everything up until this moment is going smooth, playing the different kind of maps is also a fresh sight for the players. Everyone has been always so fixated on tech competitions that they kind off forget you can have competitions and rivalry on different map styles as well. TMGL is encouraging everyone who participates to expand on their current skill level and to me it has been a blessing.
  2. Everyone had their doubts in the beginning of TMGL, but after a couple of steps being played, I think right now everything is running how it was envisioned and how it should. Of course, there are still some things that need very small adjustments for it to become even better but that's with every new event. My expectations in the start were low but that quickly turned upside down and now I am looking forward to every single step!
  3. I think a lot of the problems we've encountered got fixed very rapidly in the next steps, I think the main thing that could be looked into further is the qualifiers for next seasons (if they happen). The skill gap between players is large and that is kind of what you get when you do nation qualifiers. But to an extent, I really like the nation qualifiers because it gives the 'lower tier' players a chance of competing alongside the top dogs. What to change exactly is something I can't pinpoint right now.
  4. Me.

Brendan ‘’Bren’’ Seve (

  1. I enjoy the event because the top level is really high and challenging (even though I'm a bit disappointed in my own performance), also it's the first time I'm really stressed during matches, which is fun!
  2. I think it's working as good as I expected, there are obviously things that could/should be improved, but overall there is much more hype around the event than I thought!
  3. It's hard to decide, to be honest, I'd like to see maps that are a bit harder... But I think the most important is either to change the points system to not be so punitive after top8 (like increasing points loss depending on how far behind you are) or trying to improve the visibility and the number of streams.
  4. I think Carl or Pac will win, but I'll pick Carl for obvious reasons!

Dennis ‘’Scrapie’’ Heinen (

The event is working better than I expected. I expected it to be a complete shitshow at first. The player experience is up and down, the difference between bad and good results is just too big. I see CarlJr winning it.

Valerian ‘’Papou’’ Ramamonjy (

  1. As a Player, I really do like this tournament, I'm a big fan of endurance races in racing games. And playing Trackmania with this mode just bring me more adrenaline while playing and then, more pleasure. As for the tournament itself, I think this is going pretty well, especially the plugin which is working well. Also, this really seems to satisfy the viewers and they actually like it. The level overall is great and there are some interesting battles, plus, this gets even spicier when people are fighting around the top 8! Now regarding my performance, I would say that it's not too bad, even though I know that I could do much better. But stupid mistakes made me lose important points at the wrong moment. But still, my goal is to stay in the top 8 to qualify for the playoff.
  2. Hmm, I would not say that the event is going worse than I expected, but I expected for sure some better maps for example, also longer races because, let's be honest, a 10 minutes race is not really an endurance race. On the other hand, Nadeo is putting a lot of effort and trust in this tournament. They introduced us to the pretty high pool phase cash prize, which is great news for Trackmania. Hopefully, it will continue going on an uphill in the future.
  3. If I could fix something, I think it would probably be the point system. In fact, I think it has to be punitive, but not as much as we have now, even tho we are starting to be adapted to this loss of points.
  4. Good question, I think that if I manage to qualify for the playoffs, I will win.

Tanguy ‘’Cap’’ Renaud (

  1. About my experience as a player at the moment, I feel TMGL requires a lot of new kind of skills, different than a normal cup mode. I found myself quicker than I thought in that mode. But as it often happens with me, I struggle a lot to conclude good matches. Especially the first step where I lost more than 40 points, with a really unnecessary mistake. Now I'm 8th, and looking like it will be close for that playoff's place. I hope I will get in and overall, play better than I'm doing since the few last steps.
  2. In my opinion, the event is working really well, no bugs, no races stopped, no delays... And about the coverage, I knew some hopes were put in the event by Nadeo, and we see that the game is shown for a new audience that appreciates the show. The format is more as a show, built to bring in a spectacle, and returning of situations.
  3. There are no major things to change in that league system, we don't know how the audience reacts in the long term. The points are a bit frustrating as it is now really hard to accumulate points because 1st places are always trusted by the same players. For me the thing to change is to bring back all the best players, not taking care of the countries. As we see, the players >top12, are really struggling with motivation right now. And maybe take back the style of first step maps, bringing more close battles. As we know now, the playoff system will be totally different. So once again, we'll need to adapt as fast as possible to continue to perform!

Jakob ‘’Rollin’’ Haferl (

  1. Mixed feelings to be honest. On one side I'm glad I have this opportunity to drive against the best in the game on maps which I would say suit me more than tech. However, when you lose all your points on the last map, your mood is just ruined for the day, and it's hard to find the motivation to train again. Entertaining for the spectators for sure, not so much for the players who draw the short end of the straw. Nadeo made some questionable decisions regarding the maps, but they've gotten better if I think back to the first steps. The community maps are quite nice.
  2. I didn't expect anything. Did so on purpose to not be disappointed by Nadeo again (as you know, they have a bit of a history with lacking community interaction). It's definitely not a bad event though, I quite like the different streams.
  3. The whole qualifier system is not very representative of the skill level, as we have especially seen in the last step; the gap is quite big between the very top and the mid/bottom. I get that they want to have as many nations as possible, but that's just not feasible with TrackMania, which is mainly concentrated in France/Germany/etc.
  4. CarlJr.

Daniel ‘’DanikB’’ Brus (

  1. I don't really have fun playing this format. Races are long - 10 laps with full hud off. But at the same time too short to make any sort of comeback possible. At least for me.
  2. Both.
    Worse I expected weekly races' kind of style multi-lap maps. Instead, we got this (insert BeTwinners beautiful blind jump here). Better - Nadeo is finally involved, and there's finally communication with the developers, + new hud for spectators.
  3. There's more than 1 thing, but if I had to pick one I'd change the maps, to make them enjoyable to play also. It's good to think about spectators, but to completely spurn players for the sake of spectator is over the line. I don't feel like a competitor anymore, instead I feel like a circus artist, who's there just to make the audience laugh or scream when crashing in the - so called "identity" part. I thought TrackMania was aimed towards the racing fans and not the demolition derby's ones. The requirement for the "identity" is to be shit, else the map's probably gonna be refused. And most of the times it goes completely against the theme of the rest of the map. Also, there's a difference between difficult and just shit. Yes, you can build a 180° turn after red boosters and call it "difficult", but in fact, it's just shit. Same goes for the completely blind jumps in my opinion. I think that the map should multiple important parts, to have almost constant changes in positions, gap changes as well. Having 1 part, where it's all decided and then a minute of boredom. Though maybe it's intended for my country mates, to go to the fridge and grab a cold one without missing anything. To clarify my first point - if you want to make endurance competition - it should be endurance... or stick to rounds. 10 laps are not enough... 3 maps 20 minutes would suit much better to this format I think.

Justin ‘’DexteR’’ Frömming (

  1. Not so good, since the focus of TMGL isn't really on the players and the heavy difference in maps from qualification to league phase.
  2. It works as expected. everything is well organized, excepted the map request I would say.
  3. Definitely the point system, it's just nothing you should use for a competitive tournament. Especially when random game crashes or bugs could happen, where you could lose all your points.
  4. CarlJr.

Irmantas ‘’B1ts’’ Liepis (

  1. It's one with mixed feelings: playing the event has been a fairly positive experience, however, there have been certain decisions made by the organizers that left a bad taste. I do hope that viewers have enjoyed watching it.
  2. Overall, it's about as good as I expected it to be. Some elements of it turned out to be better than I envisioned, while some others - not so much.
  3. More people involved in organizing the event smoothly.
  4. Carl Jr. I predicted him to win before the event started, and he's exceeding my expectations. Shoutout to Pac for playing exceptionally well so far.

Christoffer ‘’Dunste’’ Grebjerg (

  1. Great. I'm really enjoying it even though I'm not in the top of the top. I didn't expect to even qualify for this event, so this is a big opportunity for me. The maps are not 100% Tech, which is really good in my opinion as I'm not a Tech driver. I think there should have been more mixed maps in the competitive scene 10 years ago. I like the format and the idea of losing your points. It's a very big challenge as a player, because you don't want to make a mistake which means that you will start to drive safe, but if you drive too safe you will risk finishing outside of top 8 and lose your points. I'm learning and improving from every single step.
  2. I think the event is working better than I expected in terms of viewership and prize pool. The format is working just like I expected with some big gaps with the points on the League ranking.
  3. Instead of adding your points from each Step directly to the League ranking, I would like to have a different points system for the League ranking. Let's say the winner of a Step gets 20 points for the League ranking, second place of a Step gets 12 points for the League ranking and so on. It doesn't matter if the winner has 35 points or 100 points in a Step, he will still get 20 points for the League ranking. Doing it this way will reduce the insane gap of points there is on the League ranking. I also think the problem is that after map 5, the 9th-16th places will always lose all their points, and the top 8 will keep their previous points AND get even more points from map 5. I think this is the main reason why the points gap on the League ranking is this huge.
  4. Me. No, I think it will be really close in the top, but I'm going to say CarlJr. But who knows, maybe the new player who qualifies through the open qualifier will make it to the playoffs and win it all in the end. That would probably be the story of the year. Kinda like Kappa in TMWC 2018.

Maciej ‘’Maciey’’ Grochowski (

  1. Well, after 5 steps I feel like I’ve got used to playing this kind of TMGL matches. Even though during the 1st one I was completely confused and tired of each map. Because it is really difficult to be focused on driving around 10 minutes without any break. Anyways, in this way, I have learned how to drive correctly, how to avoid crashes mostly etc. So yes, I have got a lot of experience.
  2. I did expect it is BETA and something gets wrong. But in the view that is only a testing league, it really goes well. Yes, better than I expected. Especially, I'm very impressed by the number of viewers at the matches. It makes the TrackMania scene more popular, which is awesome.
  3. In my opinion, the points system when not being in the top 8 pretty much makes every player a bit frightened, while we are playing the round. I am aware of it being more spectacular for spectators. As if we make mistakes and get punished for it. So I understand why such rules exist in this tournament. But I still think that’s unnecessary. I also think the maps are badly built and by not experienced mappers. The hard and long maps cause that we drive with an enormous gap to each other. Is it a pleasure to watch us in not close battles in the front of the race? I don't think so... Another thing I have noticed is the prize pool mainly based on a big paycheck for 3 people? Because the maps have been won by the same 3 guys in every single match so far. Also, I guess it would be fairer if every player who participates in this really exhausting tournament got some money as a reward - not only the top 8 guys and the top 3 as I mentioned. In this way, it could make us a bit more motivated since we know we do not waste our time attending and training lots of hours. Sorry, I was not able to write about just one thing.
  4. I'm a big fan of CarlJr since I started my adventure with TrackMania so I'm really into winning this cup by him. Moreover, he's right now taking the first place with a huge lead so I don't believe he could lose it.

Andre ‘’zBurst’’ Gomes (

  1. This Event is a great opportunity for Trackmania to get bigger. There are things that need to be changed, but it's only a BETA Season and I am sure the next season will be even better than this season. For me it's a good experience to play against such great players. They receive my huge respect how fast they are on these maps.
  2. It is 100% how I expected. I knew from the beginning that my chances are very low to get any higher place than top8 but I am trying my best.
  3. I would fix the 100% point loss on Place 9-16 to have some Motivation to get a higher Place when you make a mistake when you are behind.
  4. It is hard to say, but I think it will be Pac or CarlJr. Both Players are so strong and hard to beat.

What people on Twitter feel about TMGL:

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