September 28th, 2012
Author: Kathryn 'theWarrden' Notley
In this three part series, we talk to three TrackMania pros from Team Dignitas about themselves, how they got into TrackMania, and what their future holds. Today, we sit down with Diogo 'DVD' Vala who is from Portugal, 19 years old, and has been in Team Dignitas for 1.5 years and will be discussing TrackMania and its future.
You have previously competed in a variety of TrackMania tournaments and you have been watching Shootmania closely, what is it about Nadeo titles that draws you to them?
I’ve never liked racing simulators because, well, I suck at them. That’s why I was drawn to playing TrackMania, as it is more of an arcade type of game. On top of that, I was a kid as well, so I’d play anything that was fun. I guess that helped me stick with it.
As for Shootmania, I’m not actually playing it because it’s from Nadeo, rather because it’s supposed to be the next big FPS title and I would like to try out the shooters’ scene.
How did you become a professional TrackMania player and how would you recommend others get into eSports?
Well, I started playing TrackMania just because someone told me it was a cool game where you could do loops and go really fast. As the time went by, I learnt about the competitive part of the game and started to look into it by joining random teams in order to play matches and learn more. I eventually started going to LAN events and meeting the Portuguese pros and made a name for myself. As more time passed, I became better and better and was able to sign my first contract with a team and it all evolved from there.
For players wanting to get into eSports, I would advise taking the game seriously like and learn as much as you can every time you play it. Small details will prove to be crucial in the future. Moreover, a desire to be the best is the only way you’ll get good enough. Never settle with second! Put time into it and you’ll get better.
How much practice is involved for you in the lead up to big tournaments?
For big tournaments like ESWC, I’d train around 9 hours a day, if I can, but because of university and so on, I would say 4 to 5 hours a day.
Do you have a favourite caster or member of the TrackMania community and why?
I often get motivation from my teammate Karjen’s videos. He is truly one of the all-time best players and his TrackMania Nations Forever videos are genius from a player’s point of view. I’ve actually learnt a lot from watching them!
TrackMania Nations is regarded as the most popular racing game in eSports, but it is over 5 years old, if developers wanted to create the next great eSports racer what advice would you give them?
Nowadays, the big eSports titles all have an exceptional spectator side to it, making them fun to watch. That’s missing in TrackMania and it’s terribly boring to watch a player practice a track and crashing over and over again. That needs a change, but I have no idea how it could be improved.
Moreover, THE BUGS! Fix them for the love of god. It’s like a dagger to the heart when you’re playing a grand final at a big event and leading in the round, smelling those 10 points, just to have some random bug send your car to outer space...
What are your thoughts on the future of eSports, will other genres of games gain enough ground to rival the likes of League of Legends and Starcraft II?
From my point of view, the games that will surpass all others are the ones with the best spectator mode. The future of eSports is in the hands of people who watch the players do their thing and having a game where people can actually do that for 10 hours straight is the key.
What does the future hold for you, personally, in eSports?
I actually don’t really know. TrackMania has had better days and there’s no racing title out there similar to it, so I can’t say I’ll stick to racing.
I have, however, been playing a lot of Shootmania and might try to go semi pro there, but I’ve never been an FPS player and lack the experience. I can’t handle the pressure in Shootmania as I well as I do in TrackMania. I even say “I’m a rock in TrackMania, but jelly in Shootmania!”
Anyways, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Lastly, write your fans and Alienware a thank you message!
I’d like thank those who have cheered on me when I go to events. Ir really motivates me and makes me want to win it all.
To Alienware, thank you for supporting Team Dignitas, so greatly and sending me to events! :D
Thank you to DVD for joining us on Alienware Arena for OnTrack, keep it locked here for more interviews and giveaways!