September 14th, 2012
By: Kathryn 'theWarrden' Notley
“On Track” is a new exclusive series for Alienware Arena dedicated to the eSports titles new and old that may not be as popular as Starcraft II and League of Legends, but still have a firm following of their own.
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. First we talk to Tim 'Spam' Lunenburg who has been in Team Dignitas for over a year and competed in various tournaments under the name.
What draws you to compete in Trackmania as opposed to any other eSport?
I have been playing this game for over three years now and one year fully focused on the eSport side of it. I really enjoy playing racing games and putting all my focus on one game and becoming perfect at it is my only goal.
You have competed in a lot of online tournaments like ESL Major Series and TmT, do you prefer playing online or offline and why?
I prefer playing offline because that’s where I have to show my A-games all the time, and playing in front of people who enjoy watching people play live is a great feeling. Competing online in big tournaments with your teammates is always a great feeling and earning the respect from the 'fans' is awesome.
How much practice is involved for you in the lead up to big tournaments?
The amount of practice varies for any tournament. For instance, when I qualified for my first ESWC 2011 I told myself to stick with at least 4 to 5 hours of practice a day because I was pretty new in the scene and I wanted to prove to myself how good I really could be. Depending on the opponents we face in online tournaments determines your training schedule a lot. If we face a top team we obviously need to practice way more than if we face an underdog team.
Your favourite map, tactic, and players to practice with and why?
Hmm, this is a tough question, I think I have played over 9000 maps! So, it is really hard to pick one out. I would say all the tournament maps are my favourite ones, but when I'm bored and want to switch it up playing mini/LOL maps is very enjoyable as well.
Playing Trackmania doesn't involve a lot of tactic, there is obviously some basic stuff you need to know when competing in top match-ups like switching your HUD on/off to see if you're in front and if your opponent has made a mistake, so you can safely drive to the finish, and using cars on/off to see your opponent. The most important thing I guess for playing Trackmania is to have a 100% focus on your game and keeping that focus!
I enjoy practicing and chatting with anybody to be honest, playing with players who are better than me and pushing me to the limit is always cool!
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?
I would love to see an upgrade from Trackmania Nations with the same gameplay and not remove any of the 'random' bugs since it gives the game a non-realistic feeling. Personally I hate playing realistic racing games, haha.
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?
I really hope the Trackmania genre stays in eSports, but unfortunately I highly doubt it. I do see MOBA games growing bigger and bigger and it’s really hard for any other game to compete with them since their fan bases are so big.
What does the future hold for you personally in eSports?
I hope to compete in more great offline events in order to become better than I am now!
Lastly write your fans and sponsors a thank you message!
I would like thank everyone who supported my over this packed last year especially Alienware of course, and to Team Dignitas for picking me up and giving me many opportunities.
Thank you to Spam for joining us on Alienware Arena for OnTrack, keep it locked here for more interviews and articles!