September 18th, 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. Today, we talk to a young member of the Team Dignitas squad Carl-Antoni 'CarlJr' Cloutier who is 15 years old and but has been in Team Dignitas for two years.
What draws you to compete in Trackmania as opposed to any other eSport?
I have always been a big fan of racing games. I started playing Trackmania a long time before I knew what the word eSports meant! I also looked at other eSports like Starcraft or League of Legends, but they didn’t interest me at the same level as the racing genre.
Being one of the youngest members of Team Dignitas and a professional gamer isn't something many people get to experience. Would you recommend it to other people and what are the downsides?
Yes! Why not? If you have the passion and the dedication you can really become good, even if you are young. One of the downsides of being a young pro gamer is the fact people in the industry are quick to judge you and assume you are too immature. Another downside is that sometimes, I can’t go out with my friends because I need to train for a big cup. This doesn’t really bother me too much because I have a lot of friends online that I get to talk to every day.
How much practise is involved for you in the lead up to a big tournament?
I try to practise as much as I can! I try to play between 2-6 hours per day, but it's hard due to school and the chores that I must do at home!
What is your favourite part of the Trackmania community? Why should people get involved?
My favourite thing is the fact that everyone in the Trackmania community helps each other and they expect nothing in return. For example, there was a new player that contacted me because he wanted to get the game, but he had some financial difficulties. We were able to find him a CD key in the next few hours and he was extremely happy. Also, other pro players are also always helping the community so they can be better at the game. Concerning me, one of my good friends now, Diuty, showed me how to drift a few years ago and I improved a lot because of that!
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?
First, I think the company should support their game by organising a major tournament and helping the player. Second, the game must be interesting to watch if the company wants to make it an eSport game. I think racing games can become very imbalanced. One of the things that is both interesting and frustrating is the minor bugs that are present in Trackmania.
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 don't think Trackmania will reach the popularity of Starcraft or League of Legends, but I think there is also a market for the genre of racing games. Concerning other games, I think Counter Strike: Global Offensive has a big chance to be at their level.
What does the future hold for yourself personally in eSports?
If Trackmania keeps getting better, I will try my best to be the #1 in the world and attend as many LAN events as possible. If not, I might try to be good at another game like CS: GO for example :)
Lastly write your fans and Alienware a thank you message!
I would like to thank my brother who has helped me a lot with my eSports career, I would also thanks all my fans who support me! It really makes me happy when someone tells me that they are a fan! I would also like to thank Team Dignitas for letting me represent their organisation and sponsors! And of course Alienware, for interviewing me and for sponsoring Team Dignitas!
Thank you CarlJr for joining us on Alienware Arena for OnTrack, keep it locked here for more interviews and articles!