More than 15,000 spectators are expected this Saturday June 4 at the Accor Arena in Paris for the return of the ZRT Trackmania Cup to the public after two years online due to the Covid. Founder and fervent follower of the game, Adrien Nougaret, better known as ZeratoR, explains to us how the game, like the competition, has come of age and how proud he is to have made it an important event.
For three years he had been waiting to rediscover the fervor of the public. Three years of patiently waiting for the Covid to decide to let life resume its course and the engines of Trackmania roar again. Saturday June 4 from 6 p.m., Adrien Nougaret will be able to go back on stage and kick off his favorite competition.
Or rather ZeratoR, should we say, instigator, designer and also Mr. Loyal of this ZRT Trackmania Cup which bears his name. It must be said that he has been giving of himself for almost 10 years to make this an important meeting. And this return to a full room is not necessarily to displease him.
“We are staying on two online editions because of the Covid. In 2020, there was a new Trackmania game, which gave the event a boost. In 2021, we had a slightly duller year with no public event, no revival of the game. It was a little more complicated and we saw the enthusiasm decrease. But we are coming back very strongly to Paris”, he promises.
Because it is neither more nor less than the AccorArena (ex-POPB) in Paris that he offers himself for the return of the Trackmania Cup in public, an event announced to be sold out and which expects no less than 15,000 people. ” It’s exciting, a real technical and financial challenge, but it’s not impressive“, moderates ZeratoR when asked if he is not impressed by the size and prestige of the places while the previous Trackmania Cups took place rather in Zeniths.
” It was part of our goals to go to a room like Bercy (former name of the Accor Arena, editor’s note). But I already had more people on the Trackmania Cup in one block. There, it will be like lots of small Zeniths spread around a central stage which will still be nearly 500 m² and people will be closer. »
New room and new configuration for the event, but one thing does not change: ” I have to occupy the stage for four hours, with players who will be in F1 cars built especially for the occasion. It’s always intense. But we don’t change the format because we have a bigger room“, he explains.
20 years of passion for Trackmania
With Trackmania, ZeratoR has had a special relationship since the very first opus, released almost 20 years ago. “It was my brother who showed me the game on PC“recalls the streamer. “Racing games on PC are quite unpopular, we always think of them primarily as console games. For me, it’s the reference Arcade PC racing game! »
If you’ve never heard ofTrackmania, it’s time to get up to speed and know that it’s a racing game that takes place on circuits of which you are the authors (or your friends, or other people). Nadeo’s game is based on multiplayer and track editing from proposed building blocks. Creative freedom is the key word and master fun too.
What Montpellier residents like above all inTrackmania this is the construction aspect: “The real difference is circuit construction. But it is also a demanding game in which the best wins. Not a Mario Kart-like philosophy, with game mechanics that cause you to be random or frustrated, because you can be overtaken by a less good player who has had a bonus», Analyzes the organizer of the competition. “Making the players think in terms of level design gives depth to the game. Afterwards, you have to be the best to win, be creative, while being in an Arcade universe. I think it was the right formula and it worked well. »
Is he happy to see what gives this Trackmania Cup to which he gave birth in 2013? He who had initiated the project, because he found the other competitions tasteless. “This is the formula I like the most.“, he slips into a smile. “We have reached a peak. We are in a great room for the 10th edition, we are at the end of an incredible adventure. We have the best in competition, with a game that has reached incredible maturity. »
“A mature game”
Building circuits has become his passion. Making them play with others, his real pleasure. “We all said to ourselves one day: “I would really like to make cards and have my friends play on them, it’s so funny”,” recalls the young man, quite proud that his creations are shared by thousands of players, and even more. And so that he “have fun» as much as he can, like the child player that he was, he exchanges a lot with the Nadeo teams who listen to him and also improve the game in contact with him.
“When I see Adrien mapping, he is super strong“, declares admiringly Florent Castelnérac, director of Nadeo, the designer of the game.Year after year, he invents. He doesn’t take what you usually see in the game or in competition. He creates what he needs and he does it well. A whole part of the magic happens at that moment. »Because it is in front of tens of thousands of simultaneous viewers that he creates the maps that will then be used for the Trackmania Cup. With the adjustments he knows he can ask the studio to fine-tune everything. And the latter knows the interest that his game finds there in listening religiously to the requests.
Without ever having a preconceived idea of the circuit he wants to create, ZeratoR goes “Instinctivelywhile listening to his stream chat. “Sometimes I take their ideas into account and piggyback on them. Other times not. And we exchange to improve the whole, before I have some people test the circuit with mesums up the young man. “I do race segments when I design. It allows you to delete, change the order, rearrange… until you get the result you like.But sometimes it can take a long time and you’re not always satisfied the first time. It’s important not to be afraid to question yourself, to change, to test.“A philosophy of play that he says also applies to everyday life.
And it is perhaps this one, difficult or not, which will be part of the circuits selected for the qualifications then the final in Paris. “Some players would say that the circuits are “designed by a demon”“, he laughs. “But above all, we seek to create a spectacle. The audience has to be interested and it will be if there is entertainment. “For the final at the Accor Arena, there should be. A mystery circuit will be unveiled there to spice up the competition. And he even promised us that the cactus, his emblematic block, would be slipped into the race. “Not on the route, you will have to leave the routere”, the only clue he will consent to give us.
More than a game, a show
Fan of the game, streamer, he does not forget the specialist in video game events that he has become. “We necessarily dramatize the competition a little“, he confides. “It’s still a show with a fixed sequence, interventions, video capsules to intersperse the competition. It’s going to be huge though! »
So why does it work so well? After each Trackmania Cup, each ZeratoR stream, the game experiences a user boom. “HASAt first, we didn’t understand why, when he did that, everyone came to play the game when, in other competitions, we were just watching champions. There, we want to play its circuits“, recognizes Florent Castelnérac. “He influenced and allowed to break the mould, because he has the courage of his ideas. It allowed him to go to the end of his convictions and convince many people that Trackmania could be mapped or played differently.»
ZeratoR speaks to him “amazing alchemybetween Nadeo’s teams, the show’s production teams and him. This is what helps to give strength to the competition and the warm welcome from the public that it receives each time. “On the 1st day of the online qualifications, we had more spectators than for the 2021 final. That is to say the expectation for Saturday“Enthuses the interested party. “I’m pretty confident, just overexcited and looking forward to it.»
The Trackmania Cup is being held at the Accor Arena in Paris and will be broadcast live from 6 p.m. on ZeratoR’s Twitch channel.
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ZeratoR Trackmania Cup: “the tracks are ‘designed by a demon'”
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