After about a decade, Trackmania Masters shut down completely on September 24 after having hosted one last of its signature events: the True Talent Cup. The end of the site is a loss to the scene. For the longest time throughout the last ten years, the tournament platform was one of the biggest online spaces for the community to share their passion for the arcade game. Long-time Trackmania-expert and online reporter Eirik Holdal was one of the first to spread the news of the platform's era coming to an end. He shared with us his thoughts about the impact of the site shutting down and the influence the events it hosted had on the community of the arcade game.
Trackmania Masters will close down for good after the TTC tomorrow at 20:00 CEST has finished.— Eirik Holdal #Trackmania (@EirikHoldal) September 23, 2020
TTC by far the biggest community event in the game over the last 10 years. TMM has been one of the biggest event organizers.
Trackmania Masters was founded in 2007 and has been one of the most important sites for the arcade game ever since. Map-builder Hotrod, the founding father of the platform, hosted their first cup around Christmas the following year. Ever since, he and his team consistently grew and hosted an increasing number of cups per year. They peaked in 2017 with a proud 44 cups throughout the entire year.
Trackmania enthusiast and expert Eirik Holdal joined the scene in 2015 when TMM's True Talent Cup, as well as the Team Cup they hosted, had a huge impact. The most important players and top teams like the former Team Dignitas took part in the events, and made TMM a central meeting point of Trackmania fans. Eirik even estimates TMM alongside ESL to have been "the biggest event organizers in the game" at that point.
What was special about Trackmania Masters?
According to Eirik, TMM had one very unique quality: it "showcased that it's possible to be creative with tournament formats." TTC was not exclusive, but simply a place for players of any skill to gather and play the game they loved. It was a concept that turned into a running system, and they stuck with it.
Still, Trackmania Masters' shutdown did not come as a surprise for Eirik. "People need to understand that the people behind TMM do this for fun. They don't earn anything. So it's always a question about how much time people want to put into a hobby," he told us. Within the last year, the enthusiasm for the Team Cups as well as the TTCs slowly died down. "Axelalex2, who is the main admin of TMM, has been vocal about it. They recruited people like Spam in the last year to help out hosting, but I think it's a natural thing that some people leave."
"Now we just have to see if new people take the spot"
Even without TMM, Eirik's perspective on the future of the Trackmania community is a positive one. Trackmania Masters' impact on the scene was a big one, especially by bringing people together and celebrating the game as a fanbase. It surely is a loss to see the platform shut down, but the founders of the site set a great example on what can be done for the community.
It is not unrealistic to hope for somebody else in the scene to maybe try and set up a new site, find a group of people and host some new events. In Eirik's words: "It's been an extremely fun and good journey. It's of course sad to see them leave, but I decide to be positive about the future and hope this triggers some people to step up and replace Trackmania Masters. We just have to see if some new people take the spot and try to create events like TTC."
About Eirik Holdal
Eirik Holdal is a Norwegian Trackmania expert and content creator. His YouTube channel revolves around the history of the arcade game as well as its players, and also covers the biggest Trackmania events by hosting interviews and podcasts with pro players. Additionally, you can check out his Twitter profile where he keeps the community updated on the latest news around the game.
Will you miss Trackmania Masters? Tell us on Twitter at @overtake_gg!