The Friday Night Gamers have been addicted to TrackMania Nations since we learned of its existence early this year.
The crew and I played it consistently for over six months. We took a three-month hiatus after Nadeo decided to change the ladder system and chased a lot of the cool people we used to race with away. Luckily, devoted fans have continued to make excellent tracks and the game still rocks as hard as ever...
We picked TrackMania Nations up again a few weeks ago. Shortly after we discovered Verizon, Nadeo and PlayLinc" are hosting a $40,000 TrackMania Nations Tournament!
Since we got denied on the Electronic Sports World Cup qualifier competition (See the "USA Players Get the Shaft - FNG Denied Opportunity to Prove Themselves") post on the FNG site... we're ecstatic we get a shot to compete.
After spending a lunch hour at work practicing the official PlayLinc qualifier tracks a week ago; I finally got an opportunity to sit down last night and attempt to qualify for the tournament.
To qualify, one must earn a Gold Medal on each of six highly technical and just-as-challenging tracks. Times to earn medals are set by the track creator racing the track before putting it up on a server. The folks that created these tracks made the times very competitive and difficult to reach.
I'm happy to say that it took me an hour tonight to qualify all six tracks. (Well, according to PlayLinc's tracking system of how long I played, it was 59 minutes 46 seconds. Good enough for the girl I go out with.)
You can watch Qualification Status and Rank for the tournament. If you'd like to see my results, enter: That_One_Guy for the player name. Results won't update until 9:00am Mountain Time (give or take 20 minutes.) If it shows silver medals, check back later... those are from Halloween night.
Despite the fact I qualified, my ranks are quite low compared with everyone else; though the times between my rank and number one are probably within one second or so. Needless to say, I know I'm going to get my trash kicked at the actual tournament... but that's alright, cause I'm in it for the thrill of being in a sponsored video game competition again.
The last sponsored competition I participated in was in 1990 when the Nintendo Powerfest came to Salt Lake City. Wow those were golden times. You may mock me if you like, but that is one of my fondest memories. I still to this day have my "NWC Semifinalist" hat (beaten to a pulp, but I still have it.)
And I'm still bitter that had I been one year older (I was 17 at the time,) I could've gone to the finals (my Semifinal score was better than the 18+ contestant that made it to the finals.) Instead I got spanked by the 12-13 year olds that play all day long. Serves me right as I was competing in the Semifinal round on the Sabbath...
So now, I have the chance to get it handed to me again at the TrackMania tournament starting November 16. It will be a good thing I won't make it to the finals there either, since the Finals are again on the Sabbath... *sigh* Ah well, maybe one day I'll get lucky and be good enough to win a competition that ends on a Saturday.
Wish us luck anyway; we're going to see how long we can manage to stay in the competition. Good luck to the rest of the FNGers trying to compete. At last count, Dan (Tsam314), Jarin (Thundr) and Tyler (beuchety) are all working on qualifying. The gauntlet has been thrown...