Trackmania Grand League – Kappa into playoffs!
After ten intense races of Ubisoft’s TrackMania Grand League, Kappa is one of the eight regional champions who made it into the next stage. How was his road to the playoffs? And what hopes does Kappa have in the next phase of this €10.000 event?
Martin ‘’Kappa’’ Krompolc ended 2018 by winning Trackmania World Championship and lifted the trophy in Paris, France. However, it was made clear from the global Trackmania admin softyB, that the next event wouldn’t be another one such as TMWC. A new format, which includes a new type of maps, was announced at the beginning of 2019. The event had 16 open slots, and players had to qualify in regional qualifiers. Our Trackmania players Martin ‘’Kappa’’ Krompolc and Marek ‘’tween’’ Pacher faced off in the same one. And in the end, it was ‘’Kappa’’ and the Czech player ‘’DanikB’’ who made it from the Czech and Slovakian qualifier.
Heading into the event, Martin ‘’Kappa’’ Krompolc was considered by many as the potential winner of the whole tournament. Having the momentum from TMWC, as well as winning other tech-based tournaments in solid fashion.
Step 1 didn’t start off the best for the Sampi player, only finishing 8th with 9 points. Already then 60 points behind the Canadian machine ‘’CarlJr’’. In Step 2, the Czech player had a better step, finishing 5th with 15 points. The trend continued in Step 3, where Kappa collected 23 points. After 3 out of the 10 steps were done, the Czech player found himself on 7th place in the overall standings, just 21 points behind the 2nd place.
When he entered Step 4, Kappa was unsure if he would even be able to play the event. The same weekend, he traveled to Melun, France, to compete at Gaming WinterFest together with his teammate Marek ‘’tween’’ Pacher. An event where Team Sampi took 1st and 2nd, with Kappa winning. After winning Gaming WinterFest, Kappa headed back to his hotel room in Melun, this time with the hope of grabbing some more points in Trackmania Grand League. The step ended up being Kappa’s best step so far in the tournament, grabbing 36 points and finishing on 3rd place.
Kappa continued at the same pace in Step 5, and once again broke his own record of the amount of points collected. This time, our player finished the step with 46 points. Halfway through the tournament, Martin ‘’Kappa’’ Krompolc found himself on 3rd place in the overall standings, and a spot in the playoff seemed to be well within reach.
Step 6 ended up being Kappa’s worst step so far. He ended up with 3 points and finished 10th. However, Kappa still placed 3rd at the overall standings. At Step 7, Kappa once again proved that he belongs amongst the top players and finished 6th. Adding 23 points to his overall score.
Step 8, Martin ‘’Kappa’’ Krompolc decided to not attend, whilst knowing that one out of the steps would be removed from his score. Step 9 ended up being similar to Step 6. Only grabbing 3 points to his overall score, and now placing 5th in the overall standings before the last step.
The last step had an extra feature. The points from this step would be worth double. Kappa’s chances of reaching the podium in the tournament were more or less over, even before the step started. But the battle for Top 8 was still alive, and Kappa was still not 100% secured a spot in the upcoming playoffs. The step itself ended up being a rollercoaster for Kappa. From winning Map 3, and having 56 points, to losing them all on Map 4. Entering Map 5, it was Kappa who found himself on 9th place and leaving without a spot in the playoffs. Map 5 ended up being a bad one for Kappa as well. Not being able to challenge the top positions. However, the French player ‘’Cap’’ also had a bad map, lost all of his points on this map. This meant that Martin ‘’Kappa’’ Krompolc moved into the 8th spot, and secured himself a spot in the playoffs.
Interview with Martin ‘’Kappa’’ Krompolc:
- What is your overall experience of TrackMania Grand League?
‘’I think it’s too early to summarize it because the decisive part of the league is yet to come. We could obviously discuss the point system, qualification process, or the used tracks, but I think we can expect some changes for the upcoming playoff, so I’m not going to jump to conclusions too early’’
- How did the tournament play out for you?
‘’It was like a roller-coaster. I wasn’t really training too much for the first 6-7 steps and was still collecting a good amount of points to stay in the battle for TOP 3. My plan was to start training properly for the remaining 3-4 steps to secure myself the third position, but since I had stopped playing safe, I started making unforced errors and ended up with barely any points from those steps.. There’s room for improvement, that’s for sure.’’
- Heading into the last map of the groupstage, were you nervous about not making it into the playoffs?
‘’After being thrown off the 4th track, I knew I didn’t have a firm hand on the tiller anymore and I basically could only hope for a choke of one of my 4 competitors, so I spent more time by looking at the live rankings instead of playing the map itself. Luckily, Cap made the miracle happen for me.’’
- What goals do you have for the upcoming playoffs?
“To be 100% prepared, to play at my top level, to handle the thrilling moments. See you there!’’
Written by Eirik Holdal