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tween will play in a flying plane!

6. August 2019

August 3rd 2019 the first qualification to the AirFrance Trackmania Cup were hosted. One of the six players who made it through the qualification was our player, Marek ‘’tween’’ Pacher. He has now secured himself a seat on the plane that will host the first-ever eSports tournament off the ground. 

AirFrance Trackmania Cup is a Trackmania event hosted by Ubisoft, Air France and Latecoere. The final phase of the tournament will take place on a commercial flight in the air. This is to showcase the new Li-Fi technology. The tournament has two qualifications to determine what ten players will later in the year compete in the final phase.

One player who already can start to visualize how it will be in the flight cabin is Marek ‘’tween’’ Pacher. 

In the first qualification, we saw over 200 players attending to fight for the six first slots. The first rounds could be described as a warm-up for ‘’tween’’ and he had no problems securing himself a spot in the deciding last round. 16 players were split into two finals, where top 3 in each final would claim themselves a spot on the plane.

After the first map of final ‘’tween’’ found himself placing 4th. However, after that, the Slovakian player started to climb up the rankings. After the third map was over, ‘’tween’’ was the first player to reach finalist status. One more round win, and the qualification would successfully be over for ‘’tween’’. 

In his 2nd finalist attempt Marek ‘’tween’’ Pacher got the round win needed and won his qualification final.

The next phase for the Slovakian is the grand final. The date is yet to be publicly announced.

Interview with Marek ‘’tween’’ Pacher

Q: You have made it into the first-ever Trackmania tournament hosted on a plane. You have attended plenty of tournaments in your career, but what do you expect going into this event?

  • “From the first time I heard of the concept, I was super interested. I mean, the first gaming tournament on a plane… it’s just really cool. I expect a more relaxed atmosphere in the final stage, maybe except for people who get nauseous flying. I also think the finals are very marketable and I hope that two behemoth companies such as Air France and Ubisoft realize that.”

Q: Heading into the qualification how would you say the preparation was? What goals did you have?

  • “The goal was to make it through this qualification, while it was still possible to fall back on the second qualification. I was stressing a little bit since I had a long vacation scheduled to end just 5 days before the qualification. I knew I needed to be fresh on the maps, and checking them out briefly at their release made me realize I can get just enough practice in those 5 days if I pushed really hard – it’s always difficult to start training when you are miles behind others, but I trusted in the process and it worked.”

Q: Once we board the plane in Paris, the players will be given a seat and a gamepad. For people who follow you, they know you play with a keyboard. How will you deal with this challenge?

  • “It’s going to be difficult. I have never played with a pad except for a brief, and frankly, terrible few attempts. On the other hand, it’s still just a different mapping of the controls – maybe my brain just needs some rewiring. There also aren’t any other competition to fully focus on, so I’ll definitely take the challenge. Funnily enough, my girlfriend has an Xbox controller – might just give it a try very soon.”