First of all: we want to thank Eirik Holdal, who wrote this article.
The TrackMania line-up for Planetkey Dynamic ended up taking home the title in the first team tournament of 2019. Winning their first title since TMM Team Cup 2016. This time in a more solid fashion than ever. Going through both the group stage and playoff without losing a single map. With the upcoming TrackMania Championship Series, it’s time to look back at how the first team cup went.
2018 didn’t start off the best for Planetkey Dynamics in TrackMania. The reputation of being one of the best teams in the game was no longer there. A solid team for sure, but not the team we saw back in 2016. At the TrackMania Awards, hosted in December, the team was left without a nomination for Team of the Year. However, in the same month, we saw sparks of old greatness. Planetkey Dynamics once again seemed to be motivated and prepared. Qualified into the grand final of TrackMania Stars CPS 20. A final that went to a decider map, that eventually MnM Gaming took home.
The outcome from that event was greater than any trophy – a line-up that once again was ready to prove what they’re capable off.
Heading into the first team tournament of the year, Planetkey Dynamics was once again recognized as one of the favorites. Already in the group stage, the line-up showed that they were once again ready to battle it out for the win, and took 1st in the group. Being the only team that went undefeated throughout the group stages.
The playoff phase is normally when the favorites gear-up, and prove to be the best team once it counts. If you win a trophy, nobody would remember the single loss you had in the group stage. Planetkey Dynamics wanted to prove that it’s possible to be solid from start to finish. Already in the first playoff match, they won 2-0 against THE Orange.
Next up was the match-up between the grand finalists from the last team tournament; Planetkey Dynamics and MnM Gaming. The first map started off like the last match-up ended, close and intense. However, PkD was able to take it down 9-7, after going to tennismode. On the second map, Planetkey Dynamics got their revenge from December 2018 and won the map 7-3.
In the winner bracket semi-final, Planetkey Dynamics faced off against the defending champion in TrackMania Masters Team Cup. Both heading into the tournament with the chance of becoming the first team besides Team Dignitas to win the tournament more than once. People who tuned in to see a close match ended up seeing a one-sided one. Planetkey Dynamics winning 7-2 and 7-4.
The winner bracket final started off with a bang for the PkD players. Winning the 1st map 7-0. However, Hardcore Power Drivers came to fight on the 2nd map. Going to tennis mode and ending with the score of 13-11 – in Planetkey Dynamics favor. The 3rd map ended up being as one-sided as the 1st one. PkD once again beating Hardcore Power Drivers 7-0 and advancing into the grand final.
The grand final ended up being a rerun of the winner bracket semi-final. The defending champion, Venture, made their way back from the loser bracket. Once again the Team of the Year 2018 had a chance of winning TMM Team Cup.
Where the talking point after big team matches and grand finals is how close the match was, and how it could’ve ended with both as the champion, the TMM Team Cup 2019 grand final and tournament overall was the opposite. Planetkey Dynamics finished as they started. Winning the match 3-0, and leaving the spectators with no other question than: will this continue into future events?
Having experienced players like link, MiQuatro and Renew mixed in with up and coming players like Complex, Novis and keNZ, it’s hard to see the line-up lacking skills heading into the next team tournaments.
Interview with team captain Mathieu ‘’link’’ Oudeville:
How did it feel to win the first team event since 2016?
‘’It feels great for the team, to finally be back after some hard tournaments in previous years. Last CPS proved good for us and we just continued on with this motivation to claim this title. Only a couple of players from the actual team were in PkD when winning the TMM in 2016, so we proved that we can do it again with a completely new roster and that PkD is in good hands!’’
What’s the secret for being motivated during the whole season?
‘’There’s no secret really. We enjoy training and playing matches with each other, as much as having a good time together outside the game. We created a very good team spirit and a lot of benefits came from that.’’
In the end, what was the deciding factor?
‘’After CPS grand final loss against MnM, we wanted more and we knew we could achieve it. Most of the players were really motivated and we played this TMM as a team, unlike the last years. It was a real team effort and I’m proud of what we built. I can also name the performances of Complex and Novis that proved to be extremely strong, as much as all the others who played and really pushed the team to the top.’’
What’s next for PkD? Will it be 3 years until the next title is won?
‘’Motivation is really high, I can tell you we probably won’t have to wait that long… ;-)’’