After a long break from competitive gaming the Estonian legend Sandder signed up for BTL. The current leaders B1ts, Morioka and SRK will be challenged by him to keep their status as national and regional heroes.
In retrospect the Baltic Trackmania Cup 2020 (BTC) started a new era of regional competitions in the game. There were other similar tournaments before, mainly the French Regions Tournaments. The organizer Hecta started only to expand outside of his own country (Germany/ BeNeLux) after other regional tournaments were introduced. After BTC2020, regional tournaments were successfully organized in Switzerland, Portugal, North America, Asia and Oceania, the Americas and Britain/Ireland. So, the Baltic region was the real pioneer.
Starting with the Beta Season of Baltic Trackmania League (BTL), the former TMGL player B1ts started to dominate the upcoming BTL and BTC tournaments. This spell was only broken by the Estonian Morioka when he beat B1ts in the final of BTC 2021. In present time Nuustik takes a break from Trackmania due to his military service and Dvinjo left the region for good to focus on the British community. New talents like Idsp and Psyniac rise in the region. Both signed up for BTL Winter 2022. After their great results at BTC 2021, they are no longer eligible for playing in the Baltic Amateur Trackmania Tournaments (BATT).
The introduction of the Team Association Rule in the BTL Summer 2021 season brought new regional esports organizations into the scene. The rule states that only players associated to a TMNews verified organization receive prize money. In consequence new teams joined. LastWind and Wortex, also involved into other esports titles, showed both commitment to Baltic Trackmania when they signed a total of eleven players. Just a few days ago the Estonian legend Sandder signed up to BTL Winter 2022. His comeback to the competitive side of the game was only a surprise for some. He signed with KarjeN’s new team 4Wheels in September and rose in the ranks of many maps' leader boards. When we saw him practice the new BTL Winter maps, it was clear: The winner of the 2006 Verizon Playlinc is back!
Over the years the tournament system of BTL changed similar often like TMGL. There were different relegation/ promotion divisions, time attacks and now a more swiss system approach. That is why watching BTL gives you the perfect opportunity to get more used to the new TMGL system.
BTL professionalized in the last two years steadily. There are regional teams with several players respectively to cheer for, but also individuals playing for international brands like orKs GP Numelops, MnM and Team 300. For the first time, the top eight players will receive a peace from the prize pool cake. Sandder will challenge the likes of Morioka, SRK, B1ts and Kriidy.
You asked yourself why to watch BTL? Now you know.
The open qualifier will start this weekend. The group stage can be watched on the 5th of February 2022 at 13:00 CET on the TrackmaniaEsports Twitch channel. The playoffs will follow exactly one week later.
Written by EliasW
(This article was first published on Esac.gg)