During the recent Easter weekend, British player Thomas 'Pac' Cole from GamersOrigin became the first international player to defend his title at Gamers Assembly in Poitiers, France, winning the most stacked TrackMania event of the year so far in solid fashion.
Last year, at Gamers Assembly, Pac became the second player ever to have won both the World Championship and Gamers Assembly.
He also became world champion in TrackMania back in 2016. The other player to do the same was the French player Dorian 'Carl' Vallet, who became world champion in 2006 and won Gamers Assembly in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
When history books are written, you don’t look for players who were able to do something for the second time. You look for players who create history, and who will always be in the history books as the first to ever do something. That is what Pac did at Gamers Assembly 2019.
Heading into the event, there was some doubt surrounding the British player. There were umours about practice matches not going his way. Having an event like TrackMania Grand League as the main focus, and doing well there. Not to mention the top two from the 2018 world championship looking to keep their unbeaten streak at offline events in TrackMania for Team Sampi alive.
"I never thought about the history part, but it’s the first time I told my friends that I was going to a LAN event to compete. I felt so much more pressure this time."
Thomas 'Pac' Cole
Already in the time attack seeding, Pac was the strongest and won it in front of the defending world champion Martin 'Kappa' Krompolc. The rest of the event was played in a double elimination bracket. Four players would go head to head and two would advance from each match-up.
The British player started off day one well, making it into the winner bracket final: a final he had no problem winning, securing himself a spot in the grand final.
Here, the GamersOrigin player faced off against world champion Kappa, the runner-up tween and the French hope Symbiose. The grand final started off the best for the Czech player Kappa, and he left map one as the leader.
However, on map two, Pac started to get some momentum and overtook the lead when that map was over. That momentum continued, and Pac extended his lead on map three. All that could stop the British player from winning on map four was himself.
All he had to do was to win two more rounds and the title would be his. Pac had no problems doing so, as he won two out of the three first rounds on map four, and he became the first international player to defend his title at Gamers Assembly TrackMania.
'I thought I had no chance of winning' - Pac
After the event, Thomas 'Pac' Cole said he was surprised by his win.
"At the start of this week, I thought I had no chance of winning it," he said. "I didn’t really want to come to Gamers Assembly because I was going to be destroyed by everyone."
Going into the event, the defending champion didn’t think too much about making history, but rather about what his friends and home would think.
"I never thought about the history part, but it’s the first time I told my friends that I was going to a LAN event to compete," Pac commented.
"I felt so much more pressure this time, because if I was going back like, 'Oh, I didn’t win,' it’s a bit of a rubbish thing to go back and say. This is the first time I felt this much pressure."
Check out a full video interview with Pac here:
Image credit: GamersOrigin (far top), Eirik Holdal (above)