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Location: Home  Blogs  TM Interview Project - KarjeN 
TM Interview Project - KarjeN
TM Interview Project - KarjeN25 Jun, 2012
  wormi (9 comments, 4994 views)  

Hey mates! Today we have a guy who doesn’t probably need that much introducing: the superfast Swede – KarjeN! You can find more infomation about the project here. Have fun reading!


1. Could you tell us something about yourself?
My name is Jesper Karjalainen, I'm 19 years old and I live in a small village in the middle of Sweden. When I'm not in school I enjoy playing the piano, hang out with friends, listen to music and ofcourse play computer 

2. How and when did you find Trackmania?
It was March 2007 when me and some friends were having a little LAN, and one of them had found this game so he showed it to us. I thought it looked really cool so I downloaded it, and fell in love immediately!

3. I guess people want to know why can you make so freaking good times. Why are you so good?
Well, i think it all comes down to training and interest. I believe that if you enjoy doing something, and you do it alot, you will automatically get good at it. I really enjoy playing TM, and I've played very much so I've automatically become a better driver. I have played so many tracks during my career so I've learned how to drive basically every possible transition/curve and I understand how to drive to get the best possible time. It's all about getting as much speed as possible from every turn, and in order to stay in the best line you also need to drive tight to the walls. I'm quite known for playing risky... which means that i probably go abit closer to the walls and maybe brake abit less than others in some corners. Ofcourse It's more likely that you crash if you play risky, but I think I'm pretty good at playing risky and avoid crashing at the same time. Another thing I can mention is that I don't "think" how I drive. It's hard to explain but I know some people that needs to know how to drive a certain part of a track. Sometimes they ask me, for example; "Karjen do you brake 1 or 2 times in this turn?" And I'm like "Uuh, I don't know:s" Because I don't think of it, when I play. To me it comes naturally, so I don't need to think of those things; I can focus more on precision, grip, avoiding bugs etc. This is probably one of the reasons to why I'm such a fast learner; I usually don't need much time to set good times. But once again it's all about training and interest! Practice makes perfect, right? ;)

4. Another really fast driver, frostBeule, is also from Sweden. Two “superpros” is a lot for such a little country I think. Why are you Swedish drivers fast?
I guess there's something in the air over here ;o Nah but seriously, I don't know what to answer on that one. In general, I guess Swedes are pretty good at E-sport. Almost every kid has a computer over here, but i guess that's normal in many countries nowadays. Anyway, we are all individuals, no matter where we come from; and we all have the opportunity to do what we want (most of us). Me and Frost are just two individuals that decided to play TM and became good at it. It's not like you need to be Swedish to get good at TM, there are many good players from other countrys aswell.

5. You have driven many many tournaments so I won't ask you to list them all. But which is your greatest experience in TM as a driver?
Oh shit, I could write a whole book on this question. I've experienced so many great moments; Team-battles, Individual victories, Epic rounds, Comebacks etc. And I can remember them all. Ofcourse some of them are more epic than others, so I'll try to mention the most special ones.
DreamHack Winter 2008: This was the first time I went to a LAN-event, and I didn't really have any expectations. FrostBeule was there as the clear favorite, and I was the underdog (not so known at that time). I got to the grand final and ofcourse had to face the so far unbeaten fB. He became finalist first (no surprise) and had to win only one more round to win the whole tournament. I was behind by 40-50 points or so. This is when I started to win round after round, I don't know if fB got nervous or if I got some kind of adrenaline-kick, maybe a little of both. Suddenly I was finalist together with frost, so the next round would decide who was gonna win. Somehow I managed to win that round aswell, and I could not believe it! I thought it was a dream, but gradually i realized it was real. This was my first individual victory, and suddenly everyone knew who i was. I had beaten the one and only, frostBeule. (Seems like this will become a book after all...)
WCG 2009 Chengdu, China: After winning DHW08 I got a real confident boost. In 2009 I won basically everything I participated in (Geil Racing Challenge and Pixelsport Challenge for example). Now it was time for me to compete against all the top players around the world in WCG. This was the first year TM had got a spot the World Cyber Games, so winning this would be really prestigious. Me and fB were in the same bracket all the way from groupstage to final. In the final it was me vs frostBeule vs Bergie vs PeZi, but honestly it was mostly me vs fB. We, ironically, got finalist the same round. Could it have been more epic? Now there was ONE round left that would decide who was gonna be the world champion (DHW08 dejavu?). This is a moment where you need to control your nerves and focus 100% on the track, one mistake and you're gone. I stayed calm and was leading the round, but towards the finish i saw PeZi catching up on me. At the finishline me and PeZi got the exact same time but since I had won the round before, the victory was given to me! Luck or not, I had won the biggest TM tournament ever and couldn't be anything else than happy :) Even if the food in Chengdu sucked, the whole journey was a great experience and I will always remember it.
Another epic moment I'd like to mention is when Sweden beat France in NC6. France had won all the previous Nations Cups and was ofcourse aiming for the victory again. But this year we had a stronger lineup than ever and knew we could give the Frenchies a great fight, and so we did. The final was extremely even but in the end we managed to beat them, and officially broke the French winning-streak. I remember the chat after the run we won, it was so beautifully over-spammed by Swedes that you wasn't able to read what anyone wrote. It just showed the joy we felt after winning our first Nations Cup :)

6. As you know you're really famous here in tmx, and not only due to your driving skills. However, some your maps are probably "a bit" overrated, too. What do you thing about this? Do people award your maps only because you are the mighty KarjeN?
I'm sure I get some awards due to "who i am", but I don't really see it as a problem and I don't know why people would argue or complain about it. If a person wants to award a track, for whatever reason, he is allowed to do that. And to be honest I don't think a track can be overrated. What is an overrated track anyway? A track with more awards than what it "deserves", right? Well, who decides how many awards a track deserves? Noone. It's up to each person to decide whether he wants to award a track or not. If anyone wants to complain about a track being overrated, then go ahead, it won’t make any difference.

7. After long break you built a duo track for ESL and a one solo map "Hobson's Choice". Why did you have such a long break in tracking?
I guess I simply haven't had the time and motivation to build. I've been focusing on school the last couple of years, and when I've had time to play some TM I have been driving, not building. I'm after all more a driver than a builder.

8. More about tracks: which is the best track you have driven?
Oh that's a hard question, I've played so many good tracks, picking out the best one is almost impossible.. But I'm gonna have to say "AnGel by Ron Turbo", the old classic track from TMN ESWC. It's for sure one of the tracks that I played the most, and it never gets boring. Being so old (made in march 2006) and so good is damn impressive. Sadly I don't have the WR on it anymore, but I might hunt it back one day!

9. Does the driving skill cause mapping skill and/or does mapping skill improve the driving skill?
I think drivingskill improves your mappingskills, if anything. I'm not saying you need to be a sick driver to become a good mapper. But if you are a decent driver, you know how a good track looks like, and you can more easily build based on that knowledge. And also, if you are a good driver, you can test/experiment more with your track. I think it would be hard to build a good track without being able to drive it decently.

10. Who are the best stadium drivers in TM, excluding you?
The best stadium tech-players in my opinion (in random order): frostBeule, Carl, YoYo, ArtiShöw, tOto, Carl Jr, tween, HakkiJunior, Tamarillo and nugget. I'm sure i forgot someone but these are the players that came to my mind right now. I also want to mention PeZi, but sadly he quit TM I believe.

11. Which controller and settings do you use?
I use a "Logitech Rumblepad 2". I have gas on button #2, brake on button #1 and I steer with the left analog. I play with cam 3 and no ingame sound. Apart from that I think i have default settings.

12. Have you driven much "TMU environments"?
No I haven't, I simply prefer stadium.

13. Why don't you play TM2 Canyon?
Well, the environment and the racingstyle in TM2 is completely different to TMN. I did try it out but I didn't really like it. I don't think I ever will enjoy an environment as much as I enjoy the original stadium.

14. Your top 3 websites games, movies & songs.
3. (Lol seriously, who doesn't use google?)
1. TrackMania Nations Forever
2. Heroes of Newerth
3. Counter Strike 1.6
I can't make a top3 here, there are just too many good songs out there. It might sound boring, but I really listen to everything.
1. The Shawshank Redemption
Can't decide #2 or #3 :/

15. Describe yourself with four words.
Humorous, Smart, Lazy, Kind

16. What makes a good track?
It should be challenging and fun to drive. Flow is important; however it can be made in many different ways. Smoothness is also always nice, but there are good tracks that are not so smooth. And ofcourse I enjoy when tracks are great for hunting the worldrecord on. According to me, MT-work is not that important and should not decide whether a track is good or not.

17. If you have something else to say, please write it here.
I just hope my answers were decent, because I'm not that good at interviews ^^

Thanks you a lot KarjeN, they really were! Good luck for ESL playoffs and future competitions! 
See you later with a new face! ;)
9 comment(s).
  wormi writes ... 30, Jun, 2013  
Over a thousand view now :)
  pantseri writes ... 24, Jul, 2012  
Great interview!(y)
  NitroGuy! writes ... 07, Jul, 2012  
After someone watches The Shawshank Redemption, there is no such thing as a #2 and #3 favorite movie.
  wormi writes ... 27, Jun, 2012  
Thanks to ManiaActu for advertising this :)
  Nesrally writes ... 26, Jun, 2012  
Great interview ! Most of the other interview here i dont know the name of the player, but when it comes to KarjeN, his name is all over in TMX, so i think everyone know who he is....but i did not know he was swedish, my sweet brother, as we say here in norway... One of my greatest moment in racing TMNF was when i was able to beat his time in a track onTMX....! ! ! I could not believe it for my self....but guess it was just luck...hehehehe....:p
  SPIDER writes ... 26, Jun, 2012  
I like the thing he sad about award. really a great answer. (y)

But i can´t understand the buttons he use, he sad gas on button 1 that´s okey but brake on button 2 +o(:o how can he play so good with that settings, Btw, he must be damn smart if he don´t think how to drive the track he just do it:o , wow amazing

I am a big fan of karjen, who isn´t:$ hehe, great interview.
Wonder if he is good at conterstrike, if so maybe he try shootmania some day. ^^
  tcq writes ... 25, Jun, 2012  
As usual, great stuff. Nice questions and very interesting answers. Keep it going :)
  Marius 89 writes ... 25, Jun, 2012  
great interview:)

directly had to check out what happened on Angel :d
you maybe forgot Bergie or he's just a noob xD
  chuckie writes ... 25, Jun, 2012  
Very nice interview as usual! Keep up the good work :)

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