iBlaze's picture
In-game nicknames: 
[iR] iBlaze²
United Kingdom

I first downloaded Turbo Sliders from CNET (then known as Download.com) around October 2005, while I was still at school. At the time, the PC I used at home didn't have any internet connection, so I began my Turbo Sliders career completely offline and racing against bots on the three demo tracks of Sandslid, Minileap and Forestry. By early 2006 I had figured out how to modify the AI names, colours and skills to represent the real Formula 1 line-up and I remember spending a lot of time that summer playing local TS tournaments on those three tracks with my bots. I was hooked.

After that, I convinced my dad to buy me a license so I could unlock all of the other tracks and start downloading some more from the website and make bigger, better cups with my F1-themed bots.

It wasn't until May 2007 that I hooked my PC up to the internet, and until October that year when I decided to venture into the brave world of Turbo Sliders online! It was the first game I had ever played online, so I didn't know much about nicks at that time. Instead I raced online under the same name I had used for my bot races - S.Bewers.

Being new to online play, I mainly stayed in the Terra demo server at the time, as these were the three tracks I had raced the most frequently offline. However, I never knew that there was different cars from the default five and the fastest car on the Terra demo server was easily the TSB-F2. I knew I was going to have to learn how to drive this if I wanted to compete in races properly and so I did. Some player called Skyline was one of the first to notice me - inviting me to join his (GTR) team, which I did.

As happened a lot with demo players back then, it wasn't long before Skyline disappeared and I was the only (GTR) player left, but by then I had met other regular demo players. The fastest of these mainly belonged to the Full-Throttle Racing [FTR] team, run by Burnout. These included (but weren't limited to) lux, Jurgen, Lexx, Citizone and Pilburn. Burnout had noticed my improved speed at this point and I remember being set a target lap time for Forestry which, if I achieved it, then I could join the [FTR] team. I did.

Although I occasionally ventured out to other servers, particularly rough AntiSlider servers hosted by Jarno (aka MaunoKasa), most of my time with [FTR] was still spent on the Terra demo servers either racing hard with my team mates or trying to break kovalainen's TSB-F2 records (which never happened!).

It was early 2008 when I decided to create a proper nick and, taking inspiration from the fire-like names of Burnout and Pilburn, and combining it with the most famous non-demo team at the time (ippon²), my Turbo Sliders nick of iBlaze² was born. At the time, I was quite naive and didn't understand that "blazing" also meant to smoke weed. These days I realise that my nick sounds like a brag about getting high - it's not - that is just an unfortunate coincidence of a nick inspired purely from Turbo Sliders players and teams.

It wasn't long after creating my nick that I created my TurboSliders.com account and signed up to my first ever tournament. That was the ASD AntiSlider Cup organised by moerph; a fairplay AntiSlider cup hosted only on Mouse circuits, with fuel. The cup was both an individual and a team cup, with participants pairing up to form teams of two. I didn't expect anybody to pair with somebody who was new to the forum and relatively new to online racing. Alas, Etmil invited me to team up with him.

I didn't know anything about fuel races at the time. I didn't even know there was such a mode! In the week prior to the race, Etmil taught me all about fuel strategy and refuelling. I downloaded the track and spent that whole week practising. Sunday came and first up was qualifying. I got quite a good lap and ended up in 4th place out of 13. The race was to go even better, finishing in 3rd place with only Tijny and dede in front of me, and kovalainen (who had come from the back after disconnecting in qualifying) and Etmil (who had taught me everything about AntiSlider fuel racing) both behind. I was so happy after that race and, even after all these years, it remains one of my best ever results.

That race was the first time I had met a lot of the non-demo players and shortly afterwards the [FTR] team I had spent all my time previously racing with began to split. Disagreements between Burnout, some other new recruits and older members forced Burnout to ditch [FTR] and form the new Fast n' Friendly [FnF] team. I thought about joining, but I was spending more and more time in non-demo servers by this point and decided against it.

kovalainen had formed a new team and invited me to join him at [YeLo] instead. I jumped at the chance to join a team with the person whose records I had spent so long chasing in the demo servers! [FnF] never really took off and the move to [YeLo] was definitely the right choice for me.

It was a few months later when Kova messaged me to say that he no longer had the time to run the [YeLo] team. Indeed, we were still the only two members. I had only been online for a year, but had loved every moment of it and I suggested that I could take over and run the team instead. It was at that moment in October 2008 invent Racing [iR] was born.

My first move as a team manager was to sign up two of my former team-mates (the two people who had taught me so much about the game), to join me and Kova (who by this point had changed his nick to Nerd [UK]) in the rebranded team. Those recruits were Etmil and lux. I built a website for us and regularly updated it with new blog posts about the game and tournaments that were taking place at the time. It was during this time I probably had my biggest TS-addiction!

In the months that followed I signed Scud (who I hadn't realised I had previously raced with in demo servers too when his nick was Peetu) and also Burn. But, it was a conversation with dede later in February 2009 that made me realise I was making a few silly decisions about the team and at that point I felt like I did not have the right experience to run a team like this. I passed control of invent Racing to Scud, who seemed to be enjoying a similar TS-addiction, and I subsequently left the team.

Scud had created a new [iR] website and, as this was one aspect of team management I had really enjoyed, I decided to create a new personal Turbo Sliders website - Official iBlaze². Here I continued to create blog posts about the tournaments and events that were happening in the game.

I was also an admin by this point with FTP access to the servers, so I decided to start organising and running my own Turbo Sliders tournaments. When I was with [iR] I had experimented with an ill-fated invent Racing Sprint Tournament [iRSC], which involved non-ghost fairplay racing with default cars on default tracks. You can imagine the chaos. Now without a team, I threw myself into organising other tournaments. The Total Rough Cup [TRC] had been hosted in the past by other players, but I took the chance to resurrect this. I also created Turbo Sliders first official XBumpz tournament - the Xtreme Bumpz Xtravaganza [XBX!] which proved to be quite popular.

In September 2009 I went away to University and began to have less time for Turbo Sliders. By this time I had shut down my personal website and was playing far more casually, until a revival in early 2010.

invent Racing had fallen apart by this point, although my increased activity had lead me to realise that a lot of the players were still active and still interested in a team. I decided it was time to re-launch [iR], but this time in a far more casual way - without a website and without any pressure on my decisions to be right or for me to be 100% active. I signed up more former [FTR] team-mates in Lexx and Jurgen, as well as a new player of the time - kapa112. I also hosted one final tournament that summer - the 2010 World Cup edition of the XBX!

From September that year, I once again fell largely inactive - playing occasionally and sporadically. This was a pattern which stayed the same for the next few years, becoming more or less active at random times. Until 2015 and the release of a new game version that is!

Which brings me to the present day. invent Racing is still going strong after all these years, and we even signed a new member in kikiriki recently. I have been far more active in 2015 than many recent years, even participating in my first organised cups for some years - Whiplash's Full Contact Championship [FCC] and Tijny's Weekly Hot Lap tournament. I'm still a server admin and nowadays I spend most of my time in the Full Contact server.

I can't guarantee that I will always be around, and I definitely don't give as much time to Turbo Sliders now as I did in 2008, but after 10 years of playing this game my love for it is still as strong as ever. There are some things here that you just don't get elsewhere and it's those things which still keep me coming back for more. I have an addiction that I don't want to cure - so here's to the next 10 years!