Once upon a time
... a group of three independent developers published the first commercial version of LIVE FOR SPEED (Stage 1 0.3A) in the summer of 2003 after two years of development and releasing several demo versions. The announcement of the new star on the horizon of racing simulations spread fast. The user 'bmw540' couldn't withstand either. He has soon had a weakness for a street circuit called South City and the Formula XR (FOX) -still a regular car-track-combination- and found many likeminded racers. Along the sporting competition on the (virtual) race track, a community spirit developed with respect as key element.
„ On track you shall be rivals, but still friends “
CityLiga-founder Detlef 'Dee' Zimmer
Pushed by the growing wish to have strong organised structures and a set of rules in place for these events, the idea of the CityLiga (CL)was developed and realised on June 10th, 2004, celebrating its premiere using the XRG on South City Sprint 1. A bunch of racers fought for the title in the following four months (like all results -as complete as possible- combined in the Hall of Fame). With the success of the first season and the growing interest, a second season was realised soon after. The first crack in CityLiga occured in the months after: early in 2005 buzz of a new LFS version was found everywhere and the decision was to wait for it.
Soon after Stage 2 Alpha 0.5P prooved to be stable, the counters were reset and the project CityLiga I was pursued using multiple grids due to the increased interest. As it turned out, there would be just one direction in the seasons to come: growth. Now the whole team of Total Power Sliders participated in the organisation, also the team website was changed in order to meet the needs of the growing CL.
During the preparation meeting for the fith season, 90 racers showed up in TeamSpeak. The system of independent competition servers wasn't made to cope with these numbers, so promotions and relegations between the grids were introduced. Over 100(!) participants signed-in for CL VI, therefore starting with four grids of 23 drivers and introducing a waiting list. Due to the amount of people joining, some drivers like BurnoutCrew's mich4 and Woody passed their entry and substituted their steering wheel for a race admin seat.
The seventh season started promising with four grids, but turned out to be a breaking point in the course of it. With the pull-out of 'Mister CityLiga' Dee the organisation not only lost its founder, but also a driving force. Moreover the threat of an end of Total Power Sliders dragged many drivers out of the league. Along with a growing LFS fatigue, this endangered the future of the CL. (Despite switching from TPS to Zone30,) Heinz 'BigH' Thelen took over the lead and brought the season to a worthy end with the help of the last TPS member standing Trexirus and other active drivers.
However BigH signalized early that he was not willing to continue in this role, so the future still drangled on a string. Fortunately the helping part of the regular starters wanted to continue and the group of mainly Heroes of Racing and Zero Bar Project drivers joined forces with Matthias 'Æthelstan' Fieseler to fill the shoes and keep the CityLiga with all its principles alive. The duties were arranged quickly, a new homepage was online and an interesting schedule was integrated. Neatly solicited, a well filled grid of well-known and rookie drivers started into the CL 8 in fall 2008 and at its end applauded for a brilliant premiere. The footsteps to follow weren't small and with the lack of experience in terms of league organisation, this was well earned.
The spirit of the CityLiga reignited, so Schuhti and Jogy joined the staff. In season nine the 100 drivers margin was hardly missed and due to many withdrawals, the finale, for the first time in a while, was held over just one server and everyone was a first grid driver.
Untouched by this and with refined structures as well as a certain routine, the preparations for the jubilee started. After the end of Paule TV with Nana's and Paule, Xcite-TV took over the service to produce a German livestream coverage. Fireball and Hansi with the help of the well known co-commentator Webflat accepted the challenge and continued a high standard coverage. An appetizer was made by !ce.Micha to catch the interest of drivers for the CL X. Not even the deplorable retirement of HoR Screeper from his orga duties lessened the excitement. Thanks to minimal fluctuations, even the 'small' number of 83 sign-ins resulted in two well filled grids at any time. After the (real) cup was given to the winner, a first timer in CL history, one happily celebrated the turn of the year.
The CityLiga was submitted to design updates for the eleventh season. While the colour was changed as usual, HoR HEIZER became the new designer, taking over this role from ZBP HeinZ. Moreover the website grew to its limits, which required the move to a new webspace. Sadly Joker and Ragrez from HoR as ZBP Jandecided to pull-out of the orga work. Thanks to the help of avetere, who made this possible, the homepage was reshaped!
And finally the number of participants was triple digit again, although just half of them could call themselves CityLiga-drivers at the final round. Still two well filled servers did start regulary.
CL 12 couldn't keep up in terms of sign-ins. Sadly it ended again in a one grid finale, although through most parts of the season two servers were used to fight for positions, points and fame. The cause for it shall not be searched in the less glowing colour of the season, but more in the interest in Live for Speed itself ebbing away. However there seems to be a hard core of unflinching competitors and the hope for the new or the rookies respectively dies last.
Still new records were set, though more on the sporting side of the CL, so that an active driver may be named at this point for once: ﾒcite Maddin is the first one to defend his title in back-to-back seasons. Moreover he is the first one to win his third title, which brings him this place in this (hopefully) neverending story.
Superstitious people might have had the fear that a CityLiga 13 in the seventh year would have the seven-year itch. But the staff and the drivers competing prooved the opposite: it was a fair and exciting season, without negative stories to tell!
spooky as another member HoR and MatzeXX were the race admins of the season, which was presented with a blue website. Although the number of participants decreased in comparison to the other spring seasons, it was still higher than generally expected. The one or the other newcomer and some very 'old stagers' had their hands in it.
For CL 14 the homepage was set back to its traditional red. The fortnight rhythm was continued after the majority of the participants wished it. However the consequence was that just seven races could be organised before the traditional winter break. So far this remains the shortest season in the CL-era.
Still the season met all demands of the CityLiga. Until the final race a hand full of drivers was in reach of the driver's championship. And not just the international companions of long-term CL drivers looked into the championship, also some unconnected internationals, mainly from eastern Europe did. A reason might be the introduction of 'OpenConfigs'. With these new drivers, the number of participants leveled with the CL13, which meant an increase in comparison to the previous fall seasons. The season finale was streamed for the first time in English language.
The colour of hope, was the colour of choice in CityLiga 15. The use of OpenConfig-featuring combos was continued, but the biggest innovation was the (carefully executed) internationalisation with a first-time presence in the official LfS-Forum. The latter should turn out to be important. Although the one or the other linguistic barrier might still be in place, but this action produced results immediately. Without the new drivers, appealed by this, breaking the post-TPS participation record wouldn't have been possible.
However the number of drivers completing the season didn't increase propotionally, so room for improvements is left. Fortunately former CL participants and some known names of LFS came/returned to the CL.
Turning green to blue, in CL 16 for the first time a big name from the international scene came close to winning the title. With 128 sign-ins the record from the previous season was again broken, with 99 setting times in GridQualification, but only eight finished every race of the season. One suffered from the loss of 14 withdrawing drivers and 45 disqualified ones.
The logo didn't change, only the colour and the number did. After the year in smurf blue, Simpsons yellow was used. To quote the popular TV series: "D'oh!" Following two record seasons CityLiga 17 again surpassed the century mark. While the first race was the most crowded the final one saw just 36 finishers. Still no need for th e above expression? Well, at the end of May, the homepage stayed white! After vain tries to rehost the website, it turned out to be lost forever.
Since the CL has had a section in the official LFS forums, structures and procedures were adapted and the final two rounds were organised bilinguar in the English forums. Maybe another reason for the evolution of the participantion numbers. Not impressed at all by this was champion ﾒcite Cali, who repeated the the back-to-back defense and increased his number of championship wins to three, just like his teammate Maddin did.
The big task for CL 18: Creating a new website from scratch! It took much time and lots of motivation within the staff, so the fall season couldn't be realised and CL regulars used the time to be active in other leagues or take a break from the game.
In January 2014 a teaser appeared on cityliga.de. The BurnoutCrew featured it in a report on their website, asking if this was a desperate try to pitch the CL up, or if it was a true sign of a living league. It turned out it was: In a copper brown the new CityLiga 18-homepage is up and running again!
This event series has already seen many changes in its 10 years, but there are also some fixed features. For example the ever returing city circuits of South City, especially with the season highlight of short sprint races. But the big variety of cars driven and qualification- as well as race-modes used guerantee a diversified and demanding racing schedule.
The competition is as always free of charge, one just needs a LFS S2 license. One of the biggest grids in the landscape of LFS regulary meets on mondays from 20:30 h CET/CEST for fair eSports. The respectful chat with fellow racers is -along the competition character- a key element as shown by the well filled TeamSpeak server on race evenings and the highly frequented board or the collective training sessions, where setups and hints are shared across team borders. The places to go are the training servers, hosted by the different teams with the very next CL combo. It also is a good place for them to look for the teamless drivers and recruit them. This 'driver's carusell' has been part of CL since the beginning. Many found 'their' team this way.