Hello and welcome, Mario Kart gamers!
It’s time once again for the hottest competition in the Mario Kart scene, the Mario Kart Universal league, and a plethora of team tournaments to commence. But it’s not just any season of Mario Kart Universal… It’s the biggest season of Mario Kart Universal ever! An absolutely staggering 120 teams will be testing their mettle on the racetrack this time round, officially making this the largest team-based tournament in Mario Kart history. There’s never been a better time to be part of this exciting, ever-changing experience, all driven by the dedication and passion the community has fostered into shaping this incredible game into how we play it in the present day. A huge shoutout to all entrants, old and new, and the MKU staff who have been working hard to make this gargantuan beast of a season become reality.
With that in mind, it is a pleasure to be able to reveal the most up-to-date Mario Kart Central Season 5 Power Rankings. Through hard work, a wide scope of experience, and fighting even when the odds might have been against them, these teams have set the benchmark for quality Mario Kart gameplay that we can all admire and learn from.
We begin with five honorable mentions:
This close-knit European team has unfortunately encountered some overwhelming challenges in attempts to reign supreme in MKU the past couple of seasons, falling just shy of a playoff qualification in Division 4 in the previous season. There’s some promising progress, though, with their last two ranked results displaying domineering victories over Wii Elite Clan and High Definition’s second team. With the dust settled a little more now, Princess Monarchy could look to build on that progress and produce their first ruling season this time round.
An absolutely harmonious run by Babou’s ensemble in their second season. Dropping 9 out of 10 wins in Division 4 is no easy feat, though they must surely be gutted by a flat playoff semifinal. Also of note is their entry into the gold bracket of Amplify, thanks to a surprise result over Banana Legion. They’ve undergone a slight rebranding to Melodya Orphée for the upcoming season, but it seems the beat remains mostly the same for them going forward.
Kira Team’s honorable mention miraculously mirrors Melodya Aria in many ways. They just earned the Division 4 banner the season prior and were looking in great form to add another, only to be haunted by one of two teams to take a win off them in their playoff berth. Kira Team carries a great legacy of victory, as the first team to win the vintage Division 1 banner in Mario Kart Wii’s World Clan League in 2008. Could they ever return to those glory days?
Doubling up on Division 4 Conference B teams, Equivoke have been quietly advancing up the ranks since their inception into the league three seasons prior. The predominately central European team perhaps feels a little underwhelmed this time round after two superb runs before, but should take pride in shaking things up in Amplify, dispatching several teams with ease and a respectable battle with World Friend Moon. Expect them to continue shaking things up.
In the first few months of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the Drift Riders were truly terrifying, latching onto a bronze in the first MKU tournament, and fifth in the inaugural league format. Shift into the current day, and despite just barely scraping into playoffs in their first season back due to a tie, they smoothly operate the semifinal to Melodya, thanks in part to a fantastic individual effort from Asznee. Unfortunately, they had to settle for Division 4 silver this time, but no doubt the hunger is strong to replicate the past.
And here goes, your power rankings for Season 5 of Mario Kart Central tournament play:
#25 – Yoshi Family Galaxy
There have been many occasions where Yoshi Family have proven that sleeping on them is a worldly mistake. This season was no exception for the French brood. After a perfect four for four on inter-division play, Yoshi Family very nearly choked their playoff spot with a painful set of latter-half conference play. No doubt this proved to be the wake-up call the Yoshi herd needed, as they proceeded to utterly trample through the playoffs and earn the Division 4 banner, their first banner since Season 5. This veteran team should be proud of their resilience, and continue this momentum into the next season and their side tournaments.
#24 – Midnight Wasps
There are two things you can count on by a team led by Canadian Felix. First, a loyal core of members who are constantly willing to play for the greater good of the team. Second, a squad that thoroughly punishes mistakes made by other teams on the track. One would think that Midnight Wasps would have settled into Division 3 in their return season quite nicely, with some of their members having a taste of Division 1 under Vertex, but unfortunately they struggled to make a sting amongst some tricky competition. Still, it’s early days for the Wasps, so given a little time, they may progress just like they did in vanilla Mario Kart 8.
#23 – Pirates of Duisburg
The German-based scourge led by Boshi has been plundering the mid-to-high divisions for some time now. The hunt for treasure has been a little scarce for them, though they nearly took the gold in Division 3, Season 7 after sinking Arcadia’s second squad in the playoff semifinals. This was sadly another season of struggling to stay afloat of relegation in the same division, but they did convincingly barrage one of the division favorites. Following the trend of resurrecting vintage teams, the Pirates will return as Nferno Volt this time round; perhaps this will reignite the spark.
#22 – Jean-Pierre Papin
Jean-Pierre Papin is no stranger to the sport, with well over a decade of experience, a brilliant score count amongst many appearances, and some prestigious rewards to their name. That is true, of course, of the French footballer, but the Mario Kart team of the same name certainly has flashes striking well too, tying their highest rank since Season 6. This season was dim for them in Division 3, but they had better showings in Agility and Amplify, bizarrely having their loser’s run in the former stopped by their first team, and possess their all-important Division 3 banner from the season prior.
#21 – Mushroom Team Soul
It seems that astronomy was perhaps a little too large-scale for the secondary Spanish bunch, and so they have opted to adopt a more spiritual side in Soul. It has been a bit of a middling, no-thrill season for them, both in MKU and Agility, but there were occasional flashes and dashes of convincing results. The transfer of FalcoX from the first squad, and Hydra from the remains of Black Wolves, show some promise of a potential epiphany going forward.
#20 – Inflow
Fun fact: In MKU Season 3, aside from one disqualified team, Inflow finished dead last, in 57th place. Seven seasons, some key member changes (yet with leaders jerry and wisch seeing it through the whole way), and three division banners later, Inflow have just produced their best season yet, in 19th. If one ever needed proof that it is possible to start from rock bottom, and put in the hard work and determination to power up the ranks, Inflow is your journey to follow. It was a decent season with 7 conference W’s, ended in the playoff semifinals. Can the Cinderella story continue?
#19 – Euphorya Ra
Season 9 was setting up to be a time where the Mario Kart gods smiled upon both forms of Euphorya. We will be getting to the afterlife-based first team in due course, but the Euphorya blessed by the sun met the fate of flying too close to it, as their Division 2 playoff dreams melted away to the next team on the list. Surely meant to appease their fate, the Spanish summoned another worthy Division 3 conference run in Season 10… Only for the sun beams to brighten again at the same place. They will now be fusing with the first team to wholly worship the vegetation under Osiris; perhaps a change in seeding is natural, then.
#18 – Arcadia Terra
To avoid any biases for my own team, here are just the objective stats for Arcadia Terra: An 18th place finish in MKU this season after 3 wins and 7 losses in Division 2, and a 17th place finish in Agility, tying with several teams all within 22nd and 16th on these power rankings.
Here’s to another season of defeating the giant enemy spider!
#17 – Banana Legion
It has been a fruitful season for Royal’s rumble. They performed excellently in this MKU season, bunching up 8 of 10 wins with relatively little dispute, but a slip-up in the finals must surely seem unappealing. Unlike a lot of teams previous, who are currently at their peak performance rank-wise and seek to raise the bar higher, Banana Legion no doubt have a goal in mind – to replicate their Season 5 stint in Division 2, a time during which they were comfortably disposing a team like World Friend. They’ve been inking some contracts in the off-season, with Brye, Dragon, Cuj and the return of phonepup. Quite a legion now!
#16 – Cherish
An apt name indeed. Cherish seemed to embrace and cultivate a thorough and thought-through execution in their performances, and never let a setback slow them down. This can likely be attributed to a rigid line-up that worked off one another; 5 players (Squidz, Jasmine, perishi, Articuno and TheKoopaGuy) appeared in all 10 conference matches, and all of them statistically pulled their weight. Add Arsene as a safeguard, and that was the makings of an admirable playoff success. They add to the list of teams that have made some brand alterations, now named *ahem*… Sadistisk obalans u-sväng långsam. Well, that’s va coolt!
#15 – Rozando la Katastrofe
There are few teams that have made quite the imprint on the Mario Kart scene quite like Sliver’s section has. They found themselves in top-flight play after sensational back-to-back banners in Seasons 2 and 3 in divisions vice versa. Yet, a considerable portion of their time after has sadly lived up to the latter of their namesake, and their previous season especially was something to sweep under the rug. They had a middling, if not consistent episode in Division 2 this time, but Agility signaled that RK still had some fire left in them, with a radical 5-game loser’s bracket streak. They are the first team on this list to cease play in Season 11. Unfortunate, but understandable.
#14 – Novae
Novae is one of the freshest teams cracking the top 15 – but there are already some bright indications of a party where the vibes are only getting more positive. Perhaps not so much in this MKU Division 2 season, in which they were locked in a conference room with 3 teams that possessed a far wider scope of experience of play at this level. It’s the Americas Cup in which they demonstrated dominance, runners-up in the first time and cancelling out xi for a fifth-place finish the second time. They’ve been on an absolute monster of a recruiting spree this off-season, picking up Sebas, Angel, Drack, and the Spanish Roberto, among others. If they adapt in time, the party might only just be getting started.
#13 – Dynamite Alpha
From fresh to mature, Dynamite’s journey has been more of a long fuse than a wild explosion, but it is surely to the team’s benefit, as the synergy can only continue to broaden. We already have evidence of this with their potent 1-2 combo in Togepilovesnug and Varo, as well as more recent addition Samurott, and an adaptive supporting cast. It seems that Markness’ mass have a keen fondness for unlucky numbers, as they placed 13th in this MKU season, Agility, Amplify and this season’s Americas Cup, a bizarre demonstration in consistency across the board. With that kind of foundation, Dynamite Alpha could make a key bid to climb again.
#12 – Mushroom Team Mind
No wonder Mushroom Team’s first faction come to Mind – they are the only team in the entire rankings to have participated in every available major tournament, backed by a versatility and depth in their roster that very few teams can muster in the same way. They produced a decent Division 2 MKU run in which 6 of their squad more than pulled their weight, only to falter in a heartbreaker of a semifinal playoff. A cerebral shout out should also be made to their Agility run, dispatching a Vertex team at their peak twice and the next team on this list. One thing’s for sure, you can expect Mushroom Team to keep turning up.
#11 – World Friend Moon
The night is still young for the secondary French connection, who have only made forward rises through the ranks since they acquainted themselves into it in Season 6. Their last two seasons have been rather scrappy affairs, pulling through just when required to scrape playoff berths. The miracle playoff run they performed in Season 9, including a shutout of a borderline unstoppable Dynamite Alpha, sadly could not be repeated this time. Where they truly played out their minds, however, was in Agility – for a moment there, we had to rethink who really was the first World Friend team! With Linkos sent to bolster this circle of chums, they may continue to eclipse.
#10 – Jean-Pierre Pernaut
From a legendary footballer to a legendary news broadcaster, JPP has made the news at 10, but they certainly aren’t an anchor. Their first cast into top-flight play was no doubt jarring for them in Season 9, but their upset in Week 2 against hot favorites Prestige will surely go into their highlight reel. With a slightly sunnier forecast back in Division 2 the next time round, JPP got to work. It was the combination of Saru, LMDS and Falso that shook things up, as a glance at any of their results showed at least two of the three popping off, the combination they needed to earn the banner. Will the second attempt at the top yield a success story? Tune in to find out!
#9 – Blizzard
Fittingly enough, it was the autumn and winter months last year in which the German group demonstrated just how frosty they could be, in which they made playoffs in their inaugural Division 1 run, were just shy of podium finishes in the Compass Draw and third Agility, and earned silver in the European League. That is not to say Blizzard have declined in quality closer to present, as a playoff run in Division 2 in an MKU where the competition has hit a heatwave across the board is a key sign of adaptability. Though they did freeze up in the final against JPP, slightly better side tournament finishes keep them ahead. From frostbite to burn, under Nferno Blaze, the heat is on for another go for gold.
#8 – Star Clan Nebula
Star Clan is an incredibly exciting team to watch. Whilst many top teams might recruit one or two Japanese players for versatility, Ferg’s flagship is one of the very few teams that have integrated several Japanese members to the squad, creating a JPN/NA hybrid that incorporates a lot of individual talent. It was a rough time for them in Star Division, yet it cannot be understated some of the wild card moments they contributed that influenced the conference, with wins over Euphorya and Prestige completely changing the playoff contenders. A demotion for Season 11 might feel a little sour, but considering they went 14-for-2 and cruised through playoffs for a banner for their return in Season 8, it would seem the stars could, and should, align for them.
#7 – Arcadia Sky
Another quick bias-avoiding stat list for my first team overlords: A 9th place finish in MKU this season after a two win, eight loss run in Division 1, a 4th place finish in Amplify assisted by a win over a team higher than them in these rankings, a 17th place finish in Amplify, and runners-up in the recent Americas Cup.
It’s time to pipe up once again, lads!
#6 – xi
Out of fear of them changing their name to something more fashionable in popular culture, they shall just be referred to by their tag for the time being. One could argue that xi has almost as much metal as the black bass, the most metal of all fish, with five bronzes, a silver and a gold across purely MKU-based tournaments in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe alone, and a stonking 16 medals if we include all tournaments across both Mario Kart 8 games. One of those bronzes was earned this season after a 3-season hiatus; it seems as though clout doesn’t rust, though it does melt in the underworld. It appears that Nato has been very busy writing letters to some associates with hefty contracts, signing Canadian Alex, Eru, KF25, and Logic. Can they learn Final Gambit (at Level 40)?
#5 – High Definition
Rookie of the year? More like Rookie of the decade. It’s crystal clear at this point that High Definition is a team that has stood the test of time. Up-and-coming in Mario Kart Wii, positively dominant in mid-to-late meta Mario Kart 7, matured like fine wine in Mario Kart 8 vanilla, and have yet to vacate top division play in Deluxe. They were so, so close to earning their first MKU champion’s belt in Season 9, bringing World Friend Star with them to the final inning; A shock that dodged two World Friend members in 3rd and 4th on Ribbon Road proved to be the curtain call. Their start to Season 10 was static, but their second round of intra-conference play broadcasted some insane potential. For the first time ever, Rookie will be taking a seat in the second team, leaving HD1 in the wildly capable hands of Cynda and Zebe. Could this be 10 years in the making?
#4 – Euphorya Anubis
What an absolutely divine pilgrimage made by this Spanish selection. They began as Victory Racers, a team spawned by RK Sliver’s fanbase having front row seats to his road to Division 1, and yet in just a matter of seasons they left the audience and became front and center on that very stage. From the get-go of Season 10, Anubis took no prisoners, sending down all three of their conference adversaries. A trickier second half nearly saw miss playoffs entirely, yet for all to see on Primetime MKCentral TV, they dismantled Arcadia Sky’s top spots on Neo Bowser City final race to clinch the conference title. They transcended xi in a 3-game epic, but High Definition’s fate befell upon them also against World Friend. With the fusion of Ra and Anubis into Osiris, this might be a season of revising and refreshing their strategies; but the plains remain fertile for growth.
#3 – Requiem
For a team that has dutifully earned their spot as bronze on the power rankings, Requiem are a very interesting case, in that they are not quite as ‘out-there’ and headlined in ways the teams around them are as frequently. That is absolutely not to say Requiem does not possess some robust talent, with seasoned superstars such as Nitroco and Dayem, with a special shoutout to JB, Impo and Ro’, who orchestrated a stunning victory in a 3v3 tournament back in March. When the time comes, Requiem has shown they can put their heads down and play quality, clinical Mario Kart. Minegear’s men were the only squad to take a game from the eventual champions, only for revenge to be enacted later down the line. They are also the first team to make massive ground in this season already, after a spectacular undefeated streak in Double Down. Is third time the charm for this team with a dream?
#2 – Prestige
Now, if you were looking for the premium package that was almost always front-page news, this international elite was just that. Their previous iteration in Zealous was just as bound to affluence, exclusively earning silver and gold medals in top-tier MKU over four seasons. It’s abundantly clear as to how Prestige rose to greatness in the same vain, with a cluster of some of the finest individual talent the game has been bestowed with, including Ryan’s, despair, Sebas, Julian and Tynan, among the greatest players in their respective countries. They were very much in playoff contention in Season 10, until a High Definition team hungry for revenge dispatched them out. Where they placed remarkable damage, however, was Agility, with another silver for the trophy case, and Amplify, a particularly special affair in which they overcame a 48-point deficit against number one on the power rankings, and then some after a coordinated power item barrage on GBA Mario Circuit for a crown. Prestige is no more as its members filter into other teams, but no doubt they’ll be a large imprint on the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe league play history books.
#1 – World Friend Star
Third-time Mario Kart Universal league champions. Agility IV champions. Amplify V runners-up. European League champions. World Friend Star has truly written themselves into the stars of Mario Kart tournament play, and likely even beyond that at this point. But what makes World Friend a cut above the rest? Watch any of their gameplay, especially in finals, and the evidence mounts up: they are an astounding, cohesive unit. Every member can frontrun, every member can play in the pack, every member can bag for shocks. And the key for unlocking this potential? They adapt their team game plan, right there on the racetrack, almost instantaneously, to reach the most optimal outcome in that moment, in an act of team trust and execution that so very few teams can emulate in quite the same way. It is from this flow that results get produced. They barely broke a sweat in MKU this time, aside from the aforementioned loss to Requiem, and a clincher against Prestige. Seven World Friend members provided above an 82 point average. They only slipped up to their second team in Agility, which if anything is still a huge compliment to World Friend as a collective. Their smallest win in European League was still a comfortable bid of 52 points. However one observes it, World Friend Star’s constellation is at the brightest it has ever been. Just how long will their reign last?
Thanks to all teams for playing this season, and a huge congrats to those that made the cut for this edition of MKCentral’s Power Rankings! If you’d like to check out a summary of this season’s Power Rankings, or revisit previous seasons, we’re excited to announce our latest site feature: Power Ranking Integration! You can take a look here, as well as view a team’s rank on their registry profile too. Good luck to all teams for the next season!