This past week Northwestern’s Student Activities Committee hosted a Mario Kart tournament on Jan. 16-18. With fourteen people competing, it was a fun time. The competitors played the newest entry in the series, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe which was released on the Nintendo Switch. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the updated release of the original Mario Kart 8 which was released on the Wii U. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has 96 different tracks, and 50 playable characters, providing lots of variety in every race you play. The tournament was set up in a classic four race circuit which makes the most sense if you truly want the best to advance in the bracket. They raced at 150 CC which is the second highest CC rating in the game behind 200 CC. 150 CC is the baseline for most tournaments because 150 feels fast but still controllable to people who haven’t played much. 200 CC goes so fast that it’s hard to control your racer sometimes. Doing four races meant that even if you got unlucky with bad items an entire race, you wouldn’t be out of the tournament. Luck plays a pretty important part in Mario Kart as you could be in first place the first two and a half laps, but even good racing can’t save you from the compounding failure of red shells and blue shells hitting you over and over. The randomness of the game primarily comes from the item boxes which give you better items the further behind you are, so even if you aren’t doing too great at the beginning of the race you’re never truly out of the competition. In each race the track was decided randomly by the game. This made it so no racer was able to pick the track that they excelled in. Competitors were free to pick their own racers and cart combos so everyone could lean into their preferred playstyle. Jorge Menendez ended up winning the tournament defeating Maria De Jong and Gideon Fynaardt defeated David Grandel for third place in the tournament. The prizes were handed out to first, second, and third place. Jorge got a twenty five dollar Amazon gift card and a Mario Kart plush, Maria got a fifteen dollar Scooters gift card, and Gideon got a ten dollar Scooters gift card. Overall, it was another fun activity orchestrated by the SAC. Be sure to be on the lookout for their upcoming events!