Beware the Contenders – A Look at the 2020 MKWC Play-In Stage

The Play-In Stage acts as the qualifiers for the main stage of the 2020 Mario Kart World Cup. But that doesn't mean one ought to overlook these teams. No, veterans of the game and all-stars lurk in several teams, with other teams looking to make a name for themselves.

The Play-In Stage acts as the qualifiers for the main stage of the 2020 Mario Kart World Cup. But that doesn’t mean one ought to overlook these teams. No, veterans of the game and all-stars lurk in several teams, with other teams looking to make a name for themselves. Writers Tommy and Bobby take a look at each Pool as the action unfolds.

Play-in Stage: Group 1


Italy is one of those teams you can never just write off. Never known as the most “skilled team”, they are guaranteed to make your life a living hell with their playstyle. Notably good chemistry and coordination, along with Sal going crazy in most scrims, could take this team out of a tough and tight play in group. Notable Player – Dugo. Dugo is a seasoned veteran of the community, although not as active as he once was, look for him to make an enormous impact, on more than just the individual points. 

Anticipated Lineup: Sal, Dugo, Trattore, Alex, Kyon


I think in most people’s eyes Mexico are a strong favorite to get out of this group, whether that is in 1st or 2nd. Players such as Jose, Dante and Alberto are all vary capable online players and with a 4th player that will undoubtedly have synergy given how much these guys play together, they are looking to be a contender for one of the best teams to come out of Play-Ins as a whole.

The question mark here seems to be at the bagging position with Okereke not having too much practice or good results against top tier baggers. That shouldn’t be much of a problem as far as the Play-Ins go, but keep an eye on that if Team Mexico is to make it through. Notable Player – Jose. I believe Jose will be the most interesting player to watch on Mexico throughout the tournament as he is not traditionally apart of the same circle as the core group of Mexico players, will be fascinating to see how he blends in. 

Anticipated Lineup: Jose, Dante, Alberto, Boost, Okereke


With no real scrims to look at, Belgium is an incredibly up-in-the-air team at the moment. This one almost begins and ends with Olifre and Sora. They are two notably high tier players, with an ability to perform at the level of the best in the world. Look for them to make the difference in matches, and for teams to revolve around trying to shut them down.

Belgium’s weakness is lacking depth. After those two, Belgium is not left with much. Their key will be to have the remaining roster stay calm and play as best as they can. Don’t sleep on them however because those 2 are very capable of a pop off.

Anticipated Lineup: Olifre, Sora, Jef, Light, Loaf


Absolute wildcard of the group. Team Africa is mostly European moshpit group of players with African heritage. We don’t know what to expect here, as a main lineup has not been determined nor have we found any scrim results. A few notable names to keep an eye on would be Nemesis, Monyz, and Zouzou, performing well individually and with teams in competitions. If Team Africa can consistently get an lineup with these 3 in it, they definitely stand a chance.

Play-in Stage: Group 2


Team Finland has an argument to be made that they have the best chemistry in the whole tournament period. This being said, their driving capabilities and individual skill level on all players may not be up to par. In a group such as theirs with teams like Swiss-Austria and Eastern Europe, expect chemistry and the amount of years these guys have played with each other to possibly prevail. Notable Players – Ruby. Ruby is probably one of the best players in all of the Play-Ins stage, look for his individual contribution to bolster Team Finland’s efforts. 

Anticipated Lineup:  Ruby, Suip, Polar, Puffe, and Eetu.


Team Spain is a very interesting group of players, the most standout being Paco Gaita, a former TASer and a World Record holder on DS Desert Hills. Many of these players are unheard of from the general community, not being seen throughout lounge, or even in wars. With little to go off of, Team Spain is looking very mysterious heading into the World Cup, as many might underestimate them, Spain might prove they are not to be overlooked. 

Anticipated Lineup: Francis, Paco, Aleeex, Kyu and Zorro.


A new team to the Mario Kart World Cup, team Swiss-Austria looks to make a name for themselves for their respective countries and for their players alike. Many of the players from team Swiss-Austria are somewhat recognizable, players such as Miomega and Franco look to be seen throughout the Mario Kart community, while the most notable player, Pascal, looks to solidify himself on Regular Tracks, seeing his incredible talents shine on Custom Tracks. 

Anticipated Lineup: Miomega, Pascal, Franco, Nesta, and Lumi.

Eastern Europe

 Yet another newcomer team to the MKWC, team Eastern Europe is comprised of many new and interested players looking to make the most out of this opportunity. Many of these players are coming out of the woodworks in order to represent Eastern Europe, such as Azure, Naggz and Arber, often seen play in the MKW Lounge, and players such as Miles who will most likely be the main bagger for team EEU. With not much experience to go off of, this team is hoping to make a big impact in these play in stages, and hopefully advance to where they can shine. There is no expected lineup for Eastern Europe at this time, but as we see this team progress through the play in stage the lineups will become more prevalent. 


Finally, team Ireland is looking to make a stand to prove that they are not the weak links of the Play in stage. Without one of their best players, luke, Ireland does not look to be as strong as it could have been. However, this will not stop this team from giving their all within this tournament to progress. While Ireland might struggle in the front of the pack, Sean has their backs up front, a known player from lounge, and the all-star of the Ireland team, Sean will give it his all to ensure victory for the rest of his country. However, the rest of Ireland looks to make a name for themselves as well, with newcomers Dermo, LT, and Daragh, and with Roy registered for team Ireland the question must be asked if he will bag a few matches or not, or leave it up to the baggers of his team. 

Anticipated Lineup: Sean, Hyuga, LT, Dermo and Daragh.


Bobby (he/him) is a staff writer for EndGameTV and plays Mario Kart for Team Ethereal and Team USA. You can follow them on Twitter @BC3ULTRA.