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MKWC 2021 Discussion

THEKRUSTYKRAB

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#1
Mario Kart World Cup 2021, hosted by EGTV, will be underway soon and this year it's bringing MK8D and MKT along for the ride. Last year, the World Cup for MKW was hosted with a sizeable 21 teams participating, with some highlights including Netherlands making the semi-finals and US East edging out United Kingdom in the finals. This year, the World Cup has grown to 23 teams, with some exciting teams including Australia's return after a notable absence last year, a Greek debut, and an England and Scotland split. While there are some absences this year such as Belgium which played last year, Austria which was apart of Switzerland last year, and Sweden which tried again to gather for this year, and very notable change-ups, including Netherlands', Canada's, and Finland's rosters, and the US being split laterally into North and South due to being more equal, this year will no doubt be very interesting and fun to spectate.

With that said, some basic talking points include the teams you are most excited to see play this year, the teams you think have a lot of potential (or a lack of), who you think will win this year, and teams everyone is sleeping on.
This thread was primarily made to serve a potential double purpose for me personally, not only for people who want to further voice their two cents if the discord wasn't enough, but also in case I feel like writing a lot, no promises though. I also created an image of the teams and rosters so you don't have to scroll through the team-reg channel in EGTV's discord for each team, and I will also include EGTV's image of the play-in and group stages for more context.

Team Roster Spreadsheet:


Play-in and Group Stage teams diagram made by EGTV:


also i have no clue where else to put it since theres no mkwc21 subforum because mkb, paint me surprised lol.
 
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Thread Starter #2
A look into the Play-ins
Written by: THEKRUSTYKRAB

Introduction

Mario Kart World Cup returns once again under the hands of EndGameTV, bringing along 23 teams to the stage, an increase from 21 in the previous iteration. MKWC is split into two different stages, with the main event being the group stages, consisting of twelve of the best national teams and four of the top performing teams from the play-in stages, where eleven teams are looking to prove themselves to the world. There are some returning faces in the play-ins including Ireland, Africa, Spain, and an independent Switzerland, and some entirely new teams such as Greece, a Scotland separate from the United Kingdom, leaving England to their own team, and a Portuguese-speaking team called the Lusophone Alliance, housing Brazilian and Portugese players. The eleven teams are separated into two play-in groups consisting of five and six respectively, and play each other in a round-robin style, with the top two from each group advancing into the main group stage event.
The play-ins are to take place on the weekend of June 18-20, with some matches being live streamed on EndGameTV's Twitch channel, on twitch.tv/endgametv1. I was not endorsed in any way to write this.


Group I

Africa
Expected Lineup: 4Vex, Browks, Froej, Neemo, Yazid(b)

Last year, Africa was one of the underdog teams during the play-in stages, playing in the same group as Italy, Mexico, and Belgium, predicted by many to not go very far. While they didn't advance to the group stages that year, Africa managed to upset Belgium and close out with a win, which many people didn't expect due to Belgium having strong runners Olifré and sora. Africa would see some notable shifts this year, as Monyz, one of their main players last year would play for the Lusophone team this year, but Africa would in-turn add 4Vex and Browks, two Moroccan players who've played for quite a while, notably with French-speaking teams. In fact, a good majority of Team Africa play in a lot of French clans and have quite some experience in them including Zouzou, Froej, Neemo and Yazid, with the former three runners forming much of Team Africa's running core last year, and Yazid being well-experienced in bagging, having drove backwards last year for Africa and currently being the main bagger for Les Lions de L'Atlas in MKPS. Zalm and Optllizer are both solid runners as well, although chemistry with the rest of the team is a slight concern as they don't play as much. Africa will most likely roll out a lineup of 4Vex, Browks, Froej, Neemo with Yazid bagging, although Zouzou is likely to slot in a few matches as he's one of their best players despite how busy he is currently. Africa look to be in a similar position as last year, being the underdog choice with a similar amount of potential.

Finland
Expected Lineup: Arvo, Hedwig, Karhuma, NamiNami, akseli(b)

Finland is known for housing some notable players such as ruby, suip, Puffe, and Eetu, with most of these players apart of Finnish clan moi. Many of these players from moi played for Finland last year, and were one of the strongest teams in the play-ins though they faced a loss to Ireland, advancing to the group stages. However, none of those players from moi were interested in playing MKWC this year, which left Finland in a dire state, uncertain if they would manage to scrape a team by, as they weren't even able to get FreshZ on board, one of Contingency's main MKPS players. Though by some miracle, Finland managed to gather a squad thanks to streamer and TTer Karhuma, and #4 AF on MKW Players' Page Arvo. Arvo is a very notable personality for his barrage of memes in WL threads and trolling behavior, but he's probably the best player on this Finnish team due to having lots of recent exposure to online play and wars. Karhuma is streamer and TTer very meticulous at getting chain wheelies, he's popped up quite recently and has played online a bit with practice wars and mogis. Hedwig is another TTer who's also been playing quite a bit of online, seeing great improvement in Lounge recently. One name sticks out to the old players as Finland somehow managed to persuade NamiNami into playing MKWC this year, with NamiNami being a high-level player during the WFC days, who diverted his interest into Melee; it'll be interesting to see how he holds his own now. These four players are to make up Finland's ideal running lineup, with the other players on the team, akseli, Smau, and Thundrem, being very unknown to the MKW playerbase, making it very unclear how much these guys have played online, running or bagging, with akseli seemingly the only one with Lounge stats. While Arvo could bag, Finland would be spreading itself too thin as he's also one of their best runners, and this uncertain bagging situation is likely to be Finland's main problem.

Greece
Expected Lineup: daseia, Steve, nikos, Nagzz, Miles(b)

One of the most anticipated additions to MKWC this year, Greece has managed to band together with a number of notable high-level players. Top CT player daseia is here, having been one of the key factors for dara's success in MKPS last season, as he was one of their main communicators and is very fast. Steve is another extremely fast player who often plays tier 5 and 6 in Lounge, though he doesn't war as much. Greece managed to pull nikos, who was part of Germany last year as one of their many pieces, and has played at a high-level for quite some time, currently playing for Vellichor in MKPS. Nagzz can slot in as their fourth runner, being a frequent Lounge player who's been warring recently in Greece's scrims. Miles is poised to be the main bagger for Greece as he does have experience under his belt, although he can run solidly if UltraSaint is needed to bag instead. Den and M8 are also on the Greek squad, though Den is also playing for Eastern Europe on the MK8 side, and M8 is more of a CT player. Greece overall has one of the strongest main lineups of the entire play-in stages, and have a lot of hype behind them because of it.

Lusophone
Expected Lineup: Monyz, Znoky, Jaggy, Gaga, Hidan(b)

Portugal and Brazil both seem like countries that would have enough players to form their own teams, however that isn't the case and so the two Portuguese-speaking landmasses merged to form the Lusophone Alliance. Monyz is captaining yet another multi-national team this year, having captained Africa last year, and is expected to be one of Lusophone's top performers. Znoky is a very recent player who has quickly improved into being a strong TTer and online player, though his war experience is a bit lacking. Jaggy played for Latin America last year as one of their baggers since Brazil didn't have a team, and now looks to be one of the main runners for Lusophone. Lusophone managed to recruit Gaga for this year, having been a pretty high-level player on WFC back in the day. Lusophone also have Lucas, who's played Lounge on-and-off for a few years now and has become a pretty solid runner, and DvD who is primarily a TTer with not much online exposure. Lusophone's bagging situation is intriguing, as they have four potential players that can bag, with Hidan, Majora, and mp all learning how to bag from Monyz, and Vestoga already having prior bagging knowledge. One point of concern for Lusophone is communication, since their three active players in Monyz, Znoky, and Jaggy are more used to communicating in English than Portuguese when it comes to MKW, which has thrown off some of the other players in scrim wars.

Scotland
Expected Lineup: Sammeh, Ryan, Online, Luna, Lewis(b)

Scotland decided to separate from England and the United Kingdom this year and form their own team, even though they had the playerbase to do that last year. Despite this, Scotland are one of the more hyped teams during the play-in stages, as they house quite a number of runners who've played at a high-level for quite some time. Sammeh is one of the captains and one of their strongest runners, despite being the main bagger for Vellichor in MKPS. Ryan was similarly a bagger for Metro Wipeout last MKPS season, but has decided to play for their second team as one of their best runners. Online and Luna are both CT-inclined players who are in Lethal Vengeance for MKPS, with Online being a frequent mainstay for their lineups, and Luna being a Daisy main on RTs. Oliver is a solid runner though he's more of a Lounge player, Aaron and Lachlan are both players who've been improving quite quickly, and ross is primarily a TTer. Lewis is likely to be Scotland's main bagger, originally being an adept CT bagger who's also starting to bag RTs, though Scotland also have Deano in the back if Lewis is unavailable. Scotland have a lot of depth on their roster in both running and bagging, and have been scrimming quite often, which has made them one of the favorites in the play-in stages.

Spain
Expected Lineup: rusoX, Francis, Monster, Agger, Kyu(b)

Team Spain could be called Spain Team and then abbreviated to ST because that's basically what the team is this year, a bunch of players from Shadow Team. This is already a very significant shift since many of the Shadow Team players have a lot of chemistry with each other, but to make things better, rusoX is also playing, being one of the best Daisy players and Glitchtakers in the game, who was an incredibly notable absence from last year's roster. On the topic of Shadow Team, a majority of their players such as Jesús, Jorge, Aleeex, Yago, and Saru are of similar skill level, and they frequently rotate rosters in MKPS, however they most frequently have Francis, Monster, and Agger play MKPS matches. Kyu seems to be the sole bagger for Spain, although he's active and has bagged for quite some time, having also bagged for Spain last year. The revival of Shadow Team and rusoX participating in MKWC is no doubt a significant upgrade for Spain, which has made them one of the more potent teams in the group stages.


Group II

Asia
Expected Lineup: EmilP, py, Fire, Lexin, Charge(b)

It's quite bizzarre to see Asia in the play-in stages despite having been seeded in the group stages last year, though this might be due to their more insta-team status. While Asia have gone through a noticeable revamp with players like Sinclair, Chintu, and Insane leaving, they also added some more equally strong players. One of these strong additions is EmilP, who is one of the best Daisy users and Glitchtakers in the game, while another addition is Fire, an often slept on Wheeler who's become more active recently and very destructive. Asia still have py, who returns yet again as one of Asia's best players, while Lexin is captaining the side once more, being a very experienced runner. Asia still have Veil and Iris who both played last year, and have added Political to the squad, who has been warring with higher-division clans more often. Asia have a number of bagging options but Charge is likely their best bagger due to his experience, even though he is also a solid runner, with Arvin and 1lyas being more recent players with less experience. Asia have one of the most powerful squads in the entire play-in stage, and their team could even be stronger than some of the teams already in the group stages.

Eastern Europe
Expected Lineup: Niko, saturn, Marco, Behemoth, gnb(b)

Eastern Europe were just barely able to scrape together a team this time around, and they managed to do so by "handing out flyers" in recruitment channels, likely due to Greece forming its own team this time. Last year, Eastern Europe has quite a shoddy and messy performance, sometimes having to 4v5, though this time, they have some notable additions such as Niko and Marco, who are reliable additions for Eastern Europe as both are fairly active and around the same skill level. Behemoth is primarily a TTer though he does have some online experience with Lounge. Eastern Europe barely got saturn this year, providing them one of their best runners again, and Rugh returns once more. Radion is known to be unable to mic while the rest of Eastern Europe such as Amos, gnb, and Xanadu are relatively unknown players, so the question of who is bagging for them is really up in the air, unless saturn or Niko opt to bag instead of run, which only portrays their bagging issues.

Ireland
Expected Lineup: Luke, roy, sean, LT, Nlaw(b)

Ireland return to the World Cup after an incredibly successful play-in stage last year, completely demolishing every team there. This year only looks better for Ireland, as they've stood mostly unchanged and got to incorporate Luke onto the team, who has been scrimming quite often and playing well. LT and roy both played extremely well last year, with LT now being a mainstay for Infinite in MKPS, while roy has mostly dropped bagging to become an even more adept runner. Ireland still have sean, and even though he hardly plays the game at all, he didn't play the game much last year either, but was still able to score massively. The other Sean in Hyuga is also a pretty solid runner who frequently played last year as well. Cormac is the other addition to the Ireland team, currently in MY13 for MKPS and is a rapidly improving player. Ireland has a multitude of players capable of bagging, and will likely alternate between Nlaw and Trashy bagging, as Daragh is pretty busy, and Dermo would prefer to use his running prowess, with the both of Nlaw and Trashy being quite solid at it. Ireland look to be in a similar position as last year when it comes to the group stages, although many of the teams in the group stages have gotten stronger.

Netherlands
Expected Lineup: Thomas, Korra, Tom, Aditya, Joris(b)

Netherlands had quite the journey last year, with players like Leops, Christan, Mae, Leo, and Dane on their team, they managed to reach all the way to the semi-finals, just barely losing to US East who would go on to win. For this year, none of those previously mentioned players are in the roster, with the only lingering players from last year being Avail's top-level TTer Thomas, and high-level baggers Joris and Neo. This new Dutch team has been scrimming quite often, with Korra, Tom, and Aditya playing particularly often. There are a couple of players on this Dutch side that've come back to the game recently, including Daisy user Job, top TTer Reinier who's playing for MY13 in MKPS, and Miist who was particularly active a couple years ago. The bagging situation for Netherlands is still very sound, as they have Joris and Neo still, and even have a third-string bagger in Leon who could also run if needed. While Netherlands are nowhere near as formidable as their squad last year, they do still pose some potency.

Switzerland
Expected Lineup: Revise, marvin, Miomega, Franco, Zachruff(b)

Switzerland merged with Austria last World Cup, which unfortunately didn't bode well as it'd have liked. This year, Switzerland was able to form its own team with some strong additions to boot. Revise is easily the strongest addition and one of the best runners in the play-ins, being incredibly fast and quickly improved over the past year. marvin seems to have returned to MKW this year, and was interested enough to be one of the strongest runners for Switzerland. Miomega and Franco return once again, with the Wheeler and Daisy main both being important parts of Swiss-Austria last year. RonSwanson and nesta were also a part of Swiss-Austria last year, with RonSwanson being a TTer that popped off in the World Cup, while nesta is not that active but still pretty solid. Zachruff will reprise his yearly bagging it seems, as he was also the main bagger for Swiss-Austria last year, and he seems to have gathered Kimo and SpearX who are relatively unknown players. Switzerland have an unexpectedly strong lineup, particularly with the inclusion of Revise.


Conclusion

The play-in stages are home to many teams with lots of potency and strength in them, especially when compared to last year's MKWC, which really just shows the progress of our game and its players. Group II looks a lot more balanced than Group I, and it'll be harder to tell who gets out of that group. My personal predictions would be Scotland and Greece, then Ireland and Asia. If there's anything I missed or any mistakes I made let me know, this was written in only like two or three hours since I only just found the motivation to write just now, and I want to get this out before any matches are played, thanks for reading.
 
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THEKRUSTYKRAB

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Thread Starter #3
Diving into the Group Stage
Written by: THEKRUSTYKRAB

Introduction

With the Mario Kart World Cup underway, the teams in the play-in stage completed all of their matches and the top four teams would advance to the group stages, being Asia, Ireland, Scotland, and Greece. Asia was the first seed from the group stages, going undefeated during the stage, although barely scraping a win against Ireland. Greece would snatch the higher seed out of Scotland despite losing head-to-head versus them, with Scotland being upset by Spain, who would unfortunately be eliminated despite sharing a 4-1 record with Greece and Scotland due to their lower differential. These teams will have to deal with much fiercer competition now, including some of the absolute strongest iterations of these national teams. Similar to the play-ins, the group stages are in a round-robin format where the top two teams of each group advance to the bracket stage, where all matches from there on out are best of threes.
The group stages are to take place on the weekend of June 25-27, with some of the matches being casted on EndGameTV's twitch channel alongside other Mario Kart titles at: twitch.tv/endgametv1. Once again, I was not endorsed in any way to write this.


Group A

US South
Expected Lineup: jake, Ken, Quinn, Sane, bobby(b)

Last year, the US was split into East and West, with US East ending up taking the title home. Many of the players on West lost interest in the game and it was decided that splitting US into North and South would make the teams moreeven, especially with how much more populated East is. Aboarding MKWC is jake, one of the most consistent performers in D1 for a few years now, whether it be in Kinetolic Gaming or Sakura. Quinn played for US East and was part of WollywogZ in MKPS last year, and now finds himself as an even more integral part of now or never in MKPS and South this MKWC. Sane was a part of US West last year as one of their most consistent playerss, and plays in Vellichor along with Ken, who was on the champions US East last year and is a solidly fast player. Batcake is one of the fastest players online, often breaking away easily on most tracks, and plays for Apocalypse this MKPS season alongside Hawk, who's not as active recently but was part of Ethereal last MKPS season. South also have two Superbia runners in Vincent and Kasper, with Vincent being an outstanding TTer and fast player, and Kasper covering a lot of ground by playing for Ethereal in scrims and Superbia in MKPS. South has two phenomenal baggers in bobby and Serena, with bobby being West's bagger last MKWC, Ethereal's main bagger last MKPS season, and now one of Superbia's three baggers, while Serena is an often overlooked bagger who's currently providing Infinite a lot of extra shocks in MKPS. US South are no doubt capable of taking this entire tour, as they have played lots of scrims, particularly against their northen neighbours, and have been going back-and-forth.

Australia
Expected Lineup: Verley, Berry, nuclear, Locky, Solar(b)

Australia was one of the most noticeable absences from last year's MKWC, due to a few of the players being unable to play last year, but now return to the world stage better than ever. Australia has also brought a monster of a main lineup, with Verley and nuclear having been important assets to their MKPS team Vellichor, with Verley particularly making a lot of strides as of late. Berry has been one of the driving forces behind Infinite's successes throughout this MKPS season, and has become notably consistent at taking the BCW glitch shroomless. Locky is a more veteran player who's currently playing for Metro Wipeout's second team along with Solar, who has taken up the mantle of being Australia's main bagger, despite being a strong Daisy runner. ICU is another bagger if Solar is running or not around, and has bagged for quite some time, primarily with Quintessence. Australia has pk and Harley, who've been played for ages, particularly with Aussie-centric clan Infinity, and has Brannon and tulls on the team who've made a lot recent and major improvements, though are still newer to wars. Australia's main lineup is phenomenal, however beyond that they start to lose steam, which does pose some depth concerns.

Italy
Expected Lineup: Sal, Alex, Cross, Galla, scamp(b)

Italy completely shredded through the play-in stages last MKWC, and nearly beat Asia in groups. Italy has since lost a few players such as DUGO, Trattore, Venom, and Dalkir, with the infamous schlagger DUGO focusing entirely on MK8D, but have still been cooking up numerous scrims and practice wars. Sal continues to be the standout player for Italy, being one of the fastest and most mechanically gifted players for the team, and is currently a main player Moonblast in MKPS. Alex is another solid player who was part of Italy's roster last year as well, and is notably fluent in French hence why he's playing in Forgotten Legends for MKPS. The two brothers, Cross and Galla, are both representing Italy for the first time this MKWC, with Cross being a mainstay of Infinite's second team while Galla frequently plays for Surge. Italy have also retained Razz and Lodon, with Razz playing for Insane and Lodon notably being a Battle Alliance player alongside a number of other Italian players, and they also signed up Mystery, though he hasn't played MKW much as of late. Italy added scamp as a bagger this year, who's also bagged for Jx. in scrims, Kyon is still on the roster as well, being Italy's main bagger last MKWC, and they even have a third string bagger in Ais. Italy barely scraped by to be in the top twelve seeded teams, and likely wouldn't be too out of place in play-ins, as they seem to rely a lot on Sal, although they have a lot of chemistry built with each other from scrims.

Asia
Expected Lineup: Emil, Fire, py, Lexin, Arvin(b)

Last year, Asia were one of the top twelve teams in the tourney and were automatically placed in the group stages. This MKWC, Asia were instead put into the play-in stages likely due to major shakeups in the roster, with an undefeated record in play-ins though they had a nailbiter victory against Ireland. Asia would lose Sinclair, Insane, Chintu, Aditya, and Gabriel, but would in-turn get Emil, Fire, Charge, Arvin, Political, and Ilyas. They used a wide variety of players during the play-in stage, but brought what is essentially their main lineup against Ireland, with Emil being one of the best Daisy players, Fire being an incredibly potent player, and py who's been consistently Diamond in Lounge and is very adept at wars. Asia's fourth runner is really flexible but it would likely be the captain Lexin, as he's got a ton of war experience under his belt and played with Asia last MKWC. The other runners on Asia could slot in, such as Veil and Iris who were also part of Asia last year and are pretty solid runners, Political who is a recent face that's been making steady progress, and Charge who's been quite a strong runner for some years, and is very capable of bagging as he's bagged in D1 before. Arvin bagged for Asia during all the play-in matches thus far, though him and Ilyas are very new and less-experienced baggers, so how they'll stack up to the other baggers in groups is uncertain, which is why it's possible to see Charge well, take charge of bagging from here. Due to winning all their play-in matches, Asia were given first seed when it came to selecting a group, and have chosen Group A, with the expectation of being able to compete well versus Italy and Australia. Asia have strong runners in Emil, Fire, and py, but chemistry is still a concern considering that many of these Asian players don't play with each other outside of a MKWC context.


Group B

US North
Expected Lineup: frozen, Kasperinos, Edison, Killua, Maq(b)

The Northeastern US is one of the most densely populated portions of the country, and as a result it's no surprise that a majority of the players on the previous MKWC champion team, US East, find themselves on the North side after the call was made to split the US teams laterally. A mere glance at the US North roster immediately shows them as one of the most powerful teams in the tourney, with a crazy amount of depth to boot. North has frozen, one of the current best players in the game and a player who is known to be incredibly aggresive and to make many crazy plays. While Kasperinos' interest is dwindling, he's still one of the best players in the game, being Number 1 in Lounge for several seasons and a top player for WollywogZ and now or never in MKPS. It seems the entire US North team is full of players who make crazy plays, as we have none other than Edison, who is currently one of the best players on Superbia for MKPS, and is well known to go for snipes and get the opponents out of the front. Killua is one of the only players on North who played for US West last MKWC; he's a part of Metro Wipeout as one of their many runners, and is an extremely consistent player who rarely makes errors. North has avid shroomless TTers from Superbia in Shawn and Revan, who've both been essential assets to their MKPS team. North also has frequent mogi players from Vellichor in ornan and nio, with ornan being one of Vellichor's top performers in MKPS with his "niche" itemplay, and nio being incredibly fast, undisputedly the best Wheeler in the game. Superbia seem to have a monopoly of the US's bagging department, as US North has both Maq and Orange, who are both amongst the top five baggers in the game currently. US North are an overwhelmingly stacked team, and while they are more than capable of winning another title for the USA, they aren't impenetrable as teams like their southern neighbours have been able to beat them in scrims back and forth.

Latin America
Expected Lineup: mike, Lunehov, Doseee, Akmeaf, JSully(b)

Latin America has always been present throughout the many iterations of MKWC, and have generally been around the upper-end. This year, Latin America can have Mexican players such as Lunehov and mephisto on their team since Mexico isn't playing, but lost the shot of having Brazillian players due to the formation of Lusophone Alliance. mike has been playing at a D1 level for some time in teams like Kinetolic Gaming and Apocalypse for MKPS, and was part of Latin America last year. The Chileans of Doseee and Akmeaf similarly return to being integral pieces for Latin America, with Doseee having improved solidly in the past year, being one of UC's most important runners in MKPS, and Akmeaf being a solid communicator who often finds himself staving off the mid-pack. Lunehov had a solid expedition in Team Mexico last year, and has been around the game on-and-off for the past few years. Miguelo is a very strong player who can easily slot into the lineups, but is known to prioritize life and not play the game too much. Latin America still have Gomez and Broly who are both solid players, and have added Gabo since he came back to the game a few months back. JSully is often overlooked but he has taken off quite well as a bagger, even frequently allying for Metro Wipeout in scrims, and he will be joined by mephisto who's also become a versed bagger as of late. Latin America hasn't really gone through many changes this iteration, they did lose Jorge but also regained Lunehov from Mexico to bolster their lineups, and were seen as a solid pool 2 team by many due to this. Latin America is known to get in a lot of arguments within the calls, but that strangely doesn't affect their gameplay much.

Denmark
Expected Lineup: Chéron, Kasper, CKV, Ice, Faith(b)

Denmark had an interesting run last MKWC, as throughout the majority of their run, they opted for an all-run strategy, which was used up until the finals of the consolation bracket, where they gave up on the strategy which ended up with Denmark beating Germany. Denmark won't entertain any such all-run strategy this year, firmly establishing how important bagging is to succeed. Metro Wipeout leader Chéron captains the Danish side once again, easily being the strongest runner for the team. Kasper and CKV are fellow clanmates who play for Metro Wipeout's second team in MKPS, and are among of the main players for that team. Mark used to play for GAMT a long time ago and was one of their best players, but he is insanely inactive, only playing during MKWC last year. Due to this, Denmark are more inclined to use Ice instead, a CT-inclined player who's quite fast. Denmark also has the karter Bob who opts to bike instead of kart online, and Noah who's been around for scrim wars mainly. Despite being one of the stronger runners on the team, Faith will most likely end up bagging for Denmark since he's the most poised for it, although avid Lounge main mate is capable of bagging should Faith have to run. Denmark really hasn't changed much since last year, maintaining the same core but deciding to sui bag like everyone else now, they look to be one of the sleeper teams in the groups, especially if Mark is able to play.

Ireland
Expected Lineup: roy, luke, LT, Dermo, Nlaw(b)

Ireland returns to the world stage in a similar manner as last year where they were seeded in the play-ins, although in a slightly less dominant fashion as they barely dropped a game to Asia in the play-in stages. Ireland was able to secure the toolbox himself this year, as luke would join and be an active part of the team, being one of Ireland's best performers. roy has been running a lot more recently with his MKPS team Metro Wipeout, and has improved considerably to the point of being Ireland's best runner, scoring 110 or more during the three play-in games he played. LT made a name for himself last MKWC for Ireland and returns once more as part of their main squad, while his clanmate Dermo will bring a lot to Ireland communication wise like he did last year. Ireland still has Hyuga and added Cormac this year, both of whom are solid players in their own right. Perhaps the most notable player for Ireland is sean though, who obliterated the play-ins last year despite not playing the game that actively, but it seems he has become even more inactive since he wasn't in any of the matches last week. It indeed is true that Ireland are going to juggle between Nlaw and Trashy bagging as shown in the play-in stage, as both baggers are on a similar level, though Ireland still have Daragh even if he's about as active as sean. Ireland are an incredibly potent team, and have the capability of creating some upsets this week, and if they manage to get sean playing then they'll be very dangerous.


Group C

England
Expected Lineup: Shaun, Xander, Luke, taz, Jazz(b)

England was part of United Kingdom last year and were so close to bringing it home, just losing to US East in the finals. Although UK split into England and Scotland, a majority of the UK players last season were English, and so England emerges as one of the most powerful teams in this MKWC. Anyone who's slightly involved with Mario Kart are aware of the names Shaun and Xander, as both players are considered to be amongst the top five players of all time period, with Shaun being a veteran since day one and Xander being one of the few people to be top-level in two Mario Kart games simultaneously. Following those two is another well-established name in the community, Luke is known for taking the TT community by storm by just how quickly he learns and WRs on various tracks, but he's also a machine online, being one of the strongest Daisy players and very consistent at shortcuts, though he can tilt. flairy played an integral role for UK last MKWC, and while he's not the kind of player to get rusty, his inactivity when it comes to RTs is why taz would more than likely slot instead, with taz being one of the strongest players in Moonblast for a number of years. A few more players from Moonblast were also brought into England this year, with British and Jos being equally versatile players that can both run and bag well. On the subject of bagging, Jazz is one of the most accomplished baggers in the game and was a large contributor to UK's success last year. He's joined by Arrow who is an often overlooked bagger who's been playing in various teams in the past few years such as Untouchables and Apocalypse, and Malone who's in a similar boat as Jos and British in that he's versatile in both running and bagging. It's worth noting that England don't have Klyne this year, who was a big communicator for UK last time, but regardless England look absolutely powerful and more than capable of winning, maybe this is the year it's coming home.

Norway
Expected Lineup: Fox, barney, Noctl, Kyon, Twingy(b)

For such a small real-world population, Norway is home to some of the best MKW players, including three top-level D1 players. Although Norway was eliminated in the quarter finals last year, a few players like Glorii and Shix left due to inactivity but the core of Norway remains unchanged. Fox should need no introduction, having previously been the undisputed best TTer for a few years which has transitioned into online dominance, being one of the best players on Metro Wipeout and in Division 1 as a whole. He is joined by fellow teammate and TTer barney and Ethereal's Noctl who are both very powerful and consistent players that will continue to play an important part for this Norweigan side. Kyon will round out their fourth slot, especially since he's become more active as of late, being a potent runner though not as proven as the former three runners. For the bagging side, Norway will likely juggle between Twingy and Jeenu, both of whom bag for Metro Wipeout's second and first teams respectively, although Jeenu or Sakno are solid runners that could see action should any of their main lineup be unavailable. Though their team only has seven players, Norway has an extremely well-defined lineup to the point where they don't need really to add more players to the team. Norway was a pool 2 team but many would argue that they're worthy of being a pool 1 team just by how strong their main lineup is.

Canada
Expected Lineup: Arti, Jonah, Kyle, Zesti, NoahCove(b)

Canada was a pretty powerful team last year, with players like JaS, Mikey, TRICKS, and neuro on the roster. Not a single one of those players are present this year, which has led to a vastly different Canadian front this year, though to cut Canada some slack, they weren't depleted as hard as the semi-finalists Netherlands. Leading the charge is Arti, a top CT player who's a staple for Explorers of Time and its successor Timeless in MKPS. Jonah and Kyle are veteran presences that Canada is missing a lot of this year, having been around since WFC and also part of Canada last MKWC. Zesti used to be a strong Daisy player, but has made the recent switch to Funky Kong and is seeing a lot of success with it. Many people would slate Spart as Canada's main bagger due to his experience, however he enjoys running a lot more as of late and has shown to be a strong runner with Charged Brigade this MKPS season, though he can still bag some matches. Instead, Noah Cove will take charge as the main bagger for the team, currently being a bagger for Megavolt in MKPS. The other players on the roster such as Insane, Hiruko, Sgt, and embrez are all fairly strong and experienced, with Insane in particularly being a notable Wheeler who played for Asia last year. This Canadian side as a whole lives largely in the shadow of its former iteration, and will face a tough battle ahead against the titans of England and Norway in order to advance to the bracket stage.

Scotland
Expected Lineup: Online, Ryan, Sammeh, Aaron, Lewis(b)

Scotland has split off from England and ravaged through the play-in stage, though they missed out on the higher seed after being upset by Spain. This coincidentally means the famed England vs Scotland matchup is happening but it also means Scotland have likely the toughest group to get out of, as Norway is also present in the group. Throughout the play-in stages, Scotland used a variety of players in their roster, but will most likely use Online, Ryan and Sammeh, strong runners who have all been present in a majority of their matches. The fourth runner slot is very flexible as Scotland can use any of Oliver, Luna, Lachlan, and ross as solid runners, but Aaron is most likely to fill that slot as he's the one that played in Scotland's most important play-in stage matches against Greece and Lusophone, performing well in them. Scotland has no shortage of baggers and while you won't see any of their three strongest players drive backwards, Lewis and Deano will handle it instead, with Lewis being a top CT bagger who's transferring that prowess over to RTs. While Scotland do have very capable players, most of their roster haven't ran in D1 in a while, which can leave them feeling outmatched against teams like England and Norway with D1 runners throughout.


Group D

Japan
Expected Lineup: Azma, jan, type, Yasuo, Roast(b)

Just like its own demography, Japan is a heavily populated and dense region when it comes to Mario Kart, being home to a sheer depth of extremely talented individuals. The Japanese are pretty isolated from the rest of the playerbase, though they often show their talents at an individual level in Lounge, where they are very powerful. They only participated in MKWC last year from recent memory, where they reached the semi-finals before losing to United Kingdom. As of late, more and more Japanese teams have been playing wars, with Team Japan scrimming often, and even though Japan lost yrety and Deco this year, they're an overall stronger team this year with a lot of depth. Azma is captaining this Japan side, having been the best CT player for the longest of time, bringing that prowess over to RTs. jan and type are incredible runners who've shown their skill in Lounge on full display. Yasuo is playing for Japan this year, considered one of the most consistent Daisy players out there especially with the Bowser Castle shortcuts, and is known for having a WOR vs JPN video that blew up on the YouTube algorithm. pachu is one of those players who can still operate at a top level despite having not played actively, while hiduke has improved considerably and been a frequent part of Japan's scrims recently. Sasha and Monaro, who's more well-known as Rufus, have lots of experience in the war format. The bagging situation was Japan's weakest link last year, which was how United Kingdom comfortably beat them last year, but the addition of Roast patches that hole considerably, as he's been a high-tier bagger for a while with sebas still being a good second string. Japan look to be one of the most formidable teams this year, and this could very well be the year where Japan takes home MKWC titles from all three participating games.

Germany
Expected Lineup: crash, Kevin, Lucid, Markus, Luciano(b)

Throughout the years, Germany has been a prominent force, with their most notable placement during MKWC 2017 where they reached the finals. By contrast, last year was extremely tough for Germany, as they were eliminated in the group stages and lost to Denmark in the consolation bracket finals, but to Germany's credit they were placed in the dubbed group of death, the same group as United Kingdom and Norway. Ethereal's own crash returns to the world stage once again to drive Germany home, considered by many to be one of the best players of the game. Kevin and Lucid also return this year and have become very powerful players, being integral pieces to Avail's core in this MKPS. Beyond them, Germany's roster is quite different this year, with some players on other teams now like nikos and Charge, or just absent from the team like Kay, paul, and Jiren. Germany in-turn added Markus, Neon, Sayn, and Jonas who are all very potent runners; Markus being one of Avail's many runners this MKPS season, Neon being an old player who's played for Germany in past MKWC iterations, Sayn who's started playing the game again primarily as a Lounge player, and Jonas who has been a strong force of Apocalypse's second team in the past few years. Germany has an entirely different bagging department as well, with Luciano, Felix, and Kiralte handling the reigns, giving Germany more footing on the bagging side that they wanted last year. While not as powerful as 2017 Germany with the Underground Kings players on the team, this shake up of the roster provides Germany a lot more depth beyond their main lineup, and can potentially give some leeway to blitz through this group.

France
Expected Lineup: Daru, K1NG, Nico, Zoan, Shaka(b)

France has historically been one of the strongest regions in the Mario Kart sphere, with some even boldly considering them to be the best region during the WFC days. While that isn't really the case anymore, France still hold a very notable presence in the community, housing a breadth of talented players and strong teams like GUN and Forgotten Legends. France is slightly different this year, with players like Kazam, Hakkim, Boardz, Mat, and Ryou being absent in place of Zoan, Gisko, Fatal, Akiyo, and Shaka. Zoan was one of those strong old WFC players back in the day, and has made quick progress since returning to and de-rusting in the game. Night is also one of FGT's main runners in MKPS like Zoan, and before that was part of Extend Ash, which made it to the top eight tourney last MKPS. Nico is the leader of GUN and has had a strong showing so far in this MKPS season. Daru and K1NG are both core players from GUN who've played nearly every match in MKPS, and often perform well. France have a few other solid players like Gisko and Fatal from GUN and Miracle from FGT to provide a bit more depth, and have a favorable bagging situation, with Shaka and Akiyo both being accustomed baggers that will likely rotate the slot. Even though France was a pool 3 team, they many players who are regarded as having a high ceiling which can make them an incredibly dangerous team, potentially dangerous enough to even contest Japan.

Greece
Expected Lineup: Steve, daseia, nikos, Den, Miles(b)

Greece is one of the all-new teams entering the World Cup, with a number of well-known and powerful players, and delivered to the hype surrounding them with a phenomenal performance in the play-in stages. Greece opted to play in the dubbed "group of death", likely to avoid playing against both England and Norway. #2 on the No-Glitch AF rankings, Steve has shown to be an absolute machine, being one of the fastest players around and dropping 110 or more in every play-in match last week. daseia is another prominent TTer and fast driver, although he was primarily playing Daisy in the play-ins last week, often finding himself in a more mid-pack role. nikos is another strong and well-rounded player who will have to play against his former team, having previously been one of Germany's main runners last MKWC. Den is an older player who has slid into Greece's fourth runner slot, having played in all of Greece's matches last week, while simultaneously playing for Eastern Europe in his main game MK8D this World Cup. Nagzz is another capable runner for Greece who plays MKW more than Den, though he hasn't played too many wars. Miles will continue to bag for Greece, and does have experience to stand out to the other baggers in this group, which would otherwise be a lot more questionable from UltraSaint and M8. The main concern for Greece's performance in the group stages is that Greece rely heavily on their three standout runners to perform well, and this lack of an equally adept fourth runner can be exploited which can give Greece a difficult time.


Conclusion

That is a look into each of the sixteen teams in the group stages of MKWC 2021. I wish I could've made this a more comprehensive dive into the teams and the players but I didn't have as much time, I still hope it was still an informative read. The groups for this year look pretty exciting, Groups A and B have a lot of upset potential in them, Group C has an England vs Norway matchup yet again, and Group D seems to be the group of death yet again with fan-favorite teams throughout. If there was anything I missed or should've elaborated on further let me know, thanks for reading.
 
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