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Playing Mario Kart 8 online is scary. Sure, playing on the couch can be fun. It’s low stakes and casual so it’s hard to get upset when you get bombarded by items after leading for most of the race. The online crowd in the best kart racing game in the world takes the game far more seriously, though.

You’ll find that out if you decide to play in the Mario Kart 8 tournament this weekend. You’ll run into players who have made it their life’s mission to find the fastest time through every rendition of Rainbow Road. They’ve mastered kart composition with any heavy character — especially Wario or Bowser — alongside the pipeframe kart and slick tires. Gliders don’t matter much. These RNG-based pros have the slipstream, coin, drift and boost system down to a science.

The Mario Kart North American Open runs for six hours everyday from Jan. 21-23 on Nintendo Switch. Players from the United States, Canada and Mexico will need to hop into the game’s online play menu, select “Tournaments” and then “Search by Code.” Enter the following code on each respective day to enter the tournament. The top eight players from each tournament will get 2,500 MyNintendo Gold Points ($25), but is it really worth it?

Mario kart 8 tournament dates and times

  • 3 p.m. – 9 p.m ET. Jan 21, ID: 5245-8261-0475
  • 3 p.m. – 9 p.m ET Jan. 22, ID: 3254-0350-2123
  • 3 p.m. – 9 p.m ET. Jan. 23 ID: 1114-6044-3691

Mario Kart is more like Mario Party than, say, Mario Golf with how skill-based it is. You’ll have to play at the top of your game, hope that lag doesn’t impact you and pray to the Mushroom gods that some Yoshi in 10th place doesn’t find a blue shell at the worst time. Rumors of Mario Kart 9, or whatever the sequel to Mario Kart 8 will be, have been circulating recently. This tournament could be nothing, but it also could mean that the bigwigs at Nintendo have Mario Kart on the brain.

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