We are rapidly approaching the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Kart's Japanese release on the Super Famicom, but what if we told you that there is another SMK-adjacent anniversary happening today? We are, of course, talking about the Super Mario Kart Championships, which will be racing off the start line today in its 20th year of competition.
Ten years after the SNES game introduced us to the joys of competitive plumber racing, the Championship was formed to provide a yearly reminder of who the best driver really is. It has since continued this love of the original game, with its focus always remaining on the SNES franchise-starter instead of the series' newer additions. With events split across time trials, battle modes, match races and the 150cc Grand Prix, the leaderboard is formed and topped only by those who can compete at the highest level across all competitions.
While this is not an officially-endorsed competition by Nintendo, the community has grown in such a way that each year only attracts the top talent. This year will see the current title holder, America's Jonathan Toole-Charignon, attempting to hold onto the top spot as the competition sees the return of Sami Cetin, the UK's world record holder who we interviewed way back in 2014.
- Further reading - Ninterview: Sami Cetin On His Journey To Super Mario Kart Success
2022 will see the Championship return to Alphen Aan Den Rijn's Esports Game Arena in the Netherlands, and the venue is already decked-out with TVs and SNES consoles galore. Before the competition kicked off today, some attendees on TikTok were quick to show those of us who cannot make the event what we are missing out on — which @SMKCmaps has shared on Twitter.
While this racing atmosphere is getting us seriously envious, there is no need to worry about missing out on any of the events as the entire tournament will be streamed on Twitch with four separate channels covering all of the week's goodness. For full info on where to watch each day, be sure to keep an eye on the SMKChampionships Twitch channel and check out @SMKChamps for updates on Twitter.
The events will be running from today right through until August 27th — which will double nicely as a celebration of the game's 30th anniversary. Each day looks set to be packed full of races and battles, with the opening ceremony and Time Trial events taking place today.
Each subsequent day will have its own event focus before the winner is chosen at the end of the week. Check out the following timetable to find out each day's event and its key matches:
- Tuesday 23rd August, 2pm CEST — Time Trial
- Wednesday 24th August, 10:30am CEST — Battle Mode
- Thursday 25th August, 10:30am CEST — Match Race
- Friday 26th August, 10:30am CEST — Grand Prix 150cc
- Saturday 27th August, 12pm CEST — Closing Ceremony
Head on over to the Championships' official website to get stuck in on the week's retro racing action.
Will you be tuning in for the Super Mario Kart Championships? Let us know in the comments below!