TEAM MOMO (MOM)
Ramen Bowl (Om; ML)
Momotorway (Om; M1)
Marble League 2016; Marble League 2017; Marble League 2018; Marbula One Season 1; Marble League 2020; Marbula One Season 2; Marble League Winter Special; Marble League 2021; Marbula One Season 3
Team Momo has never been a boring group of marbles. The team hails from the villages around Om, one of the oldest cities in the world. The four original members of the team first met in Temple of Om, one of the most popular restaurants in the city, where they talked about their passion for marble sports as they ordered plate after plate of dumplings. The four ordered so many dumplings that the restaurant ran out of them. When the four met early in the night, they were strangers, but when they left Temple of Om a few hours later, they seemed as if they were inseparable. A few days later, when they decided that they wanted to make their dreams of being in marble sports a reality, they named themselves “Team Momo” after the dumplings they had ordered the night they became friends.
Mo, Momo, Momomo, and Momomomo accumulated great interest in their early days not just because of their memorable names, but because of their talent in marble sports and optimistic charisma. Team Momo began training in 2011, and in early 2012, they began competing in the Ramen Bowl, a prestigious marble sports competition held in downtown Om. Within a year, they had risen to the Ramen Bowl’s championship league, and in late 2013, they won their first Golden Noodle. They won a Bronze Noodle at the end of 2014 and earned their second Golden Noodle at the end of 2015. As a result of their repeated successes in the Ramen Bowl, Team Momo was invited to participate in the first season of the Marble League and accepted without hesitation.
The team’s unique names, coupled with a strong showing in Marble League 2016, quickly made Team Momo one of the most popular in the competition. It seemed very hard to dislike a team that was quirky, yet charming at the same time. Team Momo had the honor of earning the first bronze medal in Marble League history in Balancing and went on to earn two more bronze medals in the Long Jump and the High Jump.
All four members of the team celebrated their first gold medal together in the Precision Slalom, which proved the team’s chemistry to be beneficial in competition. The team sat in fourth place leading into the final event, Hurdles, in which Momo reached the final race against the top three teams: Mellow Yellow, the Savage Speeders, and the Thunderbolts. Despite missing the podium, Momo maintained a marblous fourth place overall for the team, automatically qualifying them for Marble League 2017 and securing their place as a team known and loved by fans across the marblebase.
However, where 2016 was perhaps one of the best years Team Momo could have hoped for, Marble League 2017 brought one of the most difficult years that Team Momo could have imagined. The now infamous Fidget Spinner Collision event, which was inspired by the oversaturated trend of fidget spinners that year, completely changed Team Momo and the Marble League as we know it. As Team Momo faced the Midnight Wisps, racing toward the battlefield, all Team Momo and the Midnight Wisps wanted to do was their own personal best, regardless of how many marbles were left on the arena or how much they fought against the fidget spinners. The two teams raced onto the battlefield, collided, spun out into the fidget spinners, and collided again. Momomomo, unable to control themselves from the rapidly rotating blades of the fidget spinner, was knocked into Wispy so hard that a chunk of their glass broke away from them.
The event continued past the injury, but not for Team Momo, which had to withdraw immediately from the event as they cared for Momomomo. In the next event, Greg Woods announced that Momomomo would not be able to compete for the rest of Marble League 2017, and would be substituted with Mimo, the first reserve for a Marble League team. Mimo was one of the best athletes competing in the individual division of the Ramen Bowl, and their recruiting on Team Momo ultimately gave the team the momo-motivation they needed to continue pushing forward.
In the Relay, Mimo’s first event in the Marble League, Team Momo obtained their first silver medal in the Marble League. Momomomo reappeared in the stands to watch Team Momo get another silver in Block Pushing, and came down to the arena with crutches to congratulate their teammates on their bronze medal in the High Jump. Sadly, Team Momo’s mid-Marble League push proved futile to keep Team Momo in the top five, though the team remained in ninth place at Marble League 2017’s end.
The following offseason was, apart from training for 2018 Qualifiers, a time of deep concern and reflection for the team. Thankfully, with healthy donations from across the fanbase, including the Midnight Wisps, Momomomo was able to afford the medical care they needed to recover from their injury, which had seemed fatal at the time it happened. While Momomomo recovered, the team regularly checked on them while training Mimo as an official new member of the team.
Team Momo appeared in Group B of the qualifying events with Momomomo fully recovered, which the fans were overjoyed to hear after a nearly silent off-season from the team. They scored 20 points, just enough to qualify for their appearance in the Marble League 2018.
However, this season proved trying for Team Momo as well. The team faced a series of injuries in the Bobsled when Momomo was replaced with Mimo in the retry after Team Momo got stuck on the bobsled track due to altitude sickness. Momomomo was knocked into a corner while on the bobsled for the second run and was incapacitated for the rest of the ride. Doctors quickly assisted the two team members, concluding that they would be okay, but not fit to compete in the rest of Marble League 2018.
When the rest of Team Momo was notified of this, they quickly reached out to several marble teams, even the Green Gang from the Hubelino Tournament. Ultimately, the team merged with their close friends, Team Primary, for the rest of the season, forming Team Momary. The full team, featuring Mo, Momo, Prim, and Mary, competed in Team Pursuit, getting eighth place, proving that the team was viable and had the potential to grow as the season continued, even as it sat in ninth place in the standings. Team Momary got its first gold medal in the Snow Rally, as Momo narrowly defeated the Savage Speeders in two races. This rallied fans around the team in hope that they would be able to rebound from their difficult start. Although Team Momary got a silver medal in Curling, the team struggled in the remaining events, landing in 12th overall at the end of Marble League 2018 with 99 points.
After Team Momo and Team Primary amicably split up, Team Momo was expecting to have another quiet offseason. On the contrary, the team appeared in both of the 2018 offseason events with other Marble League teams, with Momomo and Momomomo back to compete. During the 100 Meter Water Race, the team placed in the top 10 and reached the semifinals in the Amazing Maze Marble Race, proving that the team had recovered from its injuries. Unfortunately, Team Momo was unable to qualify for Marble League 2019. After a successful first event, the team was unable to keep its momentum going and finished the Qualifiers 11 points away from securing a spot.
The team began their extended offseason by taking a vacation around the world, something they had not been able to do since 2015. They were visiting Prim and Mary in Van Gotterdam when news about the Marble League Showdown broke. The team returned to Om the next day to start training again. Fan opinion of Team Momo was mixed going into the Showdown. Most expected that Team Momo would not win the Showdown, an expectation that the team itself shared. It was the fans that predicted that Team Momo would get injured—yet again—that bothered the team.
With one event to go in the Showdown, Team Momo was in ninth place. The last event, Balancing, was the first Marble League event they had ever participated in, and their experience within the Showdown proved to be fruitful. Team Momo placed fourth with a score of 346, earning nine points and jumping up to sixth place. The Kobalts, their fellow veteran team from 2016, placed fifth with a score of 345, just one unit under. As a result, Team Momo qualified for Marble League 2020 Qualifiers.
Coach Momomomomo revealed to the team over dinner at Temple of Om that they had received an official letter from JMR, which invited the team to compete in the first season of Marbula One. Team Momo accepted without hesitation and agreed for Momo, “Winning Dumpling”, and Mimo, “The First Reserve”, to represent them in the tournament. The team’s poster depicts the two athletes in one of the restaurant’s signature baskets of “racing dumplings”. Team Momo was also selected to host the third Grand Prix of the season at the team’s Momotorway on 29 February and 01 March 2020.
Momo participated in the opening Grand Prix of the season, qualifying in P3–very respectable. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep pace with Clementin and Starry upfront and fell back after the ramp on the first lap. Momo couldn’t catch up at any point during the rest of the race and finished the first Grand Prix in twelfth, not scoring any points. Mimo would race in the next GP: the O’raceway. After qualifying in P11, they hoped to climb positions early, because they knew that this was a more technical course with an off-road element too. Sure enough, Mimo rose to as high as fifth in the first lap, before falling to seventh in the next few turns. The next lap was not as kind though; after hitting the second attenuator in the sand section, numerous marbles passed and Mimo found themselves in the bottom four. Then, they were put into the same situation Momo was in at the Speedway; a back position with little room to make up ground. After finishing the race in a measly eleventh place, Team Momo was one of two teams that had no points yet, much to the dismay of their fans. Placing last in their home circuit, the Momotorway, it seemed that all was lost when Mimo qualified in dead last at the Hivedrive GP. There were no expectations for Team Momo to gain any points once again, but Mimo finished the race in ninth. It wasn’t much, but it was a placement high enough to kick-start their pursuit of points and to reinstate hope. While Team Momo wasn’t in championship contention by the time the Razzway GP came, they had directed their momentum forward; something they valued much more. There, Mimo set a time of 28.72 seconds and had the provisional pole position thanks to an impressive Sector 2 run. With every misstep from another team, Mimo’s second sector looked all the more impressive, and Coach Momomomomo was grinning because of it. Team Momo earned pole position for the first time in Marbula One.
Race day at the Razzway rolled around, and Mimo was more than ready. Looking behind them when positioned in the starting grid, and seeing big-shots in Smoggy, Rapidly and Orangin, Mimo gulped but focused their determination upfront. To the news that the race would be restarted after a red flag, Mimo made their way back to the starting gate, where they would start on pole once again. They gasped as they rolled past Smoggy, hearing a grumble given that their effort to get the lead had been for nothing. Through radio, Coach Momomomomo alerted Mimo not to let this opportunity go to waste; to hold on to their good position. Going into the final lap, Mimo was too eager to take the lead from Smoggy, as they were side-by-side for an instant on the straightaway between Turns 5 and 6. Smoggy was aggressive in the turn afterward, laying down the block to ensure that Mimo wouldn’t get by. Orangin took advantage of their loss of momentum, and Mimo could not catch up. It would end up being a bronze medal for Team Momo across the line.
With 39 points overall, Team Momo finished in eleventh overall, a satisfying improvement from being in last four races earlier…but still with much to be desired. After the crew from Marbula One headed back to the villages around Om, they were met with raucous cheers from the crowd. Marbles all around the city were delighted to see the team once again, notably Mimo after their breakout performance at the Razzway. Coach Momomomomo, however, was unsatisfied. The following week, Mimo found a letter addressed to them that appeared different from the regular fan mail they received and was surprised to see that it was from Dragon’s Egg, a marble now participating in the Marble Rally. Mimo and Dragon’s Egg had known each other before Mimo’s debut in the Marble League, of course, in the Individual Division of the Ramen Bowl. They eagerly opened up the letter, which asked if the team could help oversee the 2020 Ramen Bowl, to which Momomomomo responded that those not participating in Marbula One could be free to oversee the Ramen Bowl. The rest of the team was happy to do so as well, once they received the news.
A few months later, the team entered the Andromedome to present, yet muted fanfare. Fans were happy to see that Team Momo had a chance to qualify, but they weren’t expecting very much from an organization that hadn’t medaled in the Showdown and had a subpar showing in Marbula One. Following an abysmal performance in Balancing, where Team Momo placed nineteenth with a score of 240, Mo spun around the funnels with confidence, placing first with a time of 2:34.51. Despite winning a qualifying event, they sat in the relegation zone with one event to go: the 5 Meter Sprint. Momomo faced off against Red Eye, Wasp, and Indie of the Crazy Cat’s Eyes, Hornets, and Indigo Stars respectively. The rest of the team could only watch and hope it would be enough. With Momomo falling back and finishing last in the heat, the Momo fan section was in silence. Momomo’s run clocked in at the eleventh-best time, which gave the team 35 qualifying points. Due to their funnel gold, Team Momo had qualified, in a historic, four-way tiebreaker.
With a quick turnaround to the main tournament, Team Momo appeared in the opening ceremony, gleaming as if they hadn’t ever left. The fans were thrilled to finally see the full team, as this was the first time all five members were competing together in an official Marble League.
The team earned a silver medal in Block Pushing 2017 by keeping Mo and Momo close to the front and Momomo and Mimo behind in a slightly more separated formation, replicating that strategy for Block Pushing 2020. Although Greg Woods described the team’s form as “disjointed”, it was clear that Mimo’s “momomentum” was enough to give Team Momo a final push, which put them five-hundredths above the O’rangers to win silver once again.
Momo lined up at the starting gate for the Triathlon with renewed excitement and came through their heat in first by over two seconds. They went on to advance through the semifinal in an extremely tight photo finish over Pulsar of Team Galactic. The final would go on to be one of the most exhilarating mo-moments in Momo’s entire career. Despite a rough transition onto the Marbula section, they held third going into the water, and a great lunge forward had them in the lead briefly. Foggy caught up to everyone in what was one of the most legendary comebacks in Marble League history, but Momo would hold on for the silver. They finished just behind Foggy and just ahead of Orangin in the final to earn a second silver for their team.
At the end of the first half of the 2020 Marble League, Team Momo was back where they started – sixth place. They would earn two more sixth-place finishes in the Sand Mogul Race, featuring a strong racing performance by Mo, and the Relay, where they barely lost a photo-finish to the Savage Speeders. But besides a fourth-place finish in Team Aquathlon, the rest of Team Momo’s season didn’t see them place above seventh in any event. They finished eighth overall at the end of the season, earning 135 points and two medals to end their first Marble League in the top half since 2016.
The team returned to Om on a scenic train route, which took them south through Herbotamia and the Himarblelayas. As they passed through Himarbleaya, the team decided to stay briefly and go on a retreat to the village of Momili to hike, ski, and drink hot chocolate.
After returning to Om, the team reconnected with Temple of Om and their manager, Memo, who was Mimo’s oldest sibling. They asked Memo if they were interested in managing the team, a proposition that Memo could not refuse. The next day, Memo joined Team Momo for the first time at the Momotorway to discuss plans for the franchise. Many developments from that meeting helped broaden Team Momo’s influence around the world: it was here that the Momo’s Dumplings brand was developed in collaboration with Temple of Om. The team also began discussing future athletic opportunities, including captaincy changes and the possibility of adopting a minor league. To remain fully transparent with their fans, the team live-streamed their meetings online at Mooz conferences.
Soon after, a familiar JMR-signed letter was sent to the team, to which they eagerly opened together, anticipating an invitation to come back for Season 2 of Marbula One. Sure enough, they were given the opportunity, and upon discussing race performance in Season 1 and event results in the Marble League, the team unanimously agreed that Momo and Mimo should remain as Marbula racers. This also meant that Mo, Momomo, and Momomomo would be heading to downtown Om for the 2020 Ramen Bowl, as they were delighted to reunite with some of their old competitors. Later in the week, the team was ready to part ways for the moment. Mo, Momo, and Momomomo were staying in a hotel in the heart of the city, while Momo, Mimo, Coach, and Memo would get ready to depart to Herbotamia for the inaugural Marbula One race.
Momo would once again be the team’s opening racer, hoping that this time, they would qualify well and keep it. The course had a feature that was new to Season 2: a banked curve, which made up a significant portion of the third sector. Momo studied the curve intricately, trying to figure out what the best way to traverse through it would be.
In qualifying, Momo set a time in the latter half of the field, and despite their attempts to master the banked turn, they had a sharp angle coming out of it, which lost them a bit of time. Their time was only good enough for 11th, which made the field but wasn’t good enough for the two-lap shootout in Q2. The lights were on, and off they went, and Momo would pull off an incredible move: gaining seven spots from the first turn alone. They were now positioned behind Yellow Eye, Smoggy, and Speedy as they descended in the second sector of the first lap. The plan had worked beautifully, and Momo stayed in second for nearly the entirety of the remainder of the race. Momo set a couple of fast laps when trying to catch up to Yellow Eye, and picked up the fastest lap point in the process. The Coach was incredibly proud, congratulating Momo heartily after the podium celebration.
The next week rolled around, and indeed, Mimo would be racing at Orlango, returning to a slightly modified O’raceway course. Mimo had watched the footage of Minty Mania several times, watching their teammate’s brilliant overtakes in the opening turn, as well as Yellow Eye’s masterful maintaining of the lead. They planned on encompassing both elements in the upcoming race. Mimo had a sub-par qualifying run, though, as their time of 24.717 seconds was only good enough for P14. The silver lining was that, once again, they had the inside line, but how effective would that be if Mimo was at the back? It turned out that it would be paramount to Mimo’s first move in the race. Mimo took the lead early on, which was a massive 4.29 seconds with three laps to go, and while it looked like it was an easy gold medal for the First Reserve, Mimo caught a glimpse of Red Eye behind them. The Crimson Cat was approaching, trying to make up some ground, and they did an exceptional job of it on Lap 17. The lead had shrunk to less than a second after just one lap. Mimo, though, was undeterred; channeling their energy forward and making no mistakes, and they crossed the line to win the O’raceway Grand Prix. The fan section was in jubilation, chanting: “Mi-MO! Mi-MO! Mi-MO!” louder than any other team.
Indeed, Mimo was right. Team Momo and the Crazy Cat’s Eyes had both won a gold and silver medal in the first two races, but the fastest lap point that Momo won at Minty Mania put them in first overall. It was the first time that Team Momo, competing with Marble League teams, had reached the top of the standings. In the Honeydome GP, Momo would go on to make the large gain they envisioned, but it wasn’t smooth sailing for the podium: Momo finished in fifth. Yellow Eye, meanwhile, got the bronze and the fastest lap. The Crazy Cat’s Eyes made the podium for the third time, overtaking Team Momo in the championship. For the rest of the first half (and the season) Team Momo would not earn a podium, and was in third overall with six GPs to go.
Out of the blue, Memo notified Coach Momomomomo and the team members that they were invited to a five-event Marble League Winter Special, hosted by the Minty Maniacs. The remaining members of Team Momo had joined the Marbula crew as they had finished up at the 2020 Ramen Bowl, and they were eager to participate. Momo, however, openly expressed their interest to participate in an event, saying that they needed to remain competitively active during the break. Momomo wasn’t confident with being the first representative either, so it was decided that Momo would replace Momomo in the Ice Dash. Taking a medical check before the final, Momo was a little shaken up, and could only get bronze as the Crazy Cat’s Eyes won gold in the first event again. Momo, though, was thrilled to be back on the podium, with the team continuing to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
In the next couple of events, the team captain set a time in Speed Skating good enough for fifth place. Going into the final event, Team Momo had an outside shot at the title from sixth, alas, this did not happen, as they were no match for Team Galactic in the Round of 16. Placing fourteenth in the event, Team Momo fell to ninth overall, in a similar fashion to Marble League 2017.
The entire team was ready to head to Lewara together, which had a very different, more tropical climate to that of the Himarbleayas. Momo was set to race at the Raceforest GP, hosted by the Jungle Jumpers. They were antsy in the starting blocks after the Winter Special, especially since this would be the first time they were competing with the individual championship leader, Red Eye. Whether the Crazy Cat’s Eyes would slow down in the second half was not in Momo’s control, but whether Team Momo would bridge that gap was. Ultimately, the team failed to achieve a grid position for the first time all season, and now as already behind the Green Ducks as well, they were only going to lose more ground on the championship lead.
The eighth race on the calendar was to be held back at home for Team Momo, as the Momotorway Grand Prix would return for the second season of Marbula One. The track, while being an all too familiar one to the team, was also one where Momo had placed sixteenth on in Season 1. Mimo needed to turn things around completely. Surely, their attempt to fulfill their championship aspirations couldn’t get any worse here, right? Or so, Mimo thought. They did have some of their first-half magic in them, as Mimo climbed several spots throughout the race, but it was only good enough for seventh. Team Momo was now the lowest team, in fourth, that was still in championship contention, but given that it was near impossible to usurp the Cat’s Eyes, their eyes lay on second place for now.
Heading into the Misty Mountain GP, the track was quite literally clouded in mist, bearing an aura of mystery and foreboding, similar to an aura that the Hazers carried themselves. Mimo, though, took well to the course in qualifiers – making it to Q2 and just missing out on Q3 by qualifying in P5. The race, however, was an entirely different story. Mimo climbed all the way to first, in a close battle with Cerulean and Bumble. They heard that Clutter had been stuck in the safety marble lane, but Mimo, while concerned, made sure to focus on the race. On Lap 9, Bumble had gotten stuck on Turn 6, but they were still in race conditions as Cerulean and Mimo stretched their margin to third incredibly. Four laps later, a red flag was called, and the four-second margin evaporated with a race restart. Mimo got swarmed up by the field in the first lap of the restart, falling to eleventh at one point. They tried their hardest to make up for time lost, and gained a few spots, but finished in eighth at the end of it.
In the penultimate GP, at the Savage Speedway, Momo qualified in P13 and made up no spots during the race. However, the attention was all on Red Eye, winning the race from pole and setting the fastest lap for the first-ever 27-point haul in a race, in nearly seven minutes of pure racing domination. Both the individual and team titles were now unassailable, but Coach Momomomomo wished for the team to close out on a high. Despite being in last after the first lap, Mimo made overtakes in nearly every lap to get closer to the front. Dueling with Cerulean, Razzy and Rapidly, Mimo finished the final race in fourth, the team’s best performance since their win at the O’raceway. It was enough to put Team Momo back in the top five overall, and both racers in the top twelve individually.
Team Momo remained yet to have a tournament where they didn’t win all of their medals in three consecutive events following 2016. With the Marble League 2021 Qualifiers coming up, they hoped to achieve this in the tournament but had to train hard to ensure qualification. In the meantime, they enjoyed the rest of their offseason cooking and eating dumplings, as well as watching the Marble Rally and cheering on Dragon’s Egg. Manager Memo received a memo about a Practice Race taking place in the Cat’s Dunes near Felynia Coliseum, where Marble League 2021 would be held. Momomomo was the team’s most proficient rally marble, and appropriately, was chosen to represent Team Momo in the race. They finished in third to earn a bronze medal behind Indie and Rojo Uno from the Indigo Stars and Rojo Rollers – a very fine performance considering all 28 teams had taken part. Their performance in Group A felt more uncertain – despite earning a silver in the Relay and placing sixth twice, Team Momo’s Sand Rally results left them on the cusp of qualifying. They entered their fifth Marble League with little momentum – and much room to define the moment.
Fourth-place in Balancing, their best result in the event since 2016, and silver by Momomo in the 5 Meter Sprint, led Team Momo to take the top of the standings in a move few saw coming. No one was prepared for what followed: fifth in the Funnel Endurance, silver in the Relay, bronze in Jousting, and, finally, gold by Momomomo in Hurdles left Team Momo in first overall with 108 points after seven events. Celebrating their repeated successes in a private event in the skyboxes of Felynia Coliseum, Team Momo had set a record for earning the most points in the first seven events and won their first event since the 2018 Snow Rally, ending a gold medal drought of three years. Team Momo was atop the Marble League standings for the first time in their career with a commanding (albeit not invincible) lead of 27 points, one that could not be broken before the second half of Marble League 2021.
After holding that lead for eight consecutive events, Team Momo’s mediocre performances within the second half caught up to them, and they lost the overall lead for the rest of the season. Consecutive last-place finishes in the Elimination Race and Sand Rally allowed ten other teams a chance to contend for the overall championship. With much encouragement from their fellow team members, Mimo competed in the Marblocross in the hopes of delivering Team Momo a comeback. With provisional chances to finish second or third overall fluctuating throughout the race, Mimo was ultimately unable to seal the deal, finishing tenth in the race. Team Momo finished sixth overall with 149 points and 3 medals, their best results in the Marble League since debuting in 2016.
During the offseason, Team Momo would spend much time at their retreat in Momili, where it was rumored the team was training without interruption. Manager Memo, who remained in Om, funneled incoming resources and sponsorships from the 2021 season into the Ramen Bowl, ensuring the tournament would continue for years to come. Receiving the team’s Marbula One Season 3 invitation, Memo called the team back to Om to accept the invitation and choose their roster. The team unanimously chose Momo and Mimo to represent them once again in the coming Grands Prix.
Special thanks to Project Marblearth contributors Ramen Powder and Stynth for helping craft the lore of Team Momo.