MINTY MANIACS (MNT)
Minty Flav (Captain)
Minty Hint (Coach)
Pepper Field (Chlorotopia; ML)
Wintergreen Stadium (Himarblelayas; ML)
Minty Mania (Chlorotopia; ML)
Hubelino Tournament 2016; Marble League 2018; Hubelino Tournament 2018 (Runner-up); Marble League 2020 (3rd Place); Marbula One Season 2; Marble League Winter Special; Marble League 2021; Marbula One Season 3
As their logo suggests, the Minty Maniacs are candy fanatics—with an emphasis on mint, of course. The team met from across the lands of Herbotamia, a region in southwest Asia known for growing herbs and spices. Herbotamia itself has gained the reputation of being the “freshest” place in the world, according to one of the world’s most acclaimed travel guides, Atlas Marbura. Minty Flav, Minty Drizzel, Minty Fresh, Minty Swirl, and Minty Mint competed together in local “turf tournaments”, which featured a variety of events utilizing the surrounding locale: for example, doing a Catwalk event along a wooden beam, or doing a Quartet Jump from a downhill slope into a lake. It wasn’t long before these tournaments started becoming popular throughout Western Asia as a fun outdoor activity and a potential professional sports league.
These tournaments reverberated through the region as friendly rounds conducted without an audience, due to the hot, dry climate of summertime, when the lands weren’t being planted or harvested. The Minty Maniacs spearheaded the first tournament, which was a trio between the Black Jacks and Golden Wisps. The next season, more teams from around the region competed in what became known as the Herbotamia Tournament.
The Herbotamia Tournament was in its second established year when professional marble sports became popular worldwide, punctuated by sand racing, hurdle jumping, and contact sports like lucha marbre. The athletes of the tournament had been contacted to be in the sports featurette that would go viral, but they turned down the request.
As tournaments like the Knikkegen Marble League ballooned in popularity, tournaments like the Fruit Circuit and Herbotamia Tournament stagnated. The cost of maintaining a tournament without sponsorship began to loom over the Herbotamia athletes like a shadow, even for something so casual—and the announcement of Marble League 2016 did not help. The Minty Maniacs were preparing to retire from marble sports and go into the food industry, making homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream, when they were approached by Jelle Bakker. Although Jelle was focused on running the Marble League, they missed running a regional tournament and offered the Maniacs a sponsorship for their tournament to continue in 2016. After contacting the other teams, the Maniacs accepted, and the tournament—now rebranded as the Hubelino Tournament—was slated to begin in Herbotamia shortly after Marble League 2016.
Hubelino Tournament 2016 differed from the original tournament in that it was recorded for the Internet (a first for a regional tournament) in the hope that it would be appreciated by a wider audience, and that it featured artificial courses using Hubelino tracks, bricks, and other special parts. The tournament was conducted without a live audience to preserve the original “friendly round” atmosphere of the competition and featured eight teams competing for eternal glory.
The Minty Maniacs immediately made a strong impression, podiuming thrice with two silvers and one bronze to their name, and rising to second in the overall standings That said, the Minty Maniacs peaked early in the season, and they did not podium in the remaining events. Still, by the end of the year, they placed in a respectable fourth place overall, squarely in the middle of all the Hubelino Tournament teams.
The eight teams got close during the tournament and made plans to attend the 2017 Marble League together. They were pleasantly surprised to receive invitations from Jelle to sit to the right of the torch alongside the four unqualified teams. In addition to this invitation, the eight teams also learned that Season 1 of the Hubelino Tournament would continue for four more events. They finished seventh overall after placing in the bottom four, but they were not discouraged. They were laser-focused on training for the Marble League 2018, and they were not alone.
Jelle offered all eight Hubelino teams the chance to compete in the Marble League 2018 Qualifiers. The Minty Maniacs, along with the Black Jacks, Golden Orbs, and Raspberry Racers (formed of members from the Bluefastics and Valiant Violets) accepted Jelle’s offer and entered the Draw in December 2017. The Minty Maniacs were placed in Group A, and they with the Racers were the only Hubelino-based teams to qualify.
Even with the addition of their reserve, Minty Mint, they were not in mint condition until Ice Hockey, which was similar to Ball Battle. The Minty Maniacs shocked everyone, then, when they made it to the finals of Ice Hockey and fell to the Midnight Wisps, earning their first Marble League medal despite falling out of contention for the championship. With this, the team rose to thirteenth place overall and remained there to finish Marble League 2018.
Nevertheless, the Minty Maniacs were well aware that the Hubelino Tournament had not set them up to do well in the Marble League, but experience in the Marble League did help them do well in Hubelino Tournament 2018. The Minty Maniacs only placed off of the podium three times, demonstrating consistency that they had never shown in their career before. If they were in mint condition during the beginning of the 2016 season, they were on fire in 2018.
The Minty Maniacs were challenged by the Bumblebees, a rookie team from the Bug Circuit that did not have the Marble League experience, but the energy and the drive to excel. The Minty Maniacs earned two golds, one silver, and one bronze before the final event, the Big Tower, and had the lead in the standings—but did not advance to the final. The Bumblebees did, and they won their fourth gold medal and the 2018 Hubelino Tournament in an underdog upset.
While fans were calling for the Minty Maniacs to return to the Marble League for 2019, the team was looking forward to the third season of the Hubelino Tournament. Unfortunately, that opportunity would not come, as the Hubelino Tournament was officially discontinued. The team disbanded shortly after the 2018 Hubelino Tournament, returning to Herbotamia. During this time, they got in contact with the Chocolatiers, who had qualified for the 2019 Marble League, and they collaborated on a special Marble League-branded mint chocolate ice cream flavor named “Mint Chocolate Condition”. The proceeds went to support regional marble sports tournaments around the world.
Upon the announcement of the 2019 Marble League Showdown, the Minty Maniacs reunited to decide whether or not to come out of retirement to accept their spot, which was granted to them due to their second-place finish in the 2018 Hubelino Tournament. The team, with the encouragement of the Black Jacks and Golden Orbs, decided to reform and compete to either advance to the 2020 Marble League Qualifiers or remain in the Showdown.
The Minty Maniacs were the only team that competed in the Showdown that had competed in the Marble League before and had never failed to qualify, and the only team to come out of retirement. Regardless, the team faced intense competition from Marble League veterans. Within the Showdown, they became the first team to earn a medal in the Marble League, the Marble League Showdown, and the Hubelino Tournament and advanced to the Marble League 2020 Qualifiers just above the Shining Swarm: winning a tiebreaker in the overall standings thanks to their Funnel Endurance silver. This tiebreak made all the difference for the team, as they were approaching their best season yet, one that came out of nowhere.
Qualifying for Marble League 2020 in third, the Minty Maniacs began the season by earning three consecutive medals—a gold, then bronze, then gold—leading the standings after the third event. A slight downturn during the middle of the season allowed the O’rangers to take the lead. But after another surge in performances, with a bronze followed by Minty Fresh’s 5 Meter Sprint gold, the team was back in the overall lead.
Two basement performances in events where the Savage Speeders earned consecutive golds knocked the Minty Maniacs out of the bottom two, and despite earning their third bronze in Collision, the team could not win Marble League 2020 heading into the Marathon. Yet, that had never been their goal: their goal had always been to do the best that they possibly could in each event so that the funds could be donated on their behalf. Having earned three golds already, the team sent Minty Fresh in for the final race to seal the deal; they came from the back of the race order to win their fourth gold, lifting their team into third overall to conclude Marble League 2020 on an overall podium.
The Maniacs’ hosting dreams came true later that year. After holding a private Herbotamia Tournament Reunion on their Pepper Field in Chlorotopia, they were approached by JMR Staff shortly before the Minty Mania GP and asked to attend the Marble League Winter Special as the ceremonial hosts of the tournament at Wintergreen Stadium in the Himarblelayas. The Maniacs accepted without hesitation, feeling confident that after their work on the Grand Prix that they would be able to handle the duties.
The team had also accepted their Marbula One Season 2 invite without hesitation, sending both Minty Drizzel, “Rainmaker”, and Minty Fresh, “Long Lasting”, to compete in the tournament. The Maniacs stayed in Chlorotopia for the first Grand Prix, where they failed to qualify. Minty Drizzel scored for the first time at the Tumult Turnpike, but the team was 19th overall heading into the Winter Special. There, they also got off to a poor start, leading many fans to question their hosting abilities. They finally started to turn things around after earning a bronze medal in Speed Skating and a silver in the Bobsled, finishing the tournament in sixth overall with 55 points.
Following the Winter Special, Minty Fresh qualified for their first GP at the Raceforest and earned points. They would carry the duo throughout the rest of the second half, finishing fifth in the rest of their appearances. The team ended their debut Marbula One season in 18th overall with 42 points. After finishing 15th in the 2021 Practice Race, Minty Drizzel decided to cede their sport in Marbula One to Minty Flav, should the Maniacs be invited to Season 3.
The Minty Maniacs’ experience with friendly rounds from the Hubelino Tournament did not prepare them for the competition they faced in the Marble League 2021 Friendly Round, where they placed fourth out of the four teams even after winning the Sand Rally. The main tournament was similarly unfriendly to the team: their most consistent placement being ninth, the Minty Maniacs scored double-digits in only a quarter of the 16 events of Marble League 2021. Having dipped in and out of last-place overall, they were solidly in fifteenth as Marblocross approached, but the Rojo Rollers in last were finally gaining momentum.
Training with Speedy the night before, Minty Fresh was sent in as the closer for the Minty Maniacs to make the team’s last chance at winning a medal count. On the penultimate lap, the “Long Lasting” racer overtook Yellup for the lead, carrying it to the chequered flag and winning the race. It was the first time in JMR history that an athlete won the final event of a tournament in two consecutive seasons, the first time since Marble League 2016 that all sixteen teams had medaled in a season, and, for the Minty Maniacs, exactly what they needed to end a downturn in their performance that had lasted nearly a year. The team finished 14th overall with 114 points and Minty Fresh’s third career gold in tow.
After receiving their invitation to Season 3 of Marbula One, Coach Minty Hint respected Minty Drizzel’s wishes, pairing Minty Flav, “Fast & Flavorous” with Minty Fresh to compete in the coming races.
Special thanks to Project Marblearth contributors Nordique Whaler and Stynth for helping craft the lore of the Minty Maniacs.