TEAM GALACTIC (GAL)
Black Hole (Coach)
Andromedome (Polaria; ML)
Stardust Accelerator (Polaria; M1)
Marble League 2016; Marble League 2017 (5th Place); Marble League 2018; Marble League 2019; Marbula One Season 1 (5th Place); Marble League 2020 (Host); Marbula One Season 2; Marble League Winter Special; Marbula One Season 3 (5th Place)
The origins of the team lie in Galakonur, a city renowned for scientific advancement, particularly in the field of astronomy. Cosmo, Astron, Starry, and Pulsar (the four original team members) met while working together at the appropriately named Galactic National Space Center, located in the heart of the city. The four worked as co-workers for about a year and a half and became great friends who bonded over their love for sports in their youth, and their successes competing in high school and college.
In 2014, the city announced that it would be holding an athletics competition, the Stardust Classic, in which teams of four marbles would compete against each other in various disciplines. Cosmo and Astron immediately applied and invited Starry and Pulsar to complete their quartet of athletes. The four were accepted into the competition, and on 04 October 2014, the four marbles dominated the fray to everyone’s surprise—and perhaps even their own—winning nearly half of all the events and performing well in almost all the others.
Word of their success quickly spread across the region, with the quartet receiving news coverage and praise beyond the city of Galakonur itself. The emergence of not one, but four marble athletes in a region that severely lacked athletic importance resembled the creation of the universe, in that it seemingly came out of nowhere, but was always there, just waiting, patiently, to show itself. This excitement underscored the announcement of a worldwide marble sports tournament a little while later, none other than the Marble League. The success of the quartet drove the region to almost unanimously nominate Cosmo, Starry, Astron, and Pulsar to compete in the tournament. The team applied to the Marble League under the name “Team Galaxy” and was accepted.
However, for some unknown reason, the large, internationally known Galaxy™ corporation saw this name as a threat to their business and claimed that legal actions would be taken unless the team changed its name. The team ultimately complied with this demand and, just days before the opening ceremony, made a slight change to their name, adopting their new identity, “Team Galactic”. Rumors about a promotional event between the team and a Non-Descript Video Game Company were spread through the marble world, but both parties expressed that no such event was planned to take place.
As one of the original 16 teams, Team Galactic competed in the first-ever Marble League in 2016. The team showed some potential during the first few events, placing in the middle of the pack. Team Galactic scored their first medal in the fourth event, with Starry getting bronze in the Sand Rally. This put the team at a respectable seventh place overall. Team Galactic continued to place in the top ten throughout most of the following events, but due to the 2016 scoring system heavily favoring podium finishes, the team finished 11th overall after Marble League 2016, tied with the Oceanics in points but behind the team in the medal count. Team Galactic was disappointed but ready to do better in Marble League 2017.
Team Galactic blasted off in the Qualifiers, ranking sixth for qualification overall. The sky no longer seemed to be the limit for what Team Galactic could achieve, and the team was ecstatic to participate in their second Marble League. Starting the season at the bottom, Starry earned the team’s first gold medal in Hurdles, subbing in for Cosmo. Team Galactic was now in 11th overall.
Although the team sat in eleventh place heading into the final event, Starry’s Sand Rally gold raised the team to fifth place overall for the conclusion of Marble League 2017. In a show of love for their team, Starry invited their teammates onto the top step of the podium with them to celebrate the gold medal, cementing their status as one of the most successful marble athletes in history.
Team Galactic was flying high into Marble League 2018, as placing in the top five made many fans gravitate towards the team. After showing signs of promise in the previous year, Team Galactic rocketed through the Marble League 2018 Qualifiers and qualified before the final event by finishing in the top three in the first three events: Curling, Snow Rally, and 5 Meter Ice Dash. Many expected to see Galactic as a championship contender for the year. However, things didn’t go as the team had hoped.
Instead of continuing off their success in the Qualifiers, the team faltered badly and spent most of the 2018 Marble League season in the bottom half of the standings. Their only medal would end up being silver in the Bobsled, despite a penalty point. In the penultimate event, Ice Hockey, Pulsar’s younger sibling, Quasar, played goalie, making their Marble League debut as the team reserve. Upon reaching the semifinal, Galactic only needed to win one of their next two matches to secure a medal. Instead, the team dropped both the semifinal game and the third-place game, leaving them with yet another near-miss in fourth place.
Once again, Team Galactic entered the final event in 11th place. Instead of getting a gold in the finale to salvage their season, Cosmo got caught up in the moguls and ended up going out in the first round, completing a disappointing season for the team. They would end up finishing 11th overall, the same result as 2016. Needless to say, the team and fans alike were extremely disappointed in the outcome. As the captain of the team, Cosmo was hit especially hard, feeling that all of the team’s fans had probably lost most, if not all their faith in them. There were discussions of Team Galactic being dissolved over the offseason, but ultimately the team announced that they would return for the 2019 games.
The offseason demonstrated promise for Team Galactic with a fourth-place finish in the 100 Meter Water Race. The Marble League 2019 Qualifiers brought Team Galactic a second-place victory overall, helped by their first-place finish in the Underwater Race when the team tied with the Hazers. Galactic earned the distinction of “Preseason Champions” after this, referring to their unparalleled consistency in the previous three Qualifiers
Nevertheless, fans of the team had learned not to become too optimistic about the team’s potential during the main tournament. Team Galactic’s fourth appearance, in the 2019 Marble League, began with finishes in the middle, missing many opportunities to break through for a medal. Redemption finally came for the team in the form of Block Pushing, where Galactic was finally able to medal in an event that they had reached the finals in during Marble League 2017. Team Galactic now had their second silver medal.
At the halfway point, Team Galactic stood in third place overall, by far their highest placement in Marble League history. However, things took a turn for the worse. Starry suffered a minor injury from the collision in Block Pushing, which rendered them unable to compete in the Hurdles race, an event they won two years ago. Quasar instead competed in the event, beginning a slew of subpar results for Team Galactic in several of the last Marble League events, except for Rafting.
For the third year in a row, the team entered the final event sitting in 11th place. The final event was another event that Starry had previously won, the Sand Rally, but they wouldn’t compete in this one either, as their hard crash in the Dirt Race had exhausted their energy. Although Coach Black Hole had made admittedly questionable decisions about substituting marbles in events such as the Underwater Race and Hurdles, their decision to put Cosmo in the event turned out to be a great decision, for Cosmo had been running sand races with Starry for about a year.
With a great burst of speed reminiscent of Starry’s gold medal burst two years prior, Cosmo—true to their status as the “jack of all trades” on the team—managed to pass several marbles in the final stretch and finish the race in second, only behind Tumult from the Balls of Chaos. This silver caused Galactic to jump three spots in the final standings, finishing the year in eighth place. After the closing ceremony concluded, the team celebrated Cosmo winning their first medal along with everything else they accomplished over the season.
As it turned out, Team Galactic would not need to defend their mantle as “Preseason Champions”. Coach Black Hole submitted a hosting bid for the team shortly after Marble League 2019, unbeknownst to the team’s members, and Team Galactic was announced as the host for Marble League 2020 at the end of the Marble League Showdown on 13 September 2019.
The team thought it was a joke at first, but was ecstatic to hear confirmation from their coach that it was true. Astron did not even know of the teaser image that was posted months before the official announcement, as they were on a special mission commissioned by the Galactic National Space Center to visit the International Space Marble orbiting around Marblearth. Astron returned to Marblearth three days later, celebrating their second space adventure along with the hosting announcement with their teammates. They, notably, were the first marble athlete to ever visit outer space.
A few months later, Black Hole received an official letter from the JMRC, inviting the team to compete in the first season of Marbula One. Team Galactic accepted and submitted Starry, “Ursa Superior” and Pulsar, “Cosmic Ray” to compete in the tournament. The team’s reveal poster was designed in cooperation with the Galakonur National Space Center to be as scientifically accurate as possible, depicting the marbles blasting off into the unknown, and was released on 03 November 2019.
Starry debuted in Marbula One at the Savage Speedway GP Qualifiers on 15 February 2020, where they qualified in second with a time of 28.37 seconds. They were in the lead for more than half of the race, only falling behind from the second lap to the fifth lap—but it did not matter. Starry won the first gold medal in Marbula One history.
Pulsar began their Marbula One career less triumphantly at the O’raceway GP on 22 February 2020, qualifying and finishing the race in twelfth. Team Galactic fell to fourth overall in the team standings, where they remained for the next race as Starry qualified in fifth and finished in seventh at the Momotorway GP. The fourth Grand Prix at the Hivedrive fared much better for Pulsar, who won the race after qualifying ninth. The “Cosmic Ray” had raced like the speed of light, and it paid off.
Although Starry did not qualify well for Greenstone, they finished the race in eighth, adding four points to their team’s total to trail the Hazers by just one point. The team became one of four teams able to win Marbula One heading into the final Grand Prix at the Midnight Bay Circuit, but Starry did not qualify well and they finished in fifteenth. Team Galactic finished the first season of Marbula One in fifth place overall, with strong performances in the first half of the season proving the potential of the team.
As the hosts of Marble League 2020, Team Galactic prequalified and competed in the Friendly Round. Finishing in each position once, they ended up in second place. They lit the torch in the Andromedome on 21 June 2020, beginning the tournament with high hopes.
It seemed as if Team Galactic was experiencing the alleged host’s curse at the start of the season when they placed fifteenth in Balancing, but as it turned out from their Halfpipe performance, they would encounter a unique type of curse: fifth place. While fans were ecstatic to see the team rebound after a poor start, they would begin to grow weary of Team Galactic’s tendency to place fifth after the third time. Of course, they would eventually place fifth three more times.
Besides their fifth-place result in the Halfpipe, Team Galactic had yet to score well in the top half…until the Newton’s Cradle event. Starry and Pulsar, a breakout duo from their successes in Marbula One, put on another dazzling performance, and while it was not a gold medal, it was something that their team needed desperately. As Starry coasted down the track, they built up energy and rammed into the cradle, ricocheting straight back as Pulsar skipped across the track. The duo was the first to exceed 100 centimeters, and with a score of 106.55, became the team to beat as the event rolled on.
As Team Galactic continued to place in the upper middle of the standings, it was clear that they would break the “host’s curse” that seemed to plague the Oceanics, but they weren’t medaling, either. Following a seventh-place finish from Cosmo in the Long Jump, Team Galactic went on a streak of their now infamous fifth-place finishes, placing in fifth in three consecutive events. Pulsar was especially stung by this, missing out on moving to the Triathlon finals by one-hundredth of a second. With another chain of back-to-back fifth-place finishes in the Black Hole Funnel and the Relay Race, Team Galactic was sitting in the middle of the pack again entering the final four events. Quasar, the reserve, managed to get a very respectable fourth-place finish in the High Jump, besting most of the field.
Following that, Team Galactic would lose in another close finish in the Aquathlon to Team Momo, a team that, according to Astron, was “really starting to pull the best out of us; edging us on like true rivals.” The team was eliminated from championship contention following the Aquathlon. After being knocked out in the heats in Collision, the team turned their eyes to Starry for the final event; the Marathon. Despite qualifying poorly, and falling to last place early on, Starry managed to claw back places lap after lap, and by the time the final lap came around, Starry had climbed up to fourth place. Team Galactic would finish the league in seventh, tying the Hazers in points, but losing out to them in terms of medal count.
Heading into the offseason, the team returned to Galakonur. The overwhelming support from their fans, as well as the city’s inhabitants, really motivated the team. During a Q&A session, Cosmo announced that the team would be hosting a reunion with the Stardust Classic teams. With the renovations that had been done to the Andromedome before the league, the stadium was in perfect condition to host a Stardust Classic reunion. Some of the prominent teams included the Asteroids, Solar Flares, Purple Rockets, Stargazers, and Supernovas, who all accepted graciously, whereas some teams, like the Tubular Terrestrials, were busy in other leagues. The tournament was held in the Andromedome shortly after the conclusion of the Marble League.
Team Galactic opened the reunion with a fourth-place finish in Block Pushing, with the gold medal going to the Stargazers, a team hailing from SuperJackJack’s Marble Games, a youth competition near Bermenghank. Astron and Pulsar were selected to run for the team in the Black Hole Funnel, of which they placed third and earned their first medal in the tournament. The gold medal would go to Orbit and Sulfur from the Purple Rockets, a team hailing from the nearby Sheetersburg, and that competed in The Emperor’s Marble Sports Games. Team Galactic would turn on the afterburners in the next event though, as Cosmo won gold in the Sand Rally. Starry followed this up with a masterful ten-second victory at the Starlit Speedway Grand Prix, and Team Galactic would end up winning the Stardust Classic Reunion.
A few months after the reunion, Team Galactic received an invitation for Marbula One Season 2. Coach Black Hole wasted no time in selecting the dynamic duo from Season 1, Starry and Pulsar, to compete in the second season. Sadly, Team Galactic did not get off to the start they envisioned in Season 2. Following Minty Mania and the O’raceway, they were one of four scoreless teams. After another poor qualifying at the Honeydome, Starry was visibly upset before the race and had to be calmed down by the Honeydome referees. Black Hole pulled Starry aside for a pep talk. The results were visible. Starry rose into the top half early on and slowly chipped away at the lead, ultimately finishing in second, propelling the team to eighth in the standings.
Pulsar managed to qualify well again at the Aquamaring, and early in the race held the lead. They could not hold onto it, however, and fell to seventh. After another poor qualifying at Tumult Turnpike, Starry managed to claw up into the contenders for the lead once again. With one turn to go, it appeared that Starry would finish the race in fourth. But, as is tradition with the team, with an excellent divebomb to the inside, Mallard stole fourth, with Starry placing fifth plus the fastest lap, in the fifth race of the season, propelling Starry to fifth in the individual championship.
Pulsar rounded out the first half with another thirteenth, meaning Team Galactic sat in seventh at the end of the halfway point. During the break, Black Hole received an invite to the Marble League Winter Special. After accepting the invite, they traveled to the Himarblelaya Mountains in a private jet that belonged to Atlas, the Chief Architect of the Andromedome. There was a rumor going around that Black Hole was considering Atlas as a manager for the team. That rumor was proven true before the Ice Dash when Black Hole announced to the team that Atlas would be joining them. The team ended the season in 10th place, despite two fourth-place finishes, including one in a grueling Ice Hockey semifinal loss to the Savage Speeders.
After returning to Galaknour, the team took a long flight to Lewara, with Pulsar ready to go for the Raceforest GP. Despite another poor qualifying, Pulsar managed to gain a tremendous number of spots, and at one point held the fastest lap. Pulsar finished the race in fourth, just missing the podium. Starry followed this up with an eleventh place finish at the Momotorway GP, which sent Team Galactic into the spot of infamy; the ethereal fifth place.
At Misty Mountain, Starry looked to set the ship sailing in the right direction after a midpack result from Pulsar at Pallete Park. After another poor qualifying, Starry managed to climb to fifth in the race before the red flag. Starry would hold on to fourth in the end and fall just short of the podium. Team Galactic rose to eighth in the standings following the race. Starry would be chosen to run again at the next race; the Savage Speedway, the track that Starry had won the year before. And Starry would deliver once again, with another medal at the track, this time a silver.
Team Galactic rose to sixth in the overall standings after the penultimate race and set their eyes on an overall podium. The rest was up to Pulsar, who was chosen to represent the team at the finale; Midnight Bay, and lost their streak of never placing last in a Marbula One race. Pulsar left the track in a hurry afterward and didn’t comment on the race. Team Galactic would finish the season out in seventh place, with Starry just missing the racer’s podium in fourth. The team had two silver medals and one fastest lap.
The team returned to Galakonur downhearted but was determined to bounce back in the Marble League 2021 Qualifiers. They spent a lot of days and nights training in and out of the Andromedome, which, after the conclusion of the Stardust Classic reunion, was remodeled once again to house Team Galactic’s Marbula One Track; a much longer version of the Stardust Accelerator than was seen in the Marble League. The team would select Cosmo to compete in the Marble League Practice Race, a Sand Rally taking place in Felynia. Cosmo crossed the line in a respectable 16th. When the Marble League 2021 Practice Race concluded, it was announced that the Solar Flares, a former Stardust Classic team, would be joining the Marble League.
Excited to have their friends join them in Group B of Qualifiers, Team Galactic neglected aspects of their training to help the Solar Flares prepare. When the two teams faced off in the Wave, the Flares earned a bronze, while Galactic placed last. Two sixths from Cosmo and Astron would not be enough to salvage a spot in the main tournament, ending Team Galactic’s perfect-attendance record in the main tournaments of Jelle’s Marble Runs and sending them to their first Showdown.
Disappointed that they had let down their fans, Team Galactic trained separately from the Solar Flares and any other team for the Marble League 2021 Showdown. Their internal focus since failing to qualify was first tested in the 5 Meter Sprint, where Astron finished with their best individual result yet, winning the event. Team Galactic led the standings for the first time since Season 1 of Marbula One and would remain in contention until the final event when they were sixth heading into Marblocross. Several bottom-half finishes had removed Team Galactic from the Kobalts in the lead by 16 points but left them within reach of the podium. Coach Black Hole submitted Starry to compete in the final event, where they earned silver and led their team to finish…fifth overall, with 54 points earned. For better or for worse, Team Galactic became the first team to finish fifth in the Marble League, Marbula One, and the Marble League Showdown. Rumors of the team being relieved when they were not invited to compete in Marble ManiaX, so they could not finish fifth in that tournament, were rife among fans.
Instead, Team Galactic looked towards Season 3 of Marbula One, anticipating an invitation despite their poor Marble League 2021 season. Upon receiving the invitation, there was much debate within the team as to who would be competing with Starry. Despite winning a Grand Prix in Season 1, Coach Black Hole insisted on replacing Pulsar, who complied albeit their disappointment with the request. Cosmo, nicknamed “Skywalker” due to their smooth overtakes found during training, was eventually selected to join Starry in Season 3. Although fans were confused with the choice, having just seen Astron earn gold during the Showdown, they nonetheless chose to welcome the Galactic captain to Marbula One, in hopes that the team would finally experience a long-awaited championship.
Special thanks to Novawolf and Project Marblearth contributors The Emperor and Stynth for helping craft the lore of Team Galactic.