TEAM PRIMARY (PRM)
Palette Park (Van Gotterdam; ML & M1)
Marble League 2016; Marble League 2017; Marbula One Season 1; Marbula One Season 2; Marbula One Season 3
Team Primary is one of the oldest teams in the Marble League, having been active since its inaugural season. That said, the team is newer compared to other teams that competed in tournaments years before the Marble League, such as the Balls of Chaos and the Fruit Circuit teams. The team grew up in Van Gotterdam, a city renowned as the art capital of the world. Prim and Mary, siblings, grew up in the city center. Their parents as well as their older sibling, Rose, were art connoisseurs and trained them to do the same. Prim and Mary attended the Van Gotterdam Academy of Art, the most prestigious art school in the world, and both graduated with Bachelors of Science in Art Restoration.
Rima grew up in Knikkegen and was not interested in art in the slightest. Rima had a much different dream in life: to become a marble sports athlete. As a child, they watched as Jelle Bakker built up a regional marble league for fellow marbles to compete in individual events. Once they aged into it, Rima competed and won in their first year. Rima competed the next year and befriended Imar, the runner-up to them the previous year. That year, Imar won the Knikkegen Marble League in a photo-finish between Rima and Lightning, a future member of the Thunderbolts.
The Knikkegen Marble League went viral in a TV featurette about the growing popularity of marble sports tournaments around the world, with fans noting the high quality of the marble races produced by Jelle. In the next year, the tournament received applications from around the world, most of which Jelle had to decline. Two of the applications they did accept, however, came from two siblings from Van Gotterdam: Prim and Mary. They entered the 2014 Knikkegen Marble League with a modicum of training but attracted veterans to befriend them. Two of those veterans were Rima and Imar, and, later that year, they formed a team to compete in the season’s first team events. They chose the name “Team Primary” not just because of Prim and Mary’s studies in color theory, but, according to Prim, because “teamwork comes first.” They placed in the top ten of the standings during their first year, and in 2015, dominated throughout the season to win the tournament.
The growing popularity of the Knikkegen Marble League attracted the attention of Greg Woods, a marble sports aficionado in North America who had been running the Fruit Circuit for almost a decade and was quickly running out of funding due to travel costs. Jelle Bakker met with Greg Woods in late 2014, and, noting Woods’ strong commentating abilities and ability to reach out to teams around the world, began planning an expansion to the KML that would add an international league. In early 2015, this expansion was expanded further to the entire tournament, and it was determined that teams from different regions would compete in individual and team events in one tournament. Jelle announced the new tournament in mid-2015 as the Marble League.
The Knikkegen Marble League, much like other regional tournaments, had spots allotted to high-performing teams. Team Primary and the Thunderbolts accepted the two invitations, confirming their placement in Marble League 2016 the next year. Team Primary, lacking a formal stadium to train in, was offered the Bakker Bowl, the stadium where the KML was held. Once Team Primary constructed their stadium just outside of Van Gotterdam, Palette Park, the Bowl went through a refurbishment and was repurposed for Marble Leagues 2016 and 2017.
Team Primary earned their first bronze, besting Team Momo in the match, in Collision. Rima placed fourth in the Water Race and Imar earned a silver medal in the High Jump to put Team Primary at seventh in the overall standings. Unfortunately, the team went scoreless during the rest of the season and fell to 12th overall to end Marble League 2016.
It became clear to Team Primary that they needed more training to compete with more experienced teams and to stay in the league. They entered the Marble League 2017 Qualifiers in a transfer position but surprised just about everyone when they earned 31 points, with a silver and a bronze, to place second at the end of the Qualifiers. Team Primary qualified for Marble League 2017 with a comfortable margin, and drew attention from fans around the world, especially in Van Gotterdam.
Team Primary rode that wave into the first event, Funnel Spinning, as high as they possibly could, and earned their first gold medal. This was especially exciting since Prim had botched the event in Qualifiers. Prim did not fare well in the Long Jump but recovered, as seen by the team’s performance in the Fidget Spinner Collision. The team just made it into the quarter-finals, bested the Midnight Wisps, and fell to the Shining Swarm in a tiebreaker during the semi-finals. Team Primary earned a bronze medal during the third-place match against the Pinkies, rising into first place overall in the standings. Statistics-wise, they could not have been happier.
That said, Team Primary was distraught to hear that Momomomo’s injury would keep them out of Marble League 2017. The team was one of the first to reach out to Team Momo after the event, and, after learning of the costs of Momomomo’s surgery, looking for ways to fundraise money. Prim and Mary contacted their parents and organized an art auction, the proceeds of which they donated to Momomomo, who shared them with the rest of the team.
Team Primary’s performance snowballed after the first three events, with several finishes in last and one disqualification in the Relay Race. The team finished the Marble League 2017 14th overall, falling further in the standings since the first event than any team in JMR history. Following the 2017 season, Team Primary recruited Aryp, who had previously competed in the Tour de Vellis as the famed “Color Wheel”, to join the team as their reserve. Aryp joined the team as tensions began mounting with regular members. Without a defined team captain, members of the team caused crises of leadership while training, seeding a growing amount of issues internally that were left unresolved.
Marble League 2018 Qualifiers came up quickly for the team, and, despite getting first in their group in Curling, fell short of qualifying by four points. The team gained a negative reputation for prompting a fight against the Balls of Chaos in the final event, the Halfpipe, which soured their failure to qualify.
Team Primary was understandably disappointed to miss their first main tournament. They planned to make the most of their extended offseason together by going to see some of the tournament, traveling around the world, spending time with family, and training—until news broke of Team Momo’s two injuries. It was then that Rima suggested to their coach, Prima, that they should compete in place of Momomo and Momomomo. Coach Prima initially planned to send Prim and Rima in to compete with Team Momo as a merged “Team Momary” – but after fans expressed their desire to see Mary compete, the duo was changed to Prim and Mary, much to Rima’s dismay.
Team Momary’s first group appearance was in the sixth event, Team Pursuit, where the team placed eighth but fell to last in the standings. After Momo’s gold in the Snow Rally, Mary competed individually in the Snowboard Cross and placed thirteenth. Team Momary competed again in Curling, where the team fared much better. The team fended off the Balls of Chaos and the Raspberry Racers in the quarter and semi-finals, making it to the finals. Although the Oceanics dominated over them in the finals, Team Momary rolled away from the event with a silver medal: their first and only team medal of the season. The team was statistically eliminated from the podium by the penultimate event, Ice Hockey. From there, the team finished in twelfth place after Marble League 2018, with 99 points and two medals to show for its merger.
After amicably dissolving their merger with Team Momo, Team Primary placed poorly in the 2018 offseason events. Things were not looking up for the team on the outside, and they weren’t feeling good on the inside, either, with internal conflict between members of the team straining their training sessions.
The team that was able to save Team Momo in 2018 was unable to sustain themselves in the Marble League 2019 Qualifiers. After two events, the team sat in 19th place with only five points, and the next event could not have been a worse pick for the team: it was the Relay Race. Prim and Mary appealed to the referee, who denied their request to redo the heat following a DNF on the final transfer. Rima, Imar, and Aryp came down to re-appeal, but the referees adamantly denied their requests. After a fight broke out in the stands, Coach Prima joined the team but was escorted away shortly after by security, along with the rest of the team. The fight in the stands, which Team Primary fans started against Raspberry Racers fans, caused security to get directly involved, breaking up the fight and banning Team Primary fans from the stadium.
Team Primary sank to last place and did not rise. In the final qualifying event, Aryp crossed the line just behind Mo, and placed seventeenth, earning just two points. Team Primary failed to qualify for the 2019 Marble League last, with only seven points earned in four events.
The team left the Seven Seas Stadium on separate flights in shame, and, according to insiders, did not communicate with each other for almost a month, briefly and unofficially dissolving as a team. Prim and Mary returned to Van Gotterdam, where they were welcoming Team Momo as guests in The Palette, the team’s gardens when Jelle announced a new tournament connected to the Marble League: the Showdown. The Marble League Showdown would serve as a “B-League” to the existing main tournament, featuring the eight unqualified teams from the 2019 Qualifiers, two Hubelino Tournament teams, and two brand-new teams through a fan vote. Team Primary, as one of the eight unqualified teams, was automatically admitted to the Showdown.
Team Primary regrouped shortly after the announcement, with Prima being moved to the manager position while Secondary took their place as a coach. Coach Secondary chose Mary as the captain after several group therapy sessions with the team, which helped restore relations between its members and raise morale for the upcoming competition. After months of training, the team flew back to the Seven Seas Stadium to compete in what was arguably the most important tournament of their career. The pressure was on for the team, but their gold medal in Balancing cemented their advancement to the Marble League 2020 Qualifiers and put the team in fourth place after the Showdown, just two points away from the podium.
While training during the offseason, the team received an official letter from JMR extending an invitation for them to compete in the first season of Marbula One. Team Primary accepted, submitting Prim, “Mary’s Better Half” and Mary, “Prim’s Better Half” to compete in the tournament. Marbula One Season 1 was both the best of times and the worst of times for Team Primary. It was here that Prim, an oft-forgotten member of the team, finally came into their own as an individual racer: they never placed lower than fourth in an event and never qualified lower than seventh, earning pole position twice and a silver medal at the Momotorway GP.
Mary, on the other hand, could not have had a worse season. It was here that they became a meme in the worst possible way, as ill-hearted fans began spreading tabloid rumors that Mary was turning into a cube. Mary never placed higher than last throughout the season, save for the O’raceway where they were ahead of Wospy (following their conveyor belt debacle). The stark contrast between the two racers caused the team to finish seventh overall with 54 points. The difference between Prim, who placed fourth in the racer’s championship, and Mary, who placed last, could not have felt more distant.
The rest of the team felt inspired by Prim’s achievements to do the best that they possibly could in Marble League 2020 Qualifiers. Alas, it was not to be. Although Team Primary improved remarkably from their appearance in Marble League 2019 Qualifiers, they missed out on the main tournament for their third year in a row. They, like the Snowballs, were on the verge of redemption but were ultimately squared off by two unfortunate results—an eighteenth place by Mary in the Funnel Endurance and a narrow loss to Bonbon of the Chocolatiers in the 5 Meter Sprint. Team Primary failed to qualify despite tying with Team Momo and the Bumblebees on points, due to Mo’s gold medal in the Funnel Endurance and the Bees’ silver in Balancing.
Rumors were swirling that Team Primary was changing its captain to Prim, who placed fourth in Marbula One’s racer championship. Instead, Imar became the new captain, as Prim revealed they did not want the role.
During the offseason, the team enrolled in an art school in Van Gotterdam for some lessons on balance. They spent weeks in the school before the Showdown, spending hours painting lovely paintings that portrayed their teamwork and balance and training with each other in the fields on their breaks. It was during one of these breaks that they met Professor C. Rollsant. Rollsant was a former Knikkegen Marble League competitor and won the competition way back in its debut season. The Professor had taken a liking to the team and offered to train them in their spare time. Professor Rollsant had the team complete various drills around the school during seemingly ordinary tasks. They had a relay race cleaning up the room, passing the broom around to each other. When the stairs to the upper level of the university were closed, they built a balance beam to roll across upwards. During an exhibition dodgemarble match in the courtyards, the Professor coached the team from the sidelines and had them practice collision formations.
The team began to dominate in competitions around the school, and by the time the Marble League 2020 Showdown rolled around, it showed. Their focus on team-building paid off during the Marble League 2020 Showdown, where they earned a silver medal during the Relay Run. The team managed to secure a spot in the Marble League 2021 Qualifiers with 24 points.
The team was happy to be invited to participate in Marbula One Season 2, and collectively decided it would be best that Mary not return to the tournament. Rima, “Rimarkable”, took Mary’s place alongside Prim, who earned the new nickname “Hard Carry”. After a mediocre result from Prim at the opening Grand Prix, Minty Mania, Rima took to the traditional route of Team Primary’s Marbula One finishes and finished fourth at the O’raceway, the fourth time the team had done so in Marbula One. Prim followed this up with a solid sixth at the Honeydome before a scoreless streak for the rest of the first half, leaving the team in fourteenth.
Despite rumors that Team Momary would re-merge to compete in the Marble League Winter Special, these rumors were debunked upon the announcement that Team Momo would compete on their own. Team Primary stated officially that they would aid Team Momo in any form if asked. During the offseason, the four main members of the team took a vacation in The Palette and spent a lot of time in the garden relaxing. Aryp and Rypr, their cousin, instead traveled to the Winter Special to see the teams compete there.
Rima would not disappoint in the Raceforest GP Qualifiers, and captured Team Primary’s third pole position of all time, the most of any team. Sadly, Rima’s race would be disastrous, placing fourteenth; only above the two teams that got stuck at some point in the race.
The team was in shambles heading into the Palette Park GP, which they would be hosting. Except for Rima’s pole position, they hadn’t scored since the Honeydome. The tension between the team needed to be fixed. At the end of the race, not a minute later, the team fired Prima on the spot for their mistreatment of Rima and lack of support for the team. The rest of the team did not want to comment, and the team returned to Van Gotterdam feeling slightly relieved. The team had built a new art exhibit, the Tri-Tower, in honor of hosting the track. Mary would make a guest appearance at the Tri-Tower before the race, which saw Rima earn six points with a solid eighth-place finish.
Prim, however, still appeared to be rattled from the stress that plagued the team from the Momotorway, and could not qualify for the second time in a row at Misty Mountain. Rypr, Aryp’s cousin, was appointed as Team Primary’s new manager and hoped their team would bounce back in the final races. Prim finished fourth in Q1, fourth in Q2, qualified for the race in fourth, and finished fourth in the race. Rypr’s motivational magic appeared to be paying off, however, Team Primary would not qualify for the final Grand Prix. But the team felt slightly relieved. Team Primary finished Marbula One Season 2 in sixteenth place with 47 points, a nine-spot decrease from their breakout year in Season 1.
The team returned to Van Gotterdam for the offseason a lot more pleased with themselves than they had been in the middle portion of the season. Team Primary had a nice, long vacation in The Palette over the offseason, where the team spent long days relaxing in the garden, avoiding the press. The team would soon be on their way to Felynia, where they selected Mary to compete in the Marble League 2021 Practice Race. Mary managed a respectable ninth place, which felt the closest to redemption for them in a long time. With athletes from the Strawberry Strudels joining their backroom staff, Team Primary appeared poised for a strong comeback in Marble League 2021…if they could qualify in Group A.
To their dismay, Team Primary’s spot in the 2021 main tournament was not to be: they placed ninth of the twelve teams despite Mary redeeming themselves in Funnel Endurance with a bronze. Having been the cause for their silver medal in the 2020 Showdown, Team Primary placed last in the Relay, miring themselves in the bottom six that would be relegated to the 2021 Showdown. Instead of moping about their results in the Qualifiers, the team was found in the park surrounding the Iris Oasis early in the morning after the 2021 Qualifiers, working on a sculpture commissioned by the Felynia High Council celebrating the Crazy Cats’ Eyes’ victory in Marbula One. The team’s training regiment followed a similar schedule: early in the morning, fans would find Team Primary in the park, putting finishing touches on their ‘Eyes on the Prize’ sculpture and doing laps and exercises out in the open.
Team Primary earned only one medal in the eight events of the Showdown, a gold won in a commanding Moguls performance by Aryp, who channeled their experience from competing in the Tour de Vellis into a dominant result. Coupling their lone gold with a series of fourth-place finishes and midpack performances, Team Primary displaced another poor showing in the Relay and a less than impressive Marblocross run by Prim to place third overall with 56 points. For the first time in their career, Team Primary was on an overall podium.
Citing these strong results, Coach Secondary coupled Prim with Aryp, adopting their “Color Wheel” nickname for use in Season 3 of Marbula One. As the racing duo and their coach traveled to compete in the coming races, Rima, Imar, and Mary worked on settling their differences, in hopes of finally returning to the Marble League in 2022.
Special thanks to Project Marblearth contributors The Emperor, Vector, and Stynth for helping craft the lore of Team Primary.