After a string of speed-based events, it’s time for an all-out brawl. The marbles that once relied once relied on sheer velocity1 must now rely on strength and finesse. Adding to the chaos are four ball bearings whose launches can be triggered by bumping into the ramps that hold them. This is not an event for the faint of heart.
There are two primary strategies in this event. The first is to collide with the opposing team with enough force to send them careening off the board. The second is maintain a tight formation at launch so as to reduce the chance of having a vulnerable marble at the edge. The two strategies aren’t mutually exclusive, but focusing too much on tightness of formation can sacrifice some much-needed speed.
There are quite a few surprises throughout the event. Though the top 2 teams in the standings, the Raspberry Racers and the Green Ducks, manage to make it out of the group stage, they fumble in the quarterfinals after a couple of hard-fought tiebreaker matches and end up in 5th and 6th place, respectively. That leaves the Chocolatiers, Balls of Chaos, Mellow Yellow, and O’rangers in the semis. The brown balls are eliminated by their chaotic cousins, and the golden globes2 are trounced by their orange opponents.
Mellow Yellow are redeemed in the third-place match, where they gain a one-point victory over the Chocolatiers. Then it’s down to the final, where even a last-second marble loss by the O’rangers can’t stall their momentum: they win gold, netting them 25 points in the MarbleLympics standings. But the Balls of Chaos are pleased nonetheless: their silver is their first medal of the 2019 MarbleLympics.
- Big tragedy for the Pinkies. They had a perfect run in one of their matches (all five marbles stayed on the board) and they still couldn’t advance out of the group stage.
- Not only are the Oceanics in last place overall, but they’re so far behind that even a first-place finish in the upcoming Sand Rally wouldn’t get them out of last place. Yikes.
- Adding insult to injury, the Oceanics are now the only team without a medal.
- The Raspberry Racers and Green Ducks remain atop the standings, with the Green Ducks trailing the Raspberry Racers by three points. All the Green Ducks need to do to claim victory is get at least three points more than the Raspberry Racers in the Sand Rally.
Next week: the final event of the 2019 MarbleLympics. As mentioned above, it’s the Sand Rally. It’s going to be gritty.3
Complete stats for the 2019 MarbleLympics can be found at the MarbleLympics Wiki.