Guillaume Leviach aka "Mario86" is a Super Mario Kart French player born in the Parisian suburbs in 1986 and currently living close to Reims, the home-land of champagne. His main achievement in the Mario Kart community is to have earned the Player of the Year 2009 award.
1994 - 2003: First steps
Guillaume put his hands on his first copy of SMK by receiving it as Christmas present back in 1994, unfortunately at the same time he also got a Super Game Boy coming with Super Mario Land 2, and he was claiming to prefer this one to SMK, regarded as too hard and less interesting.
But as months were going on, he started to discover how great this game was, and started to PR on two favourite tracks, Mario Circuit 1 and Rainbow Road. The legend tells he has already performed a non-NBT 1'02"18 on MC1 back in 1998 or 1999, while his RR 5-lap PR was in the 1'32"s.
Until he met Pierre L'Hoëst on a video games board in 2001, he stopped playing and even concentrated on Mario Kart 64 then Mario Kart Super Circuit when it was released, holding the Rainbow Road 5-lap French Record almost 2 years long with a 45"76 which is still his current PR! During two years, he also tried to improve his SMK times to a higher level, especially because Pierre had told him about the Players' Site and the French championships. He ended the year with an excellent 1'01"72 at MC1, performed two hours before meeting Pierre for the first time!
2003 - 2005: Entering a world of competition
This first meeting, between those who were becoming great friends, brought Guillaume to his first epic performance in the SMK world, breaking the GP 150cc RR 5-lap world record in the Toad/Koopa category (1'21"92). Pierre convinced him to join the Players' Site a few weeks later, what he did on February 29th, being the only player ever to register on this very special date. He joined the site as #47 and #19 in France with an overall King E standard.
In August, 2004, Guillaume participates to his first Championnat de France SMK and makes immediately a huge performance, reaching the Time Trial contest final and getting a silver medal against the "French Godfather" Franck Mazières. After getting eliminated in the Match Race quarterfinals, he is ranked #4 overall but leaves the championship, since he couldn't participate to the Battle and Grand Prix contests. In the end Guillaume is ranked #18 on 21 karters, his good performances couldn't really help him to stay high in the rankings because of the weaker coefficients of Time Trial and Match Race in the "CDF" rules.
He keeps on playing SMK as weeks go on and reaches his first great PR in January, 2005: a #6 on RR PAL, breaking the 1'28" barrier (1'27"99), ranked #2 in France (even if his future friend Geoffrey Label already had an unofficial French Record, since he wasn't registered on the Players' Site yet. A few weeks later, Guillaume is the first player ever to appear on both PAL and NTSC rankings, which will amaze Pierre who thought it was forbidden until there! Thanks to the lack of major rivals there, he earns 3 NTSC French records (both non-NBT and NBT by defaul)t on Bowser Castle 1, Ghost Valley 2 and Vanilla Lake 2 (all of them were 5-lap performances). The times were not even awesome but it looked those races hadn't been run enough by the NTSC French Champion Christophe Paquin. This said, Guillaume's best performance on this side, without the shadow of a doubt, was his non-NBT 59"84 on MC1, played without any pipe-jump, and who is still inside of the non-NBT top 10 nowadays.
In the summer of 2005, and just before CDF 2005, he temporarly wins a tough battle for the RR France's #2 with Matthias Boucher, with a 1'27"73 PR. No one knows it yet, but it will be his last PR before 20 months. Speaking about CDF, Guillaume participates to the entire competition this time, but is unable to perform a TT performance as good as his last year's (he finishes #13 out of 28 players, which will also be his final overall ranking). His Match Race contest is, according to him, one of his best SMK memories ever: he reaches #2 of his group just behind Pierre L'Hoëst, both players ending the stage invincible. Unfortunately, Guillaume is defeated by GP specialist Nicolas Hauffmann in quarterfinals (7-4). He's unable to get out of the group stage in Battle Mode, and is eliminated by Camille Batier, the future GP winner, in the beginning of GP final phase.
Guillaume comes back to Tours, the town where he lives, with a lot of hopes for the future, having just entered a team called "Far West" with teammates Pierre, Goeffrey and future SMK star Florent Lecoanet who was attending his first championship.
2005 - 2007: Retirement?
For some unknown reasons, Guillaume suddenly disappears from the SMK community, doesn't participate to CDF 2006 (having thought about making it though), and almost stops playing video games. Some badly informed people will ironically tell it was because of his new girlfriend Claire but time will show a totally opposite truth about it.
It is told that Guillaume only played SMK 3 or 4 times between October 2005 and April 2007.
2007: The unexpected comeback
Future wife Claire is the origin of Guillaume's sudden comeback in the spring of 2007. Indeed, she asked him why he had stopped playing and told it would be nice to see him PRing again. Then, he came back on RR first, where he still had good rankings despite of time. He performed his first top 10 f-lap with a 17"37 non-NBT, which was a better non-NBT performance than the current most impressive French player Florent Lecoanet.
All spring and summer long, Guillaume drove on all tracks to reach higher standards and get close to overall top 30: he went to CDF 2007 as #32 in the world, and had important ambitions before he came back to this championship, aiming for an overall top 10 on 24 players. He managed to achieve this personal goal, classifying #10 after correct general performances including a good #7 in the Time Trial contest, especially regarding he was driving non-NBT while most of his big opponents were using NBT skills!
Guillaume ended the year with one main goal: getting into the world top 30 before turning into the dark side of driving - NBT, of course. He suceeded, becoming #27 in December and starting to play NBT to enter top 25 just at the deep end of the year. But he made something much stronger in the beginning of November, switching on NTSC for a few days and breaking the French Record on RR, being the first French guy under the 1'25" barrier (1'24"99), ranking #6 on the NBT side and even #3 on the non-NBT charts! His 16"89 final lap in this epic race also earned him a #6 non-NBT f-lap rank.
The year of the comeback ended in a very positive way, and Guillaume could think about starting NBT with the pressure of a new rival, Italian Angelo di Vano who climbed incredibly fast from PAL #154 to #30 in less than 4 months! A legendary rivalry was approaching...
2008: Reaching new standards
Guillaume has often been thinking that 2008 could have been his best SMK year ever but turned to be his worst on a lot of points. However, it began very well, Guillaume showing a bit stronger than rival Angelo in the beginning of the year, getting his first Player of the Week award after reaching his first Myth time ever on RR 5-laps, breaking the extremely tough 1'27" barrier with a 1'26"98 time. Then, in the end of March, he won the Player of the Quarter award, and many people started to think he could go for the highly acclaimed and sought-after Player of the Year award. According to him, Guillaume's biggest mistake here has been to think this "POY" should be his, and from that date, Angelo started to push harder and harder, passing Guillaume with bigger weekly cuts, and entering PAL top 10 many weeks before him.
Guillaume's major success in 2008 was the organization of the first SMK European Championship in Thil, close to Reims where he was living for one year. Almost 40 people from UK, Netherlands, Belgium and other countries gathered for which, at this time, was probably the biggest SMK international meeting ever. Despite of all the work he had to do as the championship host, Guillaume fought hard and ranked #8 on 39, with two quarterfinals (Time Trial and GP, defeating former GP World Champion Sébastien Holmière) and a twist of huge frustration after being defeated by the Battle World Champion Drew Blumfield in a one-way Match Race opposition, then at the same step in Battle, with a much better performance (Drew won "only" 5-2 after Guillaume resisted much more than expected with some awesome 3-3 opportunities at some moments).
Guillaume certainly lost all opportunity to win POY 2008 in the last quarter: reaching top 10 too late while Angelo had already climbed to #7, he stopped after having passed German rival Manuel Babjar for #9 and switched to NTSC, hoping to catch the attention with massive cuts as he was starting from a very weak overall level there. In December, Guillaume won two consecutive POW awards and his first Player of the Month, breaking his first official NBT World Record on RR for the last update of the year (1'24"07), but it was too late and Angelo became obviously Player of the Year 2008.
There are two interesting anecdotes about this reward. First of all, Sami Çetin, the Players' Site manager, told Guillaume that he was the obvious second choice after Angelo — a kind of private information Sami generally keeps for himself. Then, Angelo also asked Sami a few times to divide this prize to share it with Guillaume in the awards charts, which was very kind and generous from him, but Sami replied that it was impossible for technical reasons. We also can easily guess it wouldn't have really made sense, even if that year, there were almost two players of the year in terms of spirit.
2009: The consecration
In the beginning of 2009, Guillaume stops playing for a while, probably feeling the need to have a rest after a very exhausting 2008 year, the first one he was constantly playing SMK, especially because he was reaching higher and higher standards. On February 11th, he makes a special retirement announcement on the SMK Championships French message board, which eventually turned out to be a joke.
In the beginning of March, he's already back on the tracks and performs a few PRs that make him lower his AF under 10 and get a Player of the Week award for his first 2009 update presence. On March 14th he even wins the "Fun Cup", a French tournament where he defeats his longtime friend Geoffrey Label with an insane feather shortcut on RR to win the final. All spring long, Guillaume keeps on PRing in PAL, getting other awards, and reduces the gap between Angelo and also Sebastian Stellmacher who were also sending some PRs from time to time. He starts to realize he may have a bigger potential than he was thinking until there, especially when he wins a tough battle on Choco Island 1, being the first one before Angelo, Sebastian and Manuel to break the 56" barrier. He also quickly switches to NTSC where he manages to reach French #3 AF and gets a French Record on Koopa Beach 1 with a 46"38 time, ranked #4 in the world, one day before his 23rd birthday.
The second part of the year is probably the most impressive of his SMK carreer. Guillaume finally marries Claire on August 1st but this gaming fan wife really keeps on motivating him. One week later, his latest PAL PRs make him pass Julien Holmière for #4 in France and worldwide top 8 for the first time of his carreer. The next days are crazy, with a big battle with Angelo and Sebastian where Guillaume proves better than expected, overtaking three players in a row (including French rival Matthias Boucher) and reaching top 5 for 0.025 AF point the day before the first SMK World Championship! This event is also a great moment for Guillaume, who performs much better than he did in 2008, probably because the competition was held in Allenjoie, far from home, where he had no responsabilities at all. He fails at reaching Time Trial semifinals because of a stupid fall on Ghost Valley 3, exactly like in 2008, but performs rather good in Match Race (2nd and invincible in the group stages, defeated by Karel van Duijvenboden in quarterfinals) and at a correct level in Battle Mode (defeated by Florent Lecoanet 5-1 to begin the final phase). The big surprise happens in GP where he ranks 2nd again in the group stage, with the same amount of points as future World Champion Florent, before knocking Karel out in quarterfinals and resisting Sami Çetin much more than expected in semifinals. He eventually reaches the bronze medal after an endless 3rd place match against his old friend Geoffrey, and ends the "CDM" as number 5, the key number of the week for him.
Just after the championship, SMK French Federation president Cédric Leutwyler announces he retires and asks for someone to become the new president. The legend tells Guillaume never really told he would take part in the election that was held during his honeymoon in Barcelona in the beginning of September. When Claire and Guillaume were on their way home, he discovered he had been chosen as the new "FFSMK" president. Claire would become the FFSMK secretary, Cédric vice-president and Daniel Guemy, Guillaume's best friend also known as FFSMK's technical staff on his own, would take in charge all the federation's financial issues.
Meanwhile, Angelo then Matthias pass Guillaume again in PAL, and he will end the year as #7 without playing PAL again. Just before visiting Sami in his "SMK Tower" in October, he switches to NTSC again and starts a long series of PRs, including a couple of national records (on Mario Circuit 2 and Vanilla Lake 1 single laps) that are instantly beaten by Florent. Guillaume has grown up and doesn't give up this way, reaching a surprise CI1 NBT World Record a few updates later. He's now part of both PAL & NTSC top 10, like Karel, Pierre and Florent. He spends the whole month of Decemeber playing, PRing and NBTing in a very aggressive way and ends the year overtaking Florent and even Oliver Segarra Gonzalez to become #4 for the last update of the year. Sami decides to reward this impressive year with the Player of the Year award, that eventually looks much more deserved than if he had got it in 2008. Guillaume is now part of the best Time Trial players in the world and has reached the summit of his carreer.
2010 - 2011 : Never getting bored of SMK
Guillaume doesn't want to have a rest this time. He starts 2010 with an amazing barrier breaker on CI1, becoming the first player ever under 53 seconds there. Sami starts to play NTSC seriously and to threat Guillaume's goal which is passing his Brazilian friend Guilherme Arantes for #3 NTSC. He manages to achieve this ultimate goal for just two weeks, Sami passing him in the middle of March. Guillaume disappears for a while, before coming back to PAL in the end of April, dreaming about getting his pre-CDM rank back to be inside both PAL and NTSC top 5. He plays regularly and takes advantage of Angelo's unfortunate retirement to become #6 during the summer, just between his two first PAL World Records on Koopa Beach 2, a track where he proves stronger than anyone else for the first time with his personal flatboost strategy. He also beats Karel's old non-NBT single lap (a WR that standed since 2005!) on Rainbow Road in June. Actually, Guillaume keeps on fighting very hard all August long to pass both Matthias and even Sami to reach #4 PAL for the first time ever but fails because of Sami's efforts just before the 2010 CDM.
This edition is held in Thil again, and Guillaume has to combine the organization, his president status and his participation as a high skilled player now. Maybe all those responsabilities were a bit too much for him: even if CDM 2010 is a popular success for everyone, he ranks only #9 overall just behind Geoffrey and Karel, reaching the quarterfinals only in Time Trial. In the end of the competition, Guillaume joins top players like Karel, Sami or Matthias on Julien Holmière's SMK hack "Super Parigo Kart", just released on catridge for a few dozens of players. The SPK madness lasts a bit before an incredible battle for PAL #3 happens between Florent, Sami, Matthias and Guillaume, almost all September and October long. None of those two is able to reach a better rank than #4 but Guillaume manages to become #4 PAL for the first time of his carrier, and breaks RR non-NBT 5-lap World Record in reaction to Matthias's... NBT PR within less than a week. He's getting closer to #3 in November with some final GV2 efforts, very close to the 5-lap WR, but he gets fed up with PAL and goes to NTSC again since he fell down to #6 while having not played for months here.
2011 begins with a NTSC World Record, a bit like he did in 2010 with CI1. It's on KB2 again (53"16), where he now owns both PAL and NTSC NBT WRs for the 5-lap performance. His first quarter is made of NTSC top level activity, earning all French Records on the three first tracks on the game, reaching top 3 everywhere and even a surprise 59"31 World Record on Ghost Valley 1. This doesn't prevent him from driving well on the PAL side: he attends the SMK Belgian Open and gets the bronze trophy for a couple of points ahead of eternal rival Harold Christensen. Guillaume is #4 NTSC again, which is still his current rank. He also breaks KB2's single lap WR in May, then reaches his first RR single lap WR, before going back seriously on PAL again. On June 18th, he performs an unexcepted and (according to other SMK masters words) surrealistic, even unbeatable 1'26"74 non-NBT WR on RR, just 0"02 from Karel's NBT WR. Then comes a small battle for #4 between Florent and him before CDM. Florent will eventually win this battle after passing Guillaume 3 times within one month and a half!
CDM 2011 is probably Guillaume's best, because even if he ranks 5th like in 2009 and only quarterfinalist in GP, he manages to get a silver medal in Time Trial, like in 2004 but this one looks much more deserved than seven years before. He's also very close to knock Karel out in Match Race quarterfinals (leading 5-2 then 6-5, he falls somewhere in the decisive Rainbow Road round), and reaches his first Battle Mode quarterfinal, even giving the chills to Florent who "only" beats him 7-5. At the end of the awards ceremony, he asks Sami to join him and they both announce their common "2012 project" to celebrate the 20th anniversary of SMK.
Guillaume almost stops playing Time Trial for a while after CDM, letting Florent extending the gap between them so much that he even passes Sami for #3. This is another failed opportunity for Guillaume in his quest for #3 PAL, but he manages to make an unexpected comeback on November to tie Sami's MC1 f-lap WR (11"32) ! Unfortunately, Sami felt obliged to react as soon as possible, leaving Guillaume with "only" a French record there. Just after having lost his CI1 WR to Karel, he moves on his beloved KB2 in December, on the NTSC side, to achieve his "sub 53 project", breaking both M+ standards with a 10"05 single lap and an impressive 52"80, more than half a second away from Chris Balch, the previous WR holder there. Guillaume ends 2011 as #5 PAL and #4 NTSC.
2012 - ? : Life changes and new projects
2012 starts with a terrible lightning strike from UK: Sami eventually broke RR 5-lap WR using boosts and lowered it to 1'26"70. Just in order to show to Sami he would react the same way as his rival did on MC1 a few weeks ago, Guillaume beats it by 0"02 less than 24 hours after Sami's WR announcement, using NBT too. Guillaume feels he betrayed his own beliefs there and instantly realizes how useless that move was, when Sami improves the WR to 1'26"64 the week after. He swears the battle is not over, but suddenly moves to BC1, a track where he had never been a real killer before (despite of an "official" NTSC French Record back in 2004 where he was the only one to have played the track seriously), just after Pierre L'Hoëst visited his place and let him challenge his awesome 1'28"69 non-NBT WR ghost. Guillaume manages to steal the NBT WR from Pierre here with one of his most solid runs ever, being the first one to reach the M+ standard here with a 1'27"85 WR. A #2 ranked f-lap 0"01 from the WR and some good Bowser Castle 2 cuts earn him another Player of the Week award, then he stops Time Trial to focus on other video games and meetings with kartmates, like Fun Cup 2012 for example. On a more personal life side, moving to another flat and getting a new job makes him putting SMK away for a while, apart from the SMK 20th Anniversary event he decides to hold in Thil again (and for the last time, according to his own words). He even makes a comeback to MKSC with some good runs, reaching some top 20 PRs and even two top 10 runs!
However, his semi-retired situation doesn't prevent him to prove reactive again. Back from a retrogaming meeting that Pierre and other kart fellows attended in the North East of France, he realizes that Sami has just stolen a WR from him again, and not one of the less important: his first PAL NBT WR on KB2 full race, with a 0"10 cut (55"30). Guillaume just cannot accept it and finds time enough to burst Sami's WR and break another barrier and M+ standard with a 54"84 WR which looks as hard to challenge as his 52"80 performed on the NTSC side.
To be continued...
|The 2012 Karter Contest|
|Round 1 Groups | Round 2+ Bracket | Matchups & Results
(BOLD indicates contest winner)
(1) Enchanted Woods Creatures
Finn | Duff | Eoj | Aron
Honko | Shock | Frigz | NikeXTC
more like Group J (9)