Florent Lecoanet (7/2/1984) is a French Mario Kart player and by many considered to be the greatest Super Mario Kart player in history. Florent has excelled in various multiplayer SMK events; he won 1 French title (CDF 2007), 1 European title (CDE 2008) and 6 World titles (CDM 2009, CDM 2010, CDM 2011, CDM 2013, CDM 2014 and CDM 2015).
Furthermore, Florent has been GP 150cc Champion of the World on PAL between 2006 and 2015 and on NTSC between 2007 and 2015, an unsurpassed feat. Florent currently holds a staggering total of over 450 World Records accross the numerous categories that the official GP website recognizes. He has also driven several World Records in Time Trial (for both PAL and NTSC) and is currently ranked 6th in the World in PAL and 7th in NTSC. He has driven World Records in Non-NBT competition as well and in this field he is currently ranked 6th in PAL and 10th in NTSC.
- 1 Early life
- 2 The MKDD connection
- 3 Master of the Long Boost
- 4 SMK Championship of France 2005
- 5 World Wide Kart meet, London 2006
- 6 SMK Championship of France 2006
- 7 Next Level Gaming (NLG) World Championship, Norway 2007
- 8 SMK Championship of France 2007
- 9 SMK European Championship 2008
- 10 SMK World Championship 2009
- 11 SMK World Championship 2010
- 12 Belgian Open 2011
- 13 SMK World Championship 2011
- 14 SMK World Championship 2012
- 15 SMK World Championship 2013
- 16 SMK World Championship 2014
- 17 SMK World Championship 2015
- 18 Championship Medal Collection
- 19 Media Coverage
- 20 Awesome Games Done Quick 2016
- 21 Time Trial
- 22 Grand Prix 150cc milestone
- 23 Professional life
- 24 The Federer comparison
- 25 Message Board personality
- 26 Other Mario Karts
- 27 Other Games
- 28 Future
- 29 External Links
Florent was born in Rennes, France. He grew up in Montauban-de-Bretagne, a small town near Rennes. It’s there where he started playing SMK around 1994/1995, reaching respectable times of 1’02”00 and 12”30 on Mario Circuit 1 (PAL Non-NBT) back then. The internet era had not taken off by then yet, so these achievements were reached without being aware of competition elsewhere and without watching any strategy videos. After these initial results he did not play SMK again until 2005.
The MKDD connection
The release of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (MKDD) in 2003 would eventually change everything, but not directly. It was not until 2005, when Aurélien Flèche (one of Florent’s friends) bought a Nintendo Gamecube with MKDD, that Florent became interested in kart again. He played MKDD for 3 months and at some point he started wondering how well his times would hold up against competitors from all over the world. After a quick internet search he found the various Mario Kart websites, but more importantly this search would also lead him to the website of the CDF, a French competition entirely dedicated to his old favourite SMK. This motivated him to go back to the roots and he dusted off his old SNES and plugged in SMK. As he started playing he found out that all his old PR’s were erased (something that is known to happen with cartridges over the years unfortunately), but this initial disappointment was quickly overcome when he rediscovered how much fun playing SMK actually was.
Master of the Long Boost
It was not before long until Florent learned about the art of mushroom generated Long Boosts (LBs) and quickly specialized himself in this technique. This specialization would soon become a fruit bearing one, allowing him to hit his first ever GP WR, taking down Camille Batier’s (a French karter also known as Don Camillo and mostly known for his GP skills) MC1 flap, with an LB aided record of 7”76. Later on he would drive countless more LB involved GP WR’s and also create a couple of video compilations demonstrating the use of LB’s nicely, one of them can be found here.
SMK Championship of France 2005
Florent’s first GP WR came right before the start of the CDF 2005 (which was the first CDF he participated in). Because his name was on the list of participants, many people were wondering who this new kid on the block was: the newcomer who beat one of Don Camillo’s most prolific WR’s. This created a fuzz amongst the karters present in Ségos and they could soon observe a new star in the making. Outside of Mushroom Cup GP and some Battle Mode practice, Florent was relatively unexperienced playing against other players, but he still performed quite well, ending on an 11th position in the overall ranking of the tournament. He almost caused an upset by beating Harold Christensen in the Battle Mode quarter final. At this point in time Harold was already an accomplished Battle Mode player and well known for his skills in this mode; in other words a clear favourite to win that tournament. In his match against Harold however, Florent was leading 5-3, much to the shock of the karter’s watching. In the end Harold’s experience proved a little too much as he came back to proceed to the semi final with a 7-5 win.
World Wide Kart meet, London 2006
In the summer of 2006, the webmaster of the SMK Time Trial site, Sami Çetin, hosted a world wide kart meet in Croydon, England. Florent attended this event and this was the first time he travelled outside of France to meet fellow karters. He wore a T-shirt specifically designed for this event, a gesture that was greeted with much enthusiasm by the other karters. At this point he had already become a strong force to be reckoned with in SMK, but he still lacked a little experience against the likes of Pierre and Sami, thus losing to them marginally in Match Race by 12-8 scores respectively. He did however pull out a 10-10 tie against the PAL Time Trial Champion at that time, Karel van Duijvenboden.
SMK Championship of France 2006
For the CDF 2006 Florent stepped up to be a great ambassador of SMK as he literally saved the event that year. The organization did not succeed in finding a venue for the CDF of 2006 and it looked like it would get cancelled. However, as a last resort, Florent offered the solution by actually letting the players use his appartment in Angers as the venue. As the host, he surpassed the expectations of many by winning both the GP and Match Race tournaments. This was against the odds, as prior to this CDF it was Pierre L’Hoëst who singlehandedly ruled the three previous CDF events with an iron fist. Pierre still managed to win the overall classement of the CDF 2006 version, but it was very close, with Florent finishing just behind in 2nd position. His amazing skill and talent was becoming increasingly more evident and most karters agreed that it would only be a question of time now before he would win some major prizes.
Next Level Gaming (NLG) World Championship, Norway 2007
Florent effectively became the PAL World Champion of Match Race by winning the SMK tournament at the Next Level Gaming Championships (NLG), which was held in Orkanger (Norway), July 2007. He beat his eternal rival Pierre L’Hoëst in a historically thrilling semi final and secured the victory by beating SMK veteran Sami Çetin in the final with a convincing 10-5 win. The Match Race World Championship had karters from far reaches of the World including USA, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, France and UK.
He also took part in various other tournaments and delivered an especially fine performance in the Circuit Breakers tournament. He almost made the final round, which featured the 4 best players, but in the end he lost out to Patrick Wessels in the deciding semi final tie-breaker.
SMK Championship of France 2007
Two months later in Orsay, near Paris, Florent confirmed his newly acquired SMK dominance with a winning performance at the French Championship. Because of his success in Norway, Florent entered the CDF of 2007 as one of the two clear favourites to win. It was expected that the overall win would either go to Pierre L'Hoëst or him. The rivalry between the two became clear from the very start as they faced eachother in the final of the first event, which was the TT tournament. This final took place on one of his favourite tracks, KB1, but the pressure got to him as he hit some weed and ended in 2nd place with Pierre grabbing the first gold medal of that CDF with a clean race. Florent made his candidacy for the overall win clear early on though. In the Match Race tournament he faced Pierre in the final again, but this time the gold medal went to Florent after a convincing 11-7 in his favour. The Battle Mode tournament saw another Pierre versus Florent final. The level on display was extremely high and Florent claimed afterwards that the level he reached in this match was the highest he had ever reached as an SMK player thus far. Despite Pierre’s strong resistance and fine form, Florent proved to be an unstoppable force from now on, winning the tournament in style with a 11-4 victory. Florent was comfortably in the lead in the overall rankings now, with his best mode (GP) still ahead. Only a miracle could stop him from winning his first CDF from that point onwards. When Florent reached the final of the GP tournament (Pierre was knocked out at this point), he was already certain of the overall victory. But as a true champion he gave it his best once more to also claim the title in the GP final in a thrilling early morning match against Nicolas Haufmann (also known as El Nico on the boards). Nicolas could not prevent Florent from reaching a landslide 5-1 victory, meaning that Florent succesfully crowned his CDF with another gold medal. Rarely had the CDF seen such a display of dominance from one karter, winning all the multiplayer modes with big scorelines plus reaching the final of the TT event as well. Currently this is still the closest Florent has ever gotten at winning the Grand Chelem (the holy grail of winning every mode at a single Championship, named after the Grand-Slam in tennis, which refers to winning all four Grand Slam singles tournaments in the same calendar year).
SMK European Championship 2008
This year the CDF became the Championship of Europe (CDE), with players joining from France, Switzerland, Spain, England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and even one from the USA. Because of all those countries being represented in Thil, the number of participants reached a historical high of 39 (this record has since been eclipsed by the CDM 2012). With his biggest rival Pierre now being retired from multiplayer SMK, Florent entered the tournament as the big favourite. New rivals emerged though, the American Drew Blumfield would prove to be the surprise package of this edition, both in his behaviour and his extreme karting abilities. Florent’s main focus was on winning the Time Trial event, which he labeled his Roland Garros, seeing it was the only mode where he didn’t win a gold medal yet. Obviously this refers to his idol and look-a-like Roger Federer not being able to win Roland Garros, whereas he has won all other Grand Slams numerous times. Florent would break his own tradition though; he enjoyed a prosperous start, doing very well in the qualifying stages and winning with seconds to spare in the CI1 final versus Karel by making the wall Shortcut 5 out of 5 times.
In Match Race everything was going according to plan as well and he reached the final with relative ease, after a strong semi final performance against UK Champion Sami (9-5). The fact Drew would be his opponent in the final came as a surprise to pretty much everyone, seeing Drew’s only previous PAL experience came from playing it on an emulator, which is sub-optimal compared to practicing on a real SNES. Even more surprisingly he even gave Florent a good run for his money, though Florent did finish the job by winning 11-7 in the end. Battle Mode was the mode everyone was waiting for though, the field had never been this strong, especially with Battle Mode World Champion Drew Blumfield taking part. Florent faced Drew in the semi final in an epic match. He gave it his outmost best, even so much so in fact that he ran out of breath after the match had finished. Drew did win (9-6), but Florent definitely didn’t go down without a fight. Florent and Drew were quite close in the overall rankings at this point, however Florent already practically sealed the victory with his strongest mode GP coming up. Drew got knocked out early, whereas Florent went on to win the final against Matthias Boucher (also known as Gatchan on the boards) in a 5-0 clean sweep. Thus, Florent was the winner of the CDE 2008 edition. Being the trophy hunter that he is, he also won the Master Cup after, defeating Sami comfortably in the final.
SMK World Championship 2009
In 2009, the CDF evolved into its final form, that of a World Championship (CDM, abbreviation for Championnat du Monde, which means World Championship in French). The event in Allenjoie was open for and advertised towards the global SMK population and in the end karters from two additional continents participated. North America was represented by Drew Blumfield from the USA once again and this time South America was represented as well by the Champion of Brazil, Guilherme Arantes. Of course, much like in 2008, karters from throughout Europe were present, including karters from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, England, Germany. Of course the vast majority of the participants came from the hosting nation France itself.
As Pierre was still in retirement, Florent was expecting the most fierce competition to come from SMK’s Godfather Sami, who had been training on-line through emulators for months. Sami himself had high expectations of this rivalry as well, judging by a trailer he published in the week prior to the event. It turned out both of them were right, as this year’s tournament essentially was a historically thrilling race between the two, starting right from the beginning and lasting all the way until the very last match. In the Time Trial event Florent and his opponent Sami both reached the final with some strong performances. This year the final was raced on three tracks and a wall crash on the final one, BC2, meant that Florent could not take the gold medal home this time. He was especially focused on Match Race this time around though and much like in previous years he reached the final with relative ease. As expected, he had to face Sami in the final again, in what would become one of the most memorable matches in CDF history. To most onlookers it appeared that Florent was in control of the proceedings, albeit very slightly at most. However, thanks to a somewhat lucky 5 lightning streak (Florent only had 1 to compensate) Sami managed to bring the match all the way to the wire. With both players tied on 10-10, the final race on VL1 had to bring the decision. With both players under immense pressure, it was Florent who missed his vital zoomstart and Sami won the gold medal as a result. This was undoubtedly one of the most emotional moments in the careers of both karters; Florent broke down in tears afterwards. He later came back on what had happened stating that this had been his way to handle this sensitive moment of extreme disappointment; of course his reaction was also driven by the unlikely circumstances that had contributed to the final score.
To still have a shot at winning the overall title, Florent had to rank above Sami in both of the remaining events. After having been eliminated by an unleashed Drew Blumfield in the Battle Mode semi final, Florent cruised to a 9-6 victory against Sami in the bronze medal play-off. This meant that with only GP left, he still had a clean shot at gaining the World title. With GP being his strongest mode, he made short work of all of his opponents and reached the final, suffering only 2 cup losses during the entire tournament. Sami followed a similar path to the final, losing only a single cup and drawing one. For the first time in history the Championship was decided by the very last match; absolutely everything was on the stakes. During the final Florent reached out for his maximum level once more and crushed Sami 5-1, in what could only be described as a devastating tour-de-force. This meant he was crowned the Super Mario Kart World Champion of 2009 (results:CDM 2009). He later claimed this to be the most important victory of his career, as he really had to earn it through a hard and lasting battle.
Moreover, Florent was interviewed for a french TV documentary about the SMK World Championship 2009. It is available to watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzlfWwCcrYY
SMK World Championship 2010
Florent succesfully defended his title at the second SMK World Championship, the CDM 2010, adding another milestone and achievement to his already illustrous career. Attendance rates to the event were still high, however, when compared to the previous two editions, this year the balance in number of participants shifted even more towards karters from the hosting country France. That said, international karters from the Netherlands, Zwitzerland, Spain, England and the USA, were present in Thil to complete the field. The 2010 edition had without a doubt the strongest line-up of participants that the SMK playing world had ever witnessed thus far: in addition to the presence of all the top ranked players of the CDM 2009, triple CDF winner Pierre L'Hoëst and multi-medal winner Matthias Boucher (known as Gatchan on the boards) also returned to the competition for this event. As could be expected after the events that transpired during the previous year (CDM 2009), Florent’s biggest opposition once again came from UK Champion Sami, who announced his ambitions in the days prior to the event by an inspirational trailer, heralding the now famous words: “The Time is Coming”. To underline this, Sami took the #3 spot from Florent in the PAL Time Trial rankings at around the same moment. The intense rivalry between Florent and Sami was really starting to resemble the Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal tennis rivalry in an increasing number of ways and in reference to this, Sami now called himself 'the Rafael Nadal of SMK', wearing a sleeveless top to match.
Therefore, Florent started the Time Trial one-try competition as a warned man. The top 4 of the PAL Time Trial rankings at the time (Karel, Pierre, Sami and Florent) found themselves facing each other in the semi final. Florent and Karel came out victorious and had to battle for gold, in a repeat of the 2008 Time Trial final. Karel crashed once during his BC1 race, Florent did not, which meant he bagged the first gold medal of the CDM 2010. Sami lost his bronze medal play-off to Pierre in the little final on KB1, giving Florent a nice margin in the lead before Match Race started. In the aftermath of last year’s historical Match Race final, Florent had expressed on various occasions that alongside winning the overall title, regaining the Match Race gold medal would be his main goal during the CDM 2010. However, Florent faced the threath of early elimination in the quarter final against Time Trial World Champion Karel van Duijvenboden. Being one of the outsiders for the gold medal in this mode, Karel proved to be a very tough opponent for Florent; in fact the Dutchman even received two match-points at a score of 6-5. After a thrilling final lap on GV2 with a last ditch mushroom platform-jump effort, Florent subverted the first of those matchpoints miraculously. The decisive match had an even more surprising climax; when it looked like Karel was cruising for the win in the final lap of MC1, faith decided otherwise as Florent received a lightning from his very last item pick-up. After last year’s drama in the big final, lady luck was finally smiling Florent in the face; this escape was of monumental value for him, as a Match Race quarter final exit might have meant losing the overall title, when considering Sami's prowess accross all modes. Instead, Florent progressed to the Match Race final to once again meet with his big rival Sami; a chance for revenge. However, Florent was facing a big defecit early on in the match, not appearing as sharp as usual. When Sami was closing in on match-point, Florent gathered all his strength to mount a huge comeback and provide a close match, but it proved just too late to prevent Sami from winning 11-9.
For the third year running, Florent got eliminated by Drew Blumfield in the semi final of Battle Mode, though he put up a good fight with a 9-6 score. Furthermore, Florent obtained the bronze medal in a battle with Sami that had direct consequences for the overall rankings. This result meant that reaching the GP finals would be sufficient for Florent to propagate his World Champion title. Being the absolute favourite in the GP tournament, this proved to be no problem for him. With the overall result decided, the final against Sami still proved to be one of the biggest fights in the history of the Championships, with both players determined to show the world who was best. Florent started out winning the first cups by utilizing some techniques adopted from Match Race, to give him the extra edge. On the other end of the spectrum in this clash of styles, Sami managed to take the match back to 4-4 with very impressive Time Trial like driving. Eventually, Florent came through as the victor in the final and ninth cup by driving a very solid Flower Cup; for the first time in CDF history a ninth cup was needed to decide the GP final. In his victory speech Florent had some encouraging words for his rival Sami, when he expressed that Sami was too strong a karter to not win a CDM one day, signaling a sentiment perhaps shared by many. Future speculations aside, Florent could now boast about becoming the first back-to-back World Champion of Super Mario Kart.
Belgian Open 2011
In 2011, Florent continued to reach milestones and achievements. He started off the year by winning the ODB (abbreviation of Open de Belgique in French, which means Belgian Open in English). It was the first time he participated in a Belgian Open. The ODB 2011 took place in Liège on the 19th of March 2011. The ODB consists of a one-day tournament covering all the multiplayer modes of Super Mario Kart. Florent enjoyed a mini Grand-Slam performance, as he swept up all the modes, despite some strong opposition, in the form of Geoffrey Label, Harold Christensen and Guillaume Leviach, being present as well. As there was no Time Trial tournament and the ODB is not the official Super Mario Kart World Championship, Florent's performance can be referred to as a mini Grand-Slam, which still represents a phenomenal feat.
After a brief group stage with an unorthodox set-up, the equally condensed finals were played. The surprise of the tournament was Florent's confident 5-2 (in a first to 5 format) victory versus Battle Mode vice-World Champion (according to CDM 2010) Geoffrey Label, as Geo was considered the best player of France by some margin in the past two years. In Match Race (6-3 win) and GP (3-1 win) Florent managed to dispose of his main rival Geo as well. The full results can be viewed here: Results ODB 2011. His very succesful ODB campaign left Florent fuelled with confidence for the upcoming CDM.
SMK World Championship 2011
After his succesful ODB, Florent won the CDM 2011, his third SMK World Championship title in a row and his fifth CDF/CDE/CDM overall win in a row. He also claimed the gold medal in the GP competition for the sixth consecutive time, a record like no other in the history of CDF events and one that is unlikely to be equaled or beaten by anyone other than the French master himself. With 36 participants, the attendance rates of the event picked up a little bit again compared to previous years. Once again the CDM, this time held in Santeny, welcomed its doors to a variety of karters from the Netherlands, Zwitzerland, Spain, England, the USA and of course some of the finest talent from the hosting country France. Sadly some of the strongest players, such as Pierre L'Hoëst, Harold Christensen, Julien Holmiere and Geoffrey Label did not participate in all the tournaments or in the case of Pierre, none at all. This time there was a camping element thrown into the mix, with the majority of the participants sleeping in tents surrounding the venue. This was nothing new to Florent, who traditionally sets up his tent to sleep in solitude during Championships.
Florent started off by winning the Time Trial 1-try event with crushing dominance. After being victorious in all the sub-stages (from qualifiers to semi finals), he landed a great 59”58 on MC1 in the final, leaving no chance to his surprise opponent in the final Guillaume Leviach. His strongest rival Sami was already lagging behind in the general rankings due to some disastrous crashes in the GV1 semi final. For the third consecutive year, Florent did not manage to obtain the gold medal in Match Race. After a virtually spotless qualification phase he faced a surprising semi final exit after a match against an unchained Karel van Duijvenboden. This repeat match of the famous quarter final of 2010 was another thriller, which culminated in a very tense double LB finish on MC2, this time with the Dutchman coming out on top. Florent redeemed himself by cruising to a 9-2 win in the bronze medal play-off versus Geoffrey Label, but most observants will agree that Florent did not show his true level in MR this year. Contrarily, Florent enjoyed a very prolific Battle Mode tournament, winning a silver medal despite not having practiced this mode much at all this year. Geoffrey Label surprisingly managed to eliminate the reigning BM World Champion Drew Blumfield in the quarter finals, meaning the main obstacle that prevented Florent from reaching the BM finals in previous years was removed. However, Geoffrey Label managed to narrowly defeat Florent in a climactic final, featuring a dramatic 11-10 scoreline and both players being down to their last balloon on match-point. History had repeated itself as a high finish in the BM tournament, combined with an early quarter final exit of his rival Sami on the hands of a rampant Harold Christensen, meant Florent was cleanly in the lead after BM day, with only the GP tournament left. Florent decided to use the heavy weight characters in all cups for GP this year. After the GP final of 2010, which he drove with the brothers on some cups, he had sensed that he was more vulnerable to body-checks and losing out to full speed potential when exposed to Sami, who equips himself with the big guys everywhere. Florent's character switch was a rewarding one as he strikingly underlined his absolute dominance in GP on the final day of the CDM 2011. After one odd defeat in the group stage, he went on to beat Sami in the early morning final with a convincing 5-2 scoreline, including some near WR level performances on tracks like MC4. Combined with his dominating Belgian Open win, 2011 had once again been a very succesful karting year for Florent.
SMK World Championship 2012
In 2012, the SMK World Championship was organized in Thil and used as a stage to celebrate the 20th anniversary of SMK (it was released back in August 1992) and the 10th year of SMK Championnat competition (it has been held every year, without exceptions, since 2002). To accompany the celebrations, the organization staged an elaborate SMK quiz for everyone present, as well as tournaments played on the side of all game modes of the original NTSC version of the game. All the hype generated by the celebrations was enough to propel the participation rates to a record breaking 51! Like every year, participants came from across Europe, with the majority being from the host nation, France. For the first time the Team USA equipe was expanded to 2, with Drew Blumfield bringing Christophe Charignon. Except for Pierre, all the big names in SMK multiplayer were accounted for. Pierre actually participated in the NTSC Time trial tournament, but left the proceedings after this. Aditionally, Sami's Team UK included female World Champion Leyla Hasso as a surprise guest.
2012 was a monumental year for another reason, as Florent’s SMK World Championship winning streak was finally put to a halt. After a rocky start with an early elimination in the Time Trial tournament, Florent was unable to close the gap towards his all-time SMK rival, UK Champion Sami, who became World Champion for the first time at the event (CDM 2012 Results). Although this was a huge disappointment for Florent, there were also personal accompishments worth celebrating, most notably his success in sustaining the GP gold medal streak he started 6 years ago, leading to his 7th consecutive gold medal for that mode.
Unlike his main rival Sami, Florent participated in the warm-up NTSC Time Trial tournament, organized one day prior to the start of the PAL competition. He got eliminated before the final, after bravely attempting several LB's on MC2 and failing one of them. Florent enjoyed a promising start of the PAL Time Trial tournament, delivering one of the finest times ever driven at a Championship 1-try event, with a stunning sub 56" time on CI1. Shortly after, desaster struck, as Florent was eliminated in the quarter finals due to two crashes on GV3. With Sami going on to obtain the gold medal, there was immediately a substantial gap to cross for Florent. Luck for Florent was not picking up, as in the knock-out stage of the MR tournament he got drawn into the toughest bracket possible, with both Karel and Sami crossing his road to the final. Just like in the two previous years, his match with Karel, this time in the quarter final, went all the way to the wire. In the deciding match on MC4, Florent pulled off a cunning backwards red in the first hairpin, stopping the Dutchman from progressing any further. Florent was struggling to find form in his semi final clash with Sami and suffered a 9-4 loss against the rampant UK Champion. Florent did claim the bronze medal in the little final of MR, cruising to a 9-1 win versus the the surprise package of the CDM, the young prodigy Conor Wood.
To make up for lost ground versus Sami in the overall ranking, Florent knew he had to do something special in the BM tournament. For the 6th year running he made the final four, though he did not obtain a medal after successive losses versus Geoffrey Label (semi final) and Drew Blumfield (little final). This was more than an acceptable performance for Florent, however it was not enough, as he did find himself struggling to maintain a top 5 spot in the overall rankings. Florent set the record straight on GP day with top notch driving that he himself described as the pinnacle of his SMK career. Among the performances was a sub 1'20 World Record on BC2 5-lap with 2 feathers, driven during the group stages. Notably, he did narrowly escape elimination in the 1/8 finals, where he faced tough opposition of Ben Allen. After Ben surprisingly won the first cup, they had to play mushroom cup. Again Ben started the cup very well and gained an early lead. Ben moved himself into the position to pull off one of the biggest upsets in CDM history, as winning one of the final two tracks, BC1 or MC2, would have given him the victory. Therefore, Florent was on the verge of losing his last chance to gain a gold medal and a top-3 overall ranking at the (official PAL) CDM of 2012. Moreover, Florent's GP gold medal streak was on the line. Knowing this, Florent pulled off the win on both BC1 and MC2 and went on to progress to the quarter final, but not without acknowledging that out of all the players he had faced during his 7 year GP winning streak, Ben Allen had come the closest to stopping him. After this, Florent was unstoppable as he convincingly beat Julien Holmière, Sami and Harold Christensen without losing a single cup, in the quarter final, semi final and final respectively. This meant he had won the gold medal for the 7th year running. This was enough for Florent to jump all the way to the 2nd position in the overall rankings, but not enough to prevent Sami from gaining his first ever SMK World Champion title.
In the aftermath of the PAL event, Florent also participated in the NTSC SMK multiplayer tournament, reaching the final of MR, but losing it to Sami. Florent's lack of experience in NTSC multiplayer showed, as he was eliminated in the BM quarter final by Conor Wood and the GP semi final by Harold Christensen. Still his performances merited a third place in the NTSC multiplayer overall rankings, with Julien Holmiere and Sami Cetin grabbing second and first place respectively.
SMK World Championship 2013
Florent won the SMK World Championship of 2013 (CDM 2013) and became the first player to successfully retrieve this title after being defeated in a prior edition (CDM 2012). As expected, the rivalry with Sami went all the way to the wire again, climaxing in a MR semifinal between the two to decide who would win the overall title. After losing to Sami in MR for 4 years straight, a determined Florent managed to pull off an iconic 9-6 win to crown himself champion once more.
The CDM 2013 was organized by Geoffrey Label, who arranged a top notch venue in the town of La Suze-sur-Sarthe near Le Mans. The usual suspects of previous editions were all present, including a big as ever Team UK Team (8 karters), Drew Blumfield from the USA and all the native top talent from France. For the first time the Championships welcomed it’s doors to a competitor from the country that gave us SMK, Japan. Takashi Ogasawara seemed to be struggling a bit to adjust to the PAL version, but he seemed to be having the time of his life nonetheless. Also his GP driving on RR on the NTSC version had to be seen to be believed. The CDM 2013 also marked the first time in history that the proceedings were live streamed on Twitch (www.twitch.tv/ffsmk), thanks to the combined endeavors of Geoffrey Label and Patrick Wessels. The stream was a big success, with kart enthusiasts from accross the globe following all the action on Twitch until the deep hours of the night every day.
The first tournament day featured the traditional Time Trial 1-try event. Guillaume Leviach had bombared himself as the favourite to win this year’s rendition by crowning himself #1 of the PAL NBT rankings a few weeks earlier. He lived up to the expectations by beating Florent in the CI2 final with a second to spare. With Sami coming in third, Florent already established a narrow lead on his main rival. The GP150cc tournament was moved forward on the schedule to the second day of competition. Despite the fact that Florent demonstrated the form of a champion all day (beating the CI2 OPEN flap WR and the MC3 NBT WR on the way), his historical streak was brought to a halt by Sami in a historically thrilling final (final score 5-4). Florent was visibly disappointed that his 7 year winning-streak had finally come to an end, but many realized that such a streak will probably never be repeated in SMK competition history.
With his main rival Sami proving he could even go toe to toe with Florent in his strongest mode, GP150cc, Florent knew he had to reach top-4 in the Battle Mode tournament. On paper this was far from an easy task, with big names such as Julien Holmiere, Geoffrey Label, Drew Blumfield and Harold Christensen all having their eyes on the title. After a good qualification, Florent struggled to pull through versus an on fire Conor Wood in the quarter finals. However, a narrow 7-6 win was sufficient to reach the semifinals; a result all the more important as Sami was eliminated in the quarter finals by Battle Mode player extraordinaire, Geoffrey Label. Subsequently Florent was denied a spot in the final by a rampant Harold Christensen. Harold had taken an early 7-1 lead, but Florent still managed to fight back 9-6. While Harold went on to win the tournament in emphatic fashion, Florent fell a little short of a bronze medal after a 9-6 defeat at the hands of Geoffrey Label. The CDM of 2013 was finalized with the MR tournament. Florent needed to rank above Sami to reclaim the SMK World Championship title. Despite the fact that Sami had been dominant in MR for 4 years straight, Florent was feeling confident, as the new tricks up his sleave (such as finish-line feather tricks on GV2, BC2 and BC3) made him feel he had an extra edge against his adversary. Sami had won a small psychological battle by beating Florent in the group stages; this also implied Florent had to face one of his feared adversaries, Karel van Duijvenboden, early on in the quarterfinals. Somehow this draw happens every year, and while it is normally very close, Florent crushed an underperforming Karel 7-0, sending out a strong signal to his competitors that he was ready for whatever was in store next. While Sami had succeeded in breaking Florent’s GP streak, Florent returned the favour by eliminating Sami (and effectively becoming World Champion and stopping Sami's 4 year streak on MR) in the semifinal after a tense battle. The two rivals went head to head for the first few points, both showcasing incredible driving and full mastery of the tactical component of this mode. Florent was boosted a bit by 2 lightnings, but that took nothing away from his eventual 9-6 victory, earned by an ever more aggressive and risky driving style, rather than the more calculated style of his opponent. The MR final versus surprise opponent Julien Holmiere was played with Florent already having the overall CDM victory secured. Julien gave it his all and impressed the world with his moves, but it was not enough to prevent the unchained Florent from claiming the win with an 11-7 scoreline.
SMK World Championship 2014
Florent signed off on another momentous year by winning the SMK World Championship of 2014 with crushing dominance, reaching 4 out of 4 finals and 3 out of 4 gold medals (CDM 2014). On top of winning the CDM, Florent also organized the event, proving that it is possible to be a succesful competitor even when burdened with organizatorial tasks. For the second year in a row the CDM opened its doors in La Suze-sur-Sarthe, with its fantastic venue. The usual top players were all present and with a total of 43 participants the CDM was popular as ever. This year media coverage reached a new pinnacle with the NESblog team (http://www.nesblog.com/) creating a documentary of the event on site. Moreover, there were various big news papers conducting interviews with the top players (and Florent in particular) and further coverage was provided by a live-stream of the proceedings on the CDM Twitch channel (www.twitch.tv/ffsmk).
Florent cruised to the final in the Time Trial event with relative ease, never really getting into trouble. One of the upsets of the tournament was that the big favourite for TT, Guillaume Leviach, did not reach further than a bronze medal this year. Instead the traditional Sami versus Florent final happened once more, conducted on MC2 this time. Unlike Sami, Florent was prepared to take extra risks to beat his opponent, performing the tricky Long Boost in the two opening laps. This created a big enough gap for Florent to win the first gold medal of the 2014 edition. Subsequently, Florent showed killer-form in the MR tournament all day long, disposing of Raphael Braun, Matthias Boucher and Harold Christensen in the KO-stages to reach the final, winning 21 out of 26 races on the way. Particularly impressive were the item short-cuts that Florent was hitting; the highlight being a spectacular Long Boost-assisted feather-jump to the finishline at GV2 in the semi final, the likes of which have never been showcased before at a CDM event. Unsurprisingly, the final provided another Florent versus Sami face-off. Florent jokingly refers to these rivalry matches as "el Classico's" now (after the classic Barcelona vs Real Madrid showdowns in football). Sami started the match powerfully, taking a 5-2 lead with solid driving and strategy. Florent shook his nerves and clawed himself back into the match by applying a more daring style, trying to intimidate and put pressure on his opponent. This proved succesful as Florent ended the match with a string of wins to reach an 11-7 overall score and the gold medal. It should be noted that Florent was also helped back into the match with some luck: when Sami threathened to go 7-4 up, a lightning came to the rescue, one of two Florent would get in this match. It was never as excessive as in the 2009 MR final though (that time Sami was helped by as many as 5 lightnings), therefore it was clear that Florent earned this victory mainly through superior ability.
Florent entered the BM tournament already relieved of some pressure with 2 gold medals in hand. As the day progressed he was performing better than anticipated, reaching a 2nd place in the group stage. In the KO stages, Jey gave Florent a good fight at the start of the quarter final, but his opposition wasn't enduring. Sami did stumble in the quarter finals of BM again (Drew Blumfield being the executioner this year) and thus already needed a small miracle to still threathen Florent's overall win. Florent had to face Drew Blumfield in the BM semi final once more. The American had eliminated Florent at this stage several times in the past already, despite some ferocious attempts from the Frenchman. Florent managed to punish Drew's defensive negligence this time, shaking his demons from the past and bagging a surprising 9-6 win. For the first time ever, Florent had a serious shot at that elusive "Grand Chelem"*. However, his opponent in the final, Julien Holmiere, proved to be of a different calibre altogether. Florent only got his first win in when Julien was 8-0 up and the final score of 11-2 did not lie.
The GP tournament started with Florent comfortably in the lead. Only a very upsetting early elimination could still hold his overall win back and his CDM win was secured when he finished as group stage winner. However, Florent still had a lot to play for, as his GP winning-streak had been ended by Sami the year before. This meant Florent was very keen on setting the record straight in the tournament of his favourite mode. Florent's KO-stage matches did not go smoothly, as he struggled to dispose himself of Salim in a hard fought 1/16 final. He had lost the 1st cup, but redeemed himself in the next two. The next match versus Matthias Boucher proved to be an even tougher challenge. After Matthias took a 2-1 lead in cups, Florent could not afford to lose a single more cup. Florent hang in there with his famous fighting spirit and managed to bring the match to a heavily contested 2-2. Mushroom cup would be the decider and this cup went all the way to the wire as well, with both players on match point at MC2. By then a big crowd had gathered around the TV, with the prospect of possibly watching SMK history in the making. Florent was trailing Matthias by roughly a second when he picked up the red shell he needed to seal the match. After this, another tough match awaited Florent in the semi finals versus his friend Geoffrey Label. Geo was performing to the maximum of his ability and was going toe to toe with Florent, just like Matthias in the match before him. As the match progressed Florent's form was picking up though and once he found his top gear he proved to be an unstoppable force, finishing with a 4-2 win. Another "el Classico" final awaited versus Sami (the third one that CDM). Surprisingly, this proved to be Florent's easiest match of the KO-stage as he cruised to a 5-0 victory. The scoreline may have been a little deceiving, as Sami pushed him to the final track in almost every cup, but Florent certainly did not get into trouble once and showed the world who was truly the boss in SMK.
- In 2007 Florent had technically come closer to performing the "Grand Chelem", winning 3 gold medals and only losing by mere seconds in the TT final. However, seeing TT is traditionally held on the first day, Florent never actually had a shot at it that year beyond day 1.
SMK World Championship 2015
Florent claimed his 7th World Champion title and his 9th overall 'Championnat' title at the 2016 SMK World Championships. For the third year running the CDM was hosted in the excellent venue of La Suze-sur-Sarthe and this time with a record breaking number of 56 participants. Notably, 6 Americans, 4 of which participated in the competition. At this CDM, Florent had to fight for the top position with fellow French karters Geoffrey Label and Julien Holmiere, as his traditional rival Sami endured a series of disappointing results.
Much like last year, Florent cruised into the final for the Time Trial event, enjoying crashless races throughout the knock-out stages of the tournament. The final turned out to be an almost exact repeat of the 2014 Time Trial final, facing Sami on Mario Circuit 2. The feeling of déjà vu was further strengthened by the manner in which Florent defeated his opponent, opening the race with 2 Long Boosts, whereas Sami stuck to normal driving once more. In sharp contrast with the predictable Time Trial results, The Match Race tournament turned out to be full of upsets. In the quarter finals, the established pecking order in SMK was firmly put to the test. Jey, a rising star in multiplayer SMK, managed to eliminate Sami through a convincing 7-4 victory, while Guillaume Leviach defeated another tournament favourite in Julien Homiere. The revolution was almost completed by Conor Wood from Team UK, who came shockingly close to knocking-out Florent in a 7-6 thriller of a match. Florent recovered from this match well and delivered a solid semi final win against Geoffrey Label. After the quarter final onslaught, Geo was the biggest remaining threat to Florent's overall position, but Florent disposed of him with a 9-6 win. In the final a surprise opponent awaited him in the form of Guillaume Leviach. Though Guillaume fought with all he had, Florent proved too strong and clinched an 11-6 victory, acquiring already his 3rd MR gold medal in a row.
The next day, Florent enjoyed a strong group phase showing in battle mode. For a brief moment a monumental ‘Grand Chelem’ looked liked it could be in the works, but it was traditionally disrupted by the man Florent fears most in battle, Drew Blumfield. Whereas Florent had managed to finally overcome Drew in 2014’s BM semifinal, this year things returned to normal through a 9-4 Drew victory. At the same time Geo managed to qualify for the final after a thrilling fight with gold medal favourite Julien Holmiere. Florent subsequently lost the ensuing bronze medal play-off versus a rampant Julien, though for the overall rankings his lead on rival Geo was still substantial. This was also helped by Drew defeating Geo in the BM final; the American, who is a big crowd favourite, reclaimed the gold for the first time since 2010.
Keeping his record breaking GP gold medal streak from 2006 to 2012 in mind, Florent was keen on restarting a streak after his victory in 2014’s GP tournament. Though his rival Geo managed to top the group stage, Florent secured a relatively calm path to the semifinals, knocking out Aron Langerak and Pierre Coste along the way. The semifinal pitted him against Julien Holmiere, a duel made especially piquant by the fact that Julien had replaced Florent as the #1 on the GP150cc time ranking website (http://www.smkgp150cc.com/) just a few months prior to the event. Despite this psychological edge, Florent’s decision making, weapon usage and consistency proved enough to overpower Julien through a 4-2 victory. Although there was still the prestigious GP final at stake versus his friend Geo, Florent had at least already secured his 9th overall CDM title at this point. Florent started the final in dominant fashion, taking a 2-0 lead. At this point Geo found his fighting edge, using his fearsome arsenal of opponent hindering tricks to full effect. Florent was already familiar with Geo's skill-set in this regard, but the level of his opponent during this match might still have surprised him a little. As a result, Florent lost his footing and ultimately the match. Geo won the decisive special cup (clinching his match point to make it 5-3) mainly thanks to a superb green shell long shot on Koopa Beach 2, a move that effectively summarized the match.
Despite his failure to win GP, Florent expressed to be very happy with his results at this CDM, winning his first world championship title as a sponsored player.
Championship Medal Collection
Florent is perhaps most famous for his high level performances during the annually organized CDF/CDE/CDM. His Championship achievements through the years are summarized at the SMK Championships profile page of Florent Lecoanet. The CDF was founded in 2002 by Franck Mazieres; in the beginning it mainly featured French competitors and a few Swiss ones. This changed in 2008, which showed an influx of competitors from outside of France; the CDF would therefore be known as CDE from that year onwards; CDE being an abbreviation of Championnat d’Europe, meaning Championship of Europe in English. In 2009 the final evolution of the event took place and CDE became CDM, being an abbreviation of Championnat du Monde, meaning World Championship in English.
In various CDF/CDE/CDM events since 2005 Florent has gathered 8 gold medals in GP (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014), 6 gold medals in Match Race (2006, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015), 1 gold medal in Battle Mode (2007), 5 gold medals in Time Trial (2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015), and one Master Cup* ([http://www.ffsmk.org/downloads/smkchamp2008.zip 2008). Furthermore he has won 2 silver medals in GP (2013, 2015), 2 silver medals and 2 bronze medals in Match Race (2009, 2010 and 2011, 2012 respectively), 2 silver medals and 2 bronze medals in Battle Mode (2011, 2014 and 2009, 2010 respectively) and 3 silver medals and 1 bronze medal in Time Trial (2007, 2009, 2013 and 2006 respectively).
- The Master Cup was introduced as a new element at the SMK Championships of 2008 as an experiment and was scheduled after the overall competition was finished. The goal was to see if a more randomly organized tournament system could work for future tournaments, clear favourites were not seeded for example, but it was not an undisputed success and would not return in tournaments thereafter.
Florent got more and more public recognition over the years. After having been crowned World Champion of Super Mario Kart for the 5th time in 2014, he became national news and got interviewed for several of the most famous newspapers in France. Among them, a very interesting article was published in Le Monde's website (English: The World), one of the biggest French daily newspapers site with two million readers per day: http://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2014/08/25/florent-lecoanet-30-ans-et-quintuple-champion-du-monde-a-super-mario-kart_4475456_4408996.html Florent was also invited as special guest of several videogames TV shows, including Game One eSport (Game One - http://www.gameone.net/programmes/game-one-esport/w0inlx/saisons/2015/1q7fxg/episodes/gameone-esport-du-07-02-15/pqw9mc/Game-One-e-Sport-du-07-02-15/7kiley), Extra Life (Nolife TV - http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2d1nao_extra-life-sur-florent-lecoanet-neo-super-mario-kart-no-life_videogames) and Speed Game (Nesblog/jeuxvideos.com - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WKVF38yxpM and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJC_gOCaaVo). Other interviews can be found here: http://www.lepoint.fr/high-tech-internet/super-mario-kart-l-etonnant-championnat-20-08-2014-1855108_47.php http://leplus.nouvelobs.com/contribution/1235560-je-suis-champion-du-monde-de-super-mario-kart-10-ans-d-entrainement-3h-par-soir-minimum.html Moreover, Florent was ranked 3rd of the greatest French eSport champions of all-time (http://www.topito.com/top-esport-joueurs-francais-fifa-starcraft-usf4) and got mentionned in various articles dealing with eSport, including on Redbull's website (http://www.redbull.com/en/esports/stories/1331676707051/retro-gaming-esports-still-going-strong).
Awesome Games Done Quick 2016
In 2016, Florent participated in Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ), the biggest worldwide speedrunning marathon that is held annually and raises funds for the prevent cancer foundation. On the first day of AGDQ 2016, Florent faced-off against former Time Trial #1Karel van Duijvenboden (alias KVD). Their race will be ingrained in the memory of most of the people that witnessed it live, as it climaxed into one of the closest finishes in the history of these events. The goal of the race was to complete all cups of Super Mario Kart (GP150cc, NTSC version) as fast as possible, each on a separate console. Beforehand, there was no clear favourite. Karel is the World Record holder in this category (31m08s) and the most trained (for this specific challenge) out of the two, but Florent’s overall GP prowess and ability under pressure would almost certainly be enough to make up for that, leaving a roughly 50-50 winning chance.
The race turned out to be close all the way through, with multiple lead changes. Florent started off strong, jumping into a big lead of 13 seconds during mushroom cup. After this, Karel clawed back with some clean racing on flower and star cup and actually started the deciding special cup with a healthy 16 second lead. Florent mounted an incredible comeback building all the way through this final cup. His antics included an expert wall-skip shortcut on Donut Plains 3 through the timely use of a mushroom. On the final track, Rainbow Road, Karel still had 6 seconds of advantage left, implying that Florent needed to get a feather or mushroom to win through a possible final lap trick ending. Instead of that happening, Karel suffered an unlucky blow as Luigi suddenly rag dolled into his kart upon firing a red shell, which ironically, Karel attempted to try and move Luigi out of the way with. This set-up a thriller of a final lap that culminated in a highly memorable photo finish. In the end Florent had won by ~0.13 seconds, a mind-blowingly small difference after over 32 minutes of racing. Afterwards, Florent would call this performance one of the absolute highlights of his career as an SMK player.
-The video of the full race can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeAqg-L-tNM
-The video of the photo finish can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWEeiuOoyuc
-Full video that includes the pre-match interview by Blechy and the donation incentive Match Race performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7JTayEh4SY&list=PLq8o_9QDqDPURJjZ2_tQTLTatriJQavEV
Approximately 150.000 viewers had tuned in live to watch this run via Twitch ((https://www.twitch.tv/gamesdonequick).), easily the largest audience any SMK performance has ever received. Thanks to the generous donations of the viewers ($2,879.19 in total), the donation incentive was met (https://gamesdonequick.com/tracker/bids/agdq2016). This allowed Florent and Karel to deliver an encore performance. The idea that they both had beforehand was to give the viewers a bite of what top level multiplayer SMK / CDM is like. Therefore they chose to play 1 round of Match Race on Choco Island 1, which is known as the track that has the most interesting meta-game and item dynamics. Shockingly, this race also ended in a photo finish. The race started with a nice weaponry exchange in the beginning laps, after which both drivers collected a feather to set-up a trick finish. This time it was Karel's turn to come out a fraction faster. When the SMK pairing left the stage, the show that they had provided was received with a standing ovation from the audience (approximately 400 people) present in the hall. Much applause was also coming through via Twitch chat. Many also commented on the excellent commentary provided by Dan Hoernemann, who had truly done a stellar job at explaining all the SMK technicalities to the public. Florent had travelled across the Atlantic ocean to attend this event, which was held in Washington DC in the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport hotel. This marked the first occasion that Florent undertook intercontinental travel for a Super Mario Kart related endeavor.
Florent joined the SMK Players’ Site on the 7th of August of 2005 with a #85 world rank. Although not a Time Trial expert to begin with, he has made his mark in that competition as well by climbing as high up as #3 in PAL, a position he reached in January 2007 (currently he is ranked 6th on the World rankings). Moreover he won the highly acclaimed Player of the Year (POY) award in 2006 (see Awards page), a victory he secured by driving his first ever Time Trial WR in PAL on 22 December of the same year; a 9”37 WR tie at KB1 flap. One month before that, on the 13th of November, he had already driven his first ever Time Trial WR on NTSC with a 11”52 GV2 flap. He joined the NTSC side of the competition a few months prior to getting his first WR there, in September 2006, entering in a high position at #12 on the ladder. The highest rank he ever reached in NTSC so far was 4th during March 2009 (currently he is ranked 7th on the World rankings). He currently holds 2 WRs in PAL and 2 WRs in NTSC (see World Record charts of PAL and NTSC) and specializes in MC2 longboosting and KB1 and VL1 water/snow sliding. He also participates in SMK Non-NBT competition at the Non-NBT Players’ Site, which is an old school SMK competition that limits the use or abuse of zigzag boosting. He joined the PAL ladder of this site in October 2005 in 31st position. He joined the NTSC part of the rankings 1 year later in October 2006 in 24th position. To further demonstrate his all-round SMK ability he also hit WR’s in this competition, the first one being the VL1 5-lap WR (with a time of 50”88) on November 14, 2007. He currently holds 4 PAL Non-NBT WR’s and is ranked 6th in PAL and 10th in NTSC on the Non-NBT Players’ Site.
Grand Prix 150cc milestone
Through the years Florent has demonstrated his GP mastery in all categories of both PAL and NTSC (the various rankings can be checked at the GP 150 cc site). To celebrate the particularly impressive milestone of achieving all 20 Best Lap World Records in the NTSC Open category (NTSC Open World Record page) in 2009, he published a video showcasing all 20 flap World Records. This video was partially produced by Sébastien Holmière and is considered one of the single most impressive Super Mario Kart videos to date, showing unrivalled item mastery and driving. It can be viewed here: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPKa8S5_YlM).
In a follow-up from his NTSC flap compilation from 2009, Florent and his close friend and rival Geoffrey Label (known as Geo throughout the community) published a video showcasing all 20 Best Lap World Records in the PAL Open category (PAL Open World Record page), in 2011. It features some of the most incredible driving and creative item strategies in GP that the world has witnessed so far. It can be viewed here: (http://youtu.be/rtkxN7it01k).
In daily life Florent has completed his studies. He studied 5 years in Angers, 1 year in Le Mans and 1 year in his city of birth, Rennes. Florent used to be an overall teacher at elementary school, but he is now working for the administrative part of the National Education ministry. Ironically, Florent works at the Local Education Authority where he is in charge of organizing the competitive exams for students who are willing to become teachers at primary school.
The Federer comparison
Much to the amusement of a lot of people in his environment (and not in the least place to his own amusement), Florent’s appearance resembles that of Roger Federer (the greatest tennis player in history, a global sports icon) like two drops of water. With both Roger and Florent being dominant forces in their respective competitions and Florent being an avid tennis player himself, his peers soon nicknamed him “the Roger Federer of SMK”. The comparison doesn’t stop with their appearance, love for tennis and dominance in their game though. Like Roger, Florent is a graceful champion loved by supporters and rivals alike and a great ambassador of his sport. For example he hosted the CDFof 2006 in his appartment as a last resort to save the event from cancellation and creates a variety of SMK related promotion videos, such as fast lap compilations, CDF trailers, year summaries and more (you can watch some of his videos here).
Message Board personality
Florent is an enthusiastic poster on the various message boards dedicated to Mario Kart. He is known on these fora as Neo, nicknamed after his favourite movie character Neo from the The Matrix Trilogy. Funnily enough, when he entered a picture of himself in a face recognition program to find out which celebrities his face matched the most, both Roger Federer and Keanu Reaves (actor that plays Neo in the Matrix) popped up in the final results. Florent’s replies on the MB are often mixed in a layer of sexual humour; for example he claims that his dick size is only measurable in earth to moon distance units and one of his MB friends, Guilherme Arantes, is quoted saying that: “Florent is a sex machine.” Moreover his MB signature used to be “When things look bad, I just remember that I've got a real big dick, and things seem much better”.
Other Mario Karts
Besides SMK, Florent is also ranked in Mario Kart Double Dash!! (MKDD) and Mario Kart Super Circuit (MKSC) and is therefore also ranked on the Combined Kart Ranks. He is currently ranked #28 on the Combined Kart Ranks, just outside the top 300 on MKDD and 21st at MKSC. The highest position he ever reached in MKSC was 10th. He also tried playing Mario Kart 64 (MK64), but found it a horrifying experience, therefore he never obtained a full set of times there.
Florent is a not a typical gamer and does not play a wide variety of games. Apart from the various Mario Kart games he loves playing Circuit Breakers, Pro Evolution Soccer and Metal Gear Solid, but more for fun than to really excell in them. He is however one of the best in the world at another classic Nintendo game, Super Mario Bros, being within seconds of the speedrun WR and holding the French Record (which can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-binWq0UPw). Moreover, he currently holds 29 World Records at Micro Machines V4 and has very high ranked records at Sega Rally Championship (#2 in the World on Desert Course's lap with a 49"05 chrono) and Big Brain Academy (#5 and #7 in the World respectively on Coin-parison and Sound Bite levels).
Florent Lecoanet has proven to be the most dominant force in SMK over the past years and is without a doubt the most succesful SMK player in history. After the extensive media coverage of the CDM 2014, Florent became national news and is now recognized as one of the best competitive videogame players of France. It will be interesting to see how this trend will develop in the years to come. With Florent now recognized as a bonafide videogaming superstar, he could well become the first SMK player to receive a sponsoring deal, a possibility that would raise the competitive SMK scene to a whole new level. These are exciting times to be the World Champion of SMK.