The first of four 10-participant championship matches finished up early this afternoon, with inaugural Ohio Valley Champion Joe Patterson retaining his title in gritty fashion over 9 other talented competitors.
The match, which featured classic DubPoints scoring in five categories (availability, creativity, effort, publicity, and value), consisted of 9 twelve-hour rounds with the lowest score being booted out at the end of each. This made for a slow-paced but exciting competition that favored consistency and long-term strategy over short-term bursts of activity.
The week opened up predictably, with those who were effectively not competing being eliminated first. But there was a bit of a surprise as to who some of those players ended up being. Bob Wilson, a fixture in the fantasy sports realm in his first-ever DubPoints match, drew the first shortest straw. The real story of Day 1, however, was Jimmy Howes, the former 2-time champion, being eliminated after Round 2. Questions lingered as to whether or not either of the contestants were aware of their participation.
In Day 2, Dom Vinci was the easy choice for a third-round elimination after a sudden deactivation of his social media (or blocking the DubPoints page, we’re not really sure). Logan Taylor, a first-time competitor who showed a lot of upside, was sent home after Round 4 for failing to do anything significant contest-wise.
Justine Mentzer’s shocking elimination at the beginning of Wednesday cut the field down to half, and she was someone who was viewed early on as a potential top contender for the belt in this match format.
Patterson then found himself against four remaining competitors: close rival Jim Jasinski and last month’s top contender Mike Kendjorsky (who were expected to advance far), and the more surprising debuting Brandon Garcia and back-from-hiatus Mike Fedczak (playing for the first time since 2013). It was then that we saw some real strategy take place as all five men were hungry for the championship.
Patterson and Jasinski took more traditional approaches, relying on availability and creativity, while Kendjorsky, Garcia and Fedczak focused on the other categories. Garcia was especially publicity-heavy throughout his run in the contest, as was Fedczak, but Garcia’s repeated spamming of Facebook was more frequent, causing Fedczak to be the first of the last five to be eliminated.
In an interesting turn of events on Thursday, Jasinski became the next one to be eliminated, after waiting out nearly the entire 12-hour window to do something significant. Though he did submit some content in the same vein as his opponents within the scoring window, it was the sheer amount of content by others on this day that boxed him out a little early than many had expected.
With the field now down to three people, we expected to see some attempts to focus on additional categories, but that turned out not to be the case. Garcia’s laser-focus on the publicity category put him in a position to consistently score points all week, but it was never going to be enough against a smaller field without making a dent in the others. His elimination Thursday night put Patterson and Kendjorsky in control of their own destinies on Friday.
You can’t really take anything away from Kendjorsky’s performance in this event. He was clearly not going to get availability based on a distance disadvantage, but managed to accrue points in it when the field was larger due to constant communication with the commissioner. Patterson’s lack of social media posts the entire match gave that category to Kendjorsky, and with neither of them offering bribes they looked like they were going to have to rely on creativity and effort.
While not as tough of a judgment call as recent full-blown categories, Patterson delivered on both effort and creativity by going a classic route of piecing together a lengthy video of entertaining original content. Kendjorsky certainly upped his game on Friday, focusing on the effort category, and you could make the case that he actually might have taken that category, but that the disparity in creativity on Friday was more in Patterson’s favor than the one for effort in Kendjorsky’s.
Either way, it was a fantastic matchup. Patterson looks to be trying to hold on to the belt as long as possible, but participants like Kendjorsky, Garcia, Jasinski, and Fedczak all proved something here, and it is expected that they will be in championship consideration over the next few months.
There will be a similar match for the DubPoints Internet Championship beginning at midnight on Monday, December 12. The match will see David Dodrill (in his first official title defense) trying to fend off 9 other competitors. If it was anything like this match, we’re in for another wild week.