DubPoints World Champion Charles Wilfong has waited over three months to defend his title again, possibly under the impression that he would never have to. The DubPoints brand has undergone many changes and revisions since then, and the whole state of the competition was in flux for a while. And even though the focus this month on DubPoints LIVE has been the crowning of the newly introduced championships, there is still business at hand in determining Wilfong’s #1 contender.
Commissioner John Wyatt Edgar has booked four former champions in a two-day, “Fatal 4-way” #1 contender’s bout under traditional DubPoints scoring categories (availability, creativity, effort, publicity, and value). The action kicks off on Thursday, September 29, at midnight eastern and continues through the end of the day on Friday. And while this star-studded affair has all the talent necessary to create a high-scoring event, the build has been somewhat lackluster and underwhelming.
Ashleigh Thress, the most recent champion of the four candidates, has emerged as a clear favorite to win. Though her enthusiasm has waned since the disappointing DelPoints tournament earlier this year, she has been the only one of the four to consistently put forth any kind of effort into the brand in the months following. Thress is still a good fit for the title picture, and a one-on-one matchup against Wilfong is bound to be entertaining and have some unique stipulations, assuming it does take place. While nothing is a guarantee in DubPoints, it certainly would appear that this match may be nothing more than a formality in regards to her ascencion back to the top stage.
While the other three participants have to be portrayed as underdogs, Spencer Conner looks to be the least likely to walk into the weekend with a championship opportunity. After some tremendous activity in 2012-13, including a DubPoints IX championship, Conner’s fall from top-caliber competition has happened quickly and quietly. While there is no negating his impact on the event’s history, his relocation to the east coast has made him somewhat of a ghost when it comes to DubPoints events. If he wants to remain in consideration for the future, he needs to put forth some kind of effort, even if it doesn’t result in victory, as his stock is dropping fast.
Eric Hersey is in a similar situation, but for different reasons. Despite still being a productive force as recently as last year, and with two titles on his resume, Hersey is believed to be on hiatus from competition. That hiatus isn’t expected to be a permanent one, but it does appear to be one with no definitive end just yet. Hersey is known for being extremely active or inactive in DubPoints depending on the time of year, and coinciding with his fantasy football leagues is a real issue for him. Hersey takes his competitions very seriously and doesn’t want to compete if he feels he can’t bring something to the table. He is resourceful, though, and could make a move in this match — but only if he sees a clear path to victory.
Luke Bumbico is kind of the wildcard. He’s a more decorated champion than anyone in this match, but has also been the most vocal in recent years when it comes to denouncing the brand. But, he’s also the most clever of the four and could make a real charge at victory if that’s what he wants to do. Bumbico certainly follows the day-to-day activities of DubPoints, and while he thrives on competition, he doesn’t want to ruffle feathers or create controversy at this stage in his playing career. The recent evolution of the brand is much more inviting for a Luke Bumbico return, but the thought is he would only really go for a victory if he could do so by concentrating only on a couple categories.
While the above predictions may make the match sound considerably dull, it is simultaneously what makes it very exciting to watch. A dominating Thress victory is just as likely as a scenario in which none of the four competitors do much of anything to earn points, and the winner of the match ends up being determined by literally the smallest, most insignificant advantage. That could be as simple as sending Edgar a text or liking a Facebook post. If nothing else, who wouldn’t want to step up and try something — anything — if it meant being victorious in a match where their abilities have been downplayed on a weekly basis all month?
We will know the outcome at the end of the week, but don’t be surprised if Wilfong has already made a list of possible title match stipulations with Ms. Thress solely in mind.