by Eric Hersey
I won DubPoints on two separate occasions. Although I wasn’t able to find the results for every tournament, I don’t recall ever losing before the Elite 8. I credit this success to understanding the ‘random’ scoring system.
Edgar has been rather secretive with the scoring over the years. Although I have had many conversations, interviews, and interactions, Edgar remained tight lipped on his scoring. Often conspiracy theorists like Luke Bumbico would claim there is no actual system – just randomness and favoritism. This has elements of truth, but is not entirely factual.
Luke Bumbico has no shortage of DubPoints Conspiracy Theories.
DubPoints IX proved that Edgar can adjust the scoring when he sees fit. Spencer Connor had to split the championship with yours truly, Eric Hersey, when Edgar decided that neither one of us should lose. I can’t imagine a sophisticated scoring system would end in a tie – odds would believe Edgar deviated to do what was best for his brand.
On other occasions, we have seen the exact same production from contestants day over day and varying results. With a sliding scale (based on everyone else’s involvement), how can anyone accurately predict their probability of winning?
Understanding the Basic Math
DubPoints scores competitors on five categories: Effort, Value, Availability, Creativity, and Publicity. In most cases (although this might have changed over the years), Edgar awards points to each of the categories by a ranking system. Whoever he viewed as being number 1 in creativity takes the most points, the second person gets slightly less points, and so on. The bank of points for a given category is distributed by the number of contestants. As people are eliminated, the gap between 1st and 2nd grow larger (all other rankings as well).
Early in the tournament, you can put limited effort into all categories and usually outscore most of the field. If seeding is done correctly, you will advance just by playing attention. This was especially true when the rounds were 4-5 days long.
Once all of the non-players were removed, your best case to advance was to pick one of two strategies.
- Availability and Value (Sprinkled with Publicity)
- Creativity, Publicity, and Effort
Before Live Streaming on Social platforms, videos were more effective due to the effort in filming and editing.
Option 1: Hanging out with Dub
You could easily own two categories in DubPoints with minimal effort. Many times contestants would go to Dubs house and not leave. If you had 8-10 hours, you would get full points. While hanging out, bring a gift, pay for a meal, or show John a great time and get rewarded with value. Make sure you are posting images and videos on social and earn your publicity points.
Inviting Edgar to an outing or just sitting at his house had man contestants scrambling.
This may have been the easiest way to advance. As long as you didn’t score zeroes In the other categories, you would surely advance. We have seen many champions: Lance Delbrugge and Justine Mentzer win with this being their main game plan.
Option 2: Creating and Distributing Content
There is no way I can write this strategy and not sound biased. This is a much more difficult path to victory, but highly rewarding for creative types. By creating something (video, work of art, elaborate storyline, etc…) and posting online, you are awarded in three categories. In most cases, the more creative – the more effort was put in. If it is creative and entertaining enough, the more comments and publicity.
Since creativity is not something everyone excels in, this category was a bit easier to win. Most competitors won’t put forth the effort into creating something new. This means less competition. This is a huge factor in the later stages of the tournament when the difference between 1st place and 4th place could be 20-30 points.
Knowing Your Competition
Once you pick your strategy, you need to cater against your opponent. Understand their relationship with John Edgar.
- Do they work together?
- Will they pay for lunches?
- Have they shown signs of creativity in the past?
- Do they have a large online following?
If you can find three obvious weaknesses, exploit those and put all of your energy in defeating them in those three areas.
If you find two weaknesses, exploit them but be prepared to pull out your best in at least one other category.
Planning For the Future
These shortened rounds have less chance to rest (unless your gamble with the wheel paid off). Before a tournament begins, think of some out of the box ideas for the contest. Have these ideas in your back pocket for when you find yourself in a battle. Up until that moment, do the least possible to win.
Save your time, energy, and value for when you need it. Once you know you are going into a battle, hit them hard on the first day. Often this will force the competitor to throw in the towel mentally (this is a pointless contest, remember?). If you haven’t showed them the goods up until this point, they likely didn’t do the work to get a good score and you could have a sizable lead. This works only once. Use the rest of your ideas when needed.
The Justin Benline Hour was planned and recorded several weeks before most of the contest.
Tips and Tricks that Work Every-time
- Always offer something of value to Edgar – everyday. Even something with no value means you outscore anyone that doesn’t offer anything.
- Always offer to hang out or join you. Make the offer something that he will decline or wouldn’t want to do. You tend to get the potential availability points as if he were hanging out.
- Phone calls give more points than texts.
- Creativity points are not just for videos, graphics, art, etc…. Anything original typically scores well. It doesn’t actually have to be ‘media’ to get points.
- Always over exaggerate how long something takes. The same goes for value. Everything costs more and took hours to do.
- Publicity is easily staged. Getting one person not linked to DubPoints to mention DubPoints is a big deal. Include friends and you will score better than most.
With this very article being published, be on the lookout for changes to the system. More importantly, this could equalize the game for those who figured this out years prior.
The game will evolve and more importantly needs to evolve. By unveiling some of the easy hacks and strategies, we will force the contestants to utilize better planning and more effort. That should help bring better content, more publicity, and a healthier brand.
DubPoints has never been about John Wyatt Edgar. In fact, DubPoints has been about the contestants. DubPoints is Edgar’s social experiment to see how contestants could deal with random scoring, hidden rules, and a complicated algorithm. The winner was always the one that managed to uncover enough of the system to outlast the competition.
Today, we Decoded DubPoints. Therefore, we are all DubPoint Champions.