For the last three seasons, a player has entered the Singles Division and won the title in their first year in the league. Last season, we saw Adam “The Coyote” Collins do it, before him, it was “Primetime” Paul Oyama, and before him, it was Ethan “Big Time” Erwin.
With a PPE% of 91.3% and an AR% of 90.3% across two matches, this year it looks like “Downtown” Griffy Newms could be the one to keep the streak alive.
Newms (2-0) played a perfect game against “The Dealbreaker” Jacoby Bancroft (1-1) to earn a 23-22 victory and advance to 2-0.
“You put up too many -1’s and it starts to be ostentatious,” Newms said about his performance in the match. “Let’s just get a perfect game. I don’t really need the -1. I’m not trying to take anybody else down. We’re just trying to boost ourselves.”
For all of the talk about Newms’ performance, Bancroft certainly did not make the win easy for the Exchange rookie. Both competitors were perfect through all eight questions and the bonus to hold tied at 9-9 at the end of the first.
In Round Two, Newms cited the old playground adage of “First the worst, second the best” before handing control of the wheel to The Dealbreaker. Bancroft would go on to earn a modest 6 PTS in the category of Animated movies, but his only stumble in the Round cost him a 1-PT steal in favor of his opponent. That steal would prove to be the difference-maker as Newms was perfect in the category of Disaster Films to take an 18-15 lead into the final round.
Down 3, Bancroft was counting on a miss from Downtown in order to come away with the win, but that miss never came. After successfully hitting his 2- and 5-point questions, Bancroft borrowed the lead for a moment until Newms hit his first two Round Three questions to win 23-22.
After the win, Newms had nothing but respect for his opponent.
“Great competitor,” Newms said of Bancroft. “I have all the respect in the world for the man. It was a fierce battle. […] I think both Jacoby and I have exceptional strength in animation categories, and when he got that on the wheel, I was terrified for my life. I thought, ‘Here’s an easy perfect round for him. What am I going to get?’ There were a few booby traps on that wheel for me. I’m not going to say which ones, but there were a few things I pointedly didn’t want. But I made it work”.
Newms has no matches officially scheduled yet, but if given the opportunity, he’ll do whatever it takes to get to the gold.
“There are a lot of weird aftereffects of this pandemic, right?” Nems said. “We’ve all had our lifestyles adjusted and one thing for me recently is I’ve noticed I lost a lot of weight. I feel like there was a point in the bell curve when I was eating a ton of junk food to cope with all of this and now I feel like I’m eating healthier again. But, an unfortunate side effect there is I find that a lot of my pants no longer fit. And, I feel like I could use a belt to keep them up.”