“Primetime” Paul Oyama put together not just one of the best rookie seasons, but one of the best individual seasons of all time last year. He ended the season 6-1, with a championship win over the GOAT, “Dangerous” Dan Murrell, and a defense against Jeff “The Insneider” Sneider to become one of only four people to ever defend the belt. But then he got demolished by Ben “The Boss” Bateman at Spectacular and lost his path back to the title when he was defeated by John “The Outlaw” Rocha in March. Now, as a sophomore with a new lease on life, Oyama will have to put together a run reminiscent of last season if he wants to reclaim his belt, and that starts with a win over “Lady Justice” Marisol McKee.
Despite a strong effort from McKee (1-1), Oyama (7-2) was locked in, winning 19-17 and becoming the second player to ever play a perfect game in the Singles Division after Ben “The Boss” Bateman did it two weeks ago.
“I’m on a two-game slide in Singles, and the buck stops here,” Oyama said during the lead up to the match. “This is where my run back to the Singles glory starts.”
That confidence carried the former champion into one of the best performances of all time, but that doesn’t mean it was going to be an easy victory. It was a tight game at the end of Round One as Oyama hit all 8 questions including the Bonus to take the narrow 9-7 lead. He elected to defer to Lady Justice in the wheel round, who spun the category of Nora Ephron and picked up a middling 5 PTS despite a perfect 4/4 performance. The momentum however never left Primetime as he spun Spinner’s choice and went perfect in the category of Stanley Kubrick to widen the lead to 17-12 in the bottom of the second.
Down five, Lady Justice did her best to climb out of the hole as she knocked down her 2- and 3-pointers to avoid the technical knockout and force her opponent to answer some questions. However, Oyama never took his foot off the gas as he closed out the game with a perfect 19-17 win when he secured his 2-point question and McKee was unable to come up with the solution to her difficult 5.
Oyama credits his new attitude for the win.
“There’s always a fire under my belly,” the former champion said. “There always will be, I have such passion and such a care for the game that I’m gonna take it super seriously. But, no, I don’t think I have to approach the game that way anymore. I think that that, you know, that worked for me last year until it didn’t and then that ran out. You know, the fire that burns brightest can burn out quickly. So, I think that keeping myself steady is really important that’s what this win was all about.”
After picking up a big 3 PTS for S.W.A.G., Oyama advances to take on Jeff “The Insneider” Sneider in the next round of the tournament. The last time the two faced off was in New York last season when Primetime defended the belt against the former two-time Teams Champion.
“I mean this is just going to be a totally different match,” Oyama said in regards to his upcoming rematch. “I think that both of us will readily admit that neither of us played particularly well on that day. I happened to get a question I knew in Sudden Death. But, I think it’s going to be a much higher scoring game, a much more accurate game, and I’m excited to see what this match is going to look like especially with the two of us sort of coming into our own.”