WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE SCHMOEDOWN SPECTACULAR 5 INCLUDED BELOW!
The Movie Trivia Schmoedown faced some remarkably difficult challenges this year directly from Covid-19. The show lost the ability to present live shows and the studio matches had to be changed as well. However, Kristian Harloff, Mark Ellis and the remaining team from MTS did not just give up. They found solutions that, while maybe not perfect, was able to provide the best opportunity to continue the trivia contests, and the matches of the year exceeded all expectations. The show grew despite the issues and had one of its finest years yet.
This was the most difficult year for determining these awards for us at EYG. In fact, I can say that the winners of these awards changed several times, right up to the final decisions.
Player of the Year: Dan Murrell
Runners-Up: Adam Collins, Jeff Sneider, Chance Ellison
This was one that I changed a couple of times. I finally decided on Dan after completing the list of Top 30 matches (still to comer) and seeing Dan’s name in so many top 10 matches this year. While Adam Collins almost took this award, I decided since he was not here the whole year, his remarkable 7-0 run including a victory over Dan was just a tad short. Jeff Sneider had a fantastic run in both the singles and team tournaments and Chance Ellison made a big time run in Innergeekdom toruney along with success in teams.
Team of the Year: The Odd Couple
Runners-Up: Shazam, Founding Fathers, KOrruption, Final Exam
Another award that changed at least once. I almost gave this to Shazam, but their loss to The Odd Couple at the Spectacular was big. There is no debating that Shazam and the Odd Couple were the top two teams of the year. Founding Fathers and KOrruption were title holders this year and had one of the fiercest rivalries around. Final Exam helped to make Lon Harris and Paul Oyama stars again.
Manager of the Year: Shannon Barney.
Runners-Up: Winston Marshall, Roxy Striar, Coy Landreau
This one changed too after Spectacular. I was giving it to Winston Marshall because he was consistent the whole year and he did some great work, but Shannon’s faction won the year race and Collins’ victory over Dan, someone she had picked up in free agency, was just too much to over look. Yes, she started badly, but taking her team from last to first within the year was a huge feat. Roxy Striar made quite the run at the last quarter of the year, but she ended up in third. Roxy may be the best in-game manager there is.
Rookie of the Year: Adam Collins
Runners-Up: The Barbarian, Ben Goddard, Kevin Smith.
This was a questionable award, until Adam “The Coyote” Collins showed up and made it a runaway. 7-0 and the Movie Trivia Schmoedown Championship as a rookie kind of puts this away. The Barbarian, Ben Goddard are future superstars and Kevin Smith is a ton of fun and brought eyes to the Schmoedown, but this was not even close.
Faction of the Year: SWAG
Runners-Up: Korruption, Roxstars
Yes, I know that Korruption won the faction title, but I think SWAG had a more consistent year. Fact is most of Shannon’s points came from about two or three people. That is another reason she should be manager of the year, but SWAG spread it out more and that is why they get it. Roxstars put on a push at the end, but the first half was so weak that they did not have much chance.
Best Tournament of the Year: The Star Wars Tournament.
Runners-Up: Teams, Singles, Innergeekdom.
Taking nothing away from the other tournaments in the league this year, but the first ever Star Wars tournament was easily the most exciting, most energy filled and most unpredictable tourney we had. The biggest reason, I believe, was that the tournament was held LIVE on Twitch and the rest of them were pre-taped. There were great matches in the other tourneys, but the live aspect of the Star Wars Tournament was just so electric that you could feel the energy through the screen.
Face of the Year: Dan Murrell
Runners-Up: Shazam, Paul Oyama, Kevin Smith
Dan Murrell was the quintessential face this year, battling form behind in nearly every match he had. With a lot of the storylines cut back because of the virtual aspect, the face/heel dynamic was lesser than in past years but Dan clearly embodied the idea and he was constantly the most respectful. Oyama brought a new attitude this year and it did wonders for him.
Heel of the Year: Chandru Dhandapani.
Runners-Up: Shannon Barney, Brandon Hanna, Keiser
I almost gave this to Shannon, but as a manager, she could only do so much. When she broke up the Wildberries, she certainly took a step to this, but Chandru was just masterful at getting under the skin of everybody. He legitimately seemed to annoy and irritate everybody and he was so disrespectful that his character really became someone you wanted to see get his… and yet he is too good to have that happen. Brandon Hanna had a nice run for a while, but he faded after a loss.
Moment of the Year: Rocha turns on Dan
Runner-Up: Shannon breaks up the Wildberries, Rocha is chosen 4th, Drew Ghai tells us about the Schmoeminati.
Are you kidding me? This was so heartbreaking that, even though it just happened, it was memorable. Rocha was fire and you had to feel for poor Dan. Another reason Dan is the face of the year… he had to deal with his partner and manager turning on him. The other were fun, but none of them had the fierceness of this reveal.
Shock of the Year: Rocha turns on Dan
Runners-Up: Ace defeats Laura Kelly, Ace wins Star Wars Tournament, Dan defeats Ben Batemen second time
Who saw this coming? I guess we should have, but even when Dan cam back for his interview with Jen Sterger and Rocha wasn’t there, you may not have expected it. Even if you did, you could not have expected the absolute viciousness Rocha tossed at his friend. My jaw was on the ground and it was a devastating way to end a day’s length of programming.
Best Promo: Ken Napzok in Star Wars Tournament
Runners-Up: Drew Ghai and the Schmoeminati, Brandon Hanna’s long diatribe, Rocha spits fire on Dan.
Ken Napzok’s Star Wars promo was a thing of beauty. It was very wrestling-esque and it featured his character as much as the match itself. It was a master class in promo work and, despite its length, never felt dull. The original Schmoeminati promo was an amazing performance from Drew Ghai as he was incredibly convincing despite the silly premise. You knew something big was going to happen.
Best Character: Lon “The Delinquent” Harris.
Runners-Up: Andrew Ghai, Tom, Video Drew
The change of “The Professor” to “The Delinquent” was one of the year’s greatest character shifts. Lon Harris was totally committed to the character, even inside matches. Andrew Ghai‘s performance was golden, but the character was inconsistent. He may be a leading candidate for next year though after seeing the end cut scene of the Spectacular. Video Drew has been great every time and probably has a hand in with Lon. Tom suffered without Video Drew this year, but he was another character dedicated to his performance.
Best Innergeekdom Player of the Year: Chandru “The Chosen” Dhandapani.
Runners-Up: Chance Ellison, Mike Kalinowski, Alex Damon
Chandru was a force this year. Not only as an obnoxious heel, but also as a dominate trivia question answerer. His defeat of Kevin Smets was a brilliant head game and he defended the title, becoming the first IG champion since Jason Inman to do so. Chance Ellison won the IG Tournament over Mike Kalinowski, his KOrroption team mate. Alex Damon showed signs that he could develop into as dominate a IG player as he is a Star Wars player. All he needs is a little work on DC movies.
Star Wars Player of the Year: Andres “Ace” Cabrera.
Runners-Up: Andrew Dimalanta, Alex Damon, Laura Kelly
Andres Cabrera won the Star Wars Tournament in an unbelievably impressive manner. So impressive he was that he inspired Alex Damon to up his game. I know Alex Damon could have won this award, but he only had one Star Wars match this year. I know that is not his fault, but it does make it hard to give it too him even after he TKO’d Ace. Andrew Dimalanta had one of the great matches of the year, but his defeat to Ace was painful.
Exhibition Match of the Year: The Lord of the Rings Exhibition
Runners-Up: Battle of the Champions, Horror, MCU, Rocky Championship
They are supposed to be just exhibitions. Still, there were some amazing battles and intense matches anyway. None better than the LotR match, won by Robert Parker. It was also the match that showed that Alex Damon may have chops in more than just Star Wars. Marc Andreyko winning the horror exhibition was great and Sean Gerber flexing his MCU muscles was very impressive too. Kevin Smets winning the Battle of the Champions is great, especially with his terrible news later in the year.
Comeback of the Year: Andres Cabrera.
Ace was slaughtered early in the year by Robert Parker in an Innergeekdom match. That did not stop him and he took that inspiration and marched through his Star Wars tournament to grab an unexpected victory, which is included in the Upset of the Year. Andres was considered the underdog in every match he played in that tournament and he brought it home each time.