CURSE OF THE BEAST: Is William Bibbiani Doomed?!

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William. The Beast. Bibbiani.

He was the heir apparent to succeed Dan Murrell as the singles division champion. He was the greatest mind the Schmoedown had ever seen. He knew every answer to every question. He was unstoppable. In his debut match he answered 14 of 14 questions correct. Back then the first round was comprised of six questions and he worked through that round without breaking a sweat. Using multiple choice just once he went 4 for 4 in the 2nd round. He even picked up a one point steal. In the final round he answered all three questions without a care in the world. In the process he even set a then new match points record of 23 points. All of a sudden people were looking over their shoulders because the new guy in town was here to wreck shop and become the most dominant champion in Schmoedown history.

However, that’s not what happened.

As it stands today William Bibbiani has a record of 7-6 with a career accuracy rate of 77% Last year he did in fact accomplish the ultimate goal of becoming the singles division champion only to see it slip through his fingers in his first defense of the title against John Rocha. Like an old friend, something in that match reared its ugly head in the most inopportune time: a final round collapse.

While William Bibbiani has become synonymous with late round collapses he is also widely regarded as one of the most knowledgeable players the game has today. That knowledge was on full display in the 2019 Free 4 All when he entered the competition as contestant #1 and fought his way to the final table outlasting nearly 40 other competitors. I say “nearly” because when it came down to the final three players of the event he came up just short against Dan Murrell who eventually won the event. It even resembled what happened back in the 2018 Free 4 All when he made it the final table as well and saw Brianne Chandler swoop in for the win.

Where there was a collapse late in a match… there was Bibbiani. But what was undeniable was the knowledge. In the three total Free 4 All events William Bibbiani has an astounding accuracy rate of 78% That number shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone who follows the league closely. The questions in that event mirror the difficulty players experience in league play in the 1st round of a normal match. It’s a round that Bibbiani dominates like no other player in the league.

In 1st round questioning Bibbiani has an accuracy rate of 85% which puts him at the top of the league. However, when we get into the 2nd round there’s a decent drop off in accuracy. His rate drops 9% for an accuracy of 76% It’s not uncommon to see a dip in accuracy as the point values increase which in turn correlates to the difficulty of the questions. Interestingly, when Bibbiani gets in a multiple choice scenario, his accuracy of 65% is a bit concerning for someone as knowledgeable about movie trivia. However, what is even more concerning is the drop in accuracy from his 2nd round to the final round.

William Bibbiani’s accuracy rate in the final round takes a precipitous fall when compared to the 1st and 2nd rounds. Bibbiani’s accuracy in the final round is 19% less than his 2nd round accuracy. And if you compare his 1st round accuracy to his final round rate there is a mind blowing 28% decrease. Although, if you look at his 2 point accuracy rate in the final round, a 6% decrease from his 2nd round accuracy isn’t as alarming.

What is interesting to note about Bibbiani’s final round performance is that everytime he makes it to the round he always has to answer all 3 questions. As you can see in the graphic above as Bibbiani progresses in the final round his accuracy declines and those declines have resulted in six defeats. In three of those defeats Bibbiani actually surrendered leads heading into the final round. In those instances Bibbiani went 1 for 3 in the round each time.

It really does begin to seem like as the questions get more difficult and move away from surface level questions, like those in the 1st round, Bibbiani begins to struggle. Bibbiani has seen 20 different categories in the final round and a little over half have been kind to him. Even in categories he is strong in do not always benefit him in the final round. In the category of Comedy, Bibbiani is incredibly proficient. In rounds 1 and 2 he is a combined 16 of 18 and in the final round he is 4 for 4. Unfortunately, he has never had Comedy land as a 5 point question where it could possibly prove beneficial.

With that said, even if a strong category lands for him as a 5 point question there’s no certainty he could handle it. In the Fantasy SciFi category Bibbiani is 12 of 13 in the 1st round. So, when that category landed as a 5 pointer for him in his match against Samm Levine in the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown tournament he was unable to capitalize on his strength and suffered his 3rd career loss. Still, there is one category that seems to be a saving grace for him in the final round. Disney. Twice he has gotten it as a 5 pointer and twice it has led him to victory.

A win percentage of 40% when playing in the final round isn’t something anyone thought would belong to Bibbiani when he first entered the league late in 2016. Between May 2017 and March 2018 Bibbiani played in 4 matches and in all 4 matches he was forced to answer questions in the final round. He had a record of 1-3 in that stretch.

Is William Bibbiani just a surface level question savant or does the well go deeper than that? Opposing players know by now all they have to do is hang on until they get to the final round because more often than not Bibbiani has succumbed to the progressing difficulty. Due to his severe lack of performance in the final round he has never been able to put together a 3 game win streak in the singles division. He’s also the only player to win the title and not have earned a 3 or 4 game win streak. Every belt holder in the division besides Bibbiani has accomplished those feats.

William Bibbiani has an immense amount of knowledge but what good is it if it only pertains to 1st round play and he can’t rectify his final round troubles? Will he ever become the player we all thought he was gonna be when he first set foot inside the Schmoedown? Maybe we already have our answer.


2 COMMENTS

  1. Bibbiani has only won 40% of the matches where he was forced to answer Round 3 questions, you say. That is par for the course for most dominant players. Murrell had to answer Round 3 questions in only 8 of his matches, and he has only a 50% success rate. Ethan Erwin is at 57%, Rachel Cushing at 33%. That’s how the final Round is designed. You need to answer questions only when you’re not in the lead anymore.

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