WARNING: The following will contain spoilers for season 9 of the Movie Trivia Schmoedown up to and including Friday Night Titans #17
It’s not been the best of starts to the year for Korruption. While they may have managed to bring Laura Kelly back to the faction, they lost Adam Collins to S.W.A.G. In terms of matches, Kelly is yet to play in the Star Wars Division this season and was left out of the two #1 Contender Matches that were scheduled following Thomas Harper retiring and leaving the Star Wars belt vacant. Marisol McKee lost her Singles title to the returning Samm Levine, while Mike Kalinowski also lost his Innergeekdom title to Kevin Smets. And just to add to everything, Mike and Chance Ellison were forced to break up following their Team Championship loss to Shazam.
It’s not the best spot to be in as we reach the middle of the year. But it’s nothing new for Shannon Barney and company, as the faction came back from poor starts to win the Faction Championship in both seasons 7 and 8. Not only that, but losing Collins has helped push Shannon and the faction in a new, nicer route that will see them winning the support of the crowd, especially as the Stars and the Den set themselves up as the villains of the league. Oh and there is the little matter of Marisol McKee winning the Free 4 All, leaving her with a title shot of her choice. Already, the signs are there for another KOrruption comeback, and it took it’s next big step at the end of the latest episode of Titans, as Shannon Barney revealed to the faction their new teams.
Now I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought that Chance and Mike’s break-up would give us a team of Chance and Marisol, the 2 elite Singles competitors on the team. And it looked like they were all thinking the same judging by the shock on their faces as Shannon paired Marisol with Mike to form Team Impact. It certainly seemed odd to leave Chance out, but the reason for this was soon revealed… alongside his new teammate and the new member of KOrruption: Travis Fishburn. While it may still seem odd to some to not pair the 2 top Singles competitors together, I’ve thought about this over the weekend and I love these new teams.
KO is a fantastic player and one of the true greats of the league due to his ability to be so competitive over the main 3 divisions, but he is arguably the weakest of the 4 in the Singles Division. However he has shown that with a strong partner, he can be strong enough to not just compete for but win the Teams title against quality teams like the Founding Fathers and Shazam. Now paired with Marisol, an argument could be made that as she is a former SIngles Champion, he now has an even stronger partner than before. But what really stands out to me is that Marisol has shown that she can excel in a number of categories where an IG-specialist like Mike perhaps falls short, such as a number of classic actors and Movie Release Dates.
Meanwhile, your other team sees a top competitor whose 7-6 Singles record does not come close to matching his quality, and the FCL Champion, who will be looking to prove that his 5-0 FCL run can translate into the big league. But more than just great Singles players, they are also both very well-rounded individuals, with both comfortable in Innergeekdom categories that could be used as weapons in Round 2. Not only that, but with just 5 FCL matches and a Free4All V appearance—6 rounds played, 26 correct answers out of 30 asked, 87% PPE (only beaten by McKee’s 89%)—Fishburn comes in with very little gametape for opponents to study.
But while trivia knowledge is definitely something to look at, it’s also worth looking at the personalities of the team, as by pairing the competitors as they have, both teams have that outward personality and clear mouth of the team (Fishburn & Kalinowski) that will allow Ellison and McKee to pick their moments and otherwise focus on the trivia.
It certainly feels like rather than make 1 superteam and then a second team, KOrruption have gone for a balanced approach that could create 2 very even teams, which will put them in a very strong position at a time where there are very few established teams, as it means that hey have 2 teams that can both pile on the early wins.
Hopefully it won’t be long until we get to see these new teams in action.