TEAM NAME: Team Action
COMPETITORS: Ben Bateman & Andrew Ghai
OVERALL RECORD: 2-1
FORM (Most recent first): WLW
By Sarah Hussain
When a brand new competitor enters the Schmoedown arena for the first time, they tend to get a feel for the game first and focus on the trivia, saving the showmanship and the smack talk for later. Ben Bateman and Andrew Ghai of Team Action are one of the few exceptions.
Like many teams before them, these two were already a strong duo, having hosted Anatomy of an Action Movie together on the Popcorn Talk Network for about two years. They came into the Schmoedown with no preamble and immediately said they were there to put the whole league on notice, calling out veterans like Josh Macuga, JTE, and even John Rocha in their pre-match interview. It was enough to make every viewer ask, who are these guys?
And that’s basically the extent of it. They came out to the Top Gun theme (which this writer has a not-so-secret soft spot for) but their actual trivia performance did little to impress. Yes, they won by TKO, but it was against a team that scored less than 50 per cent of their points.
Still, their debut caused a stir among Schmoedown fans. People may not have been rushing to trade for Team Action in their fantasy league, but they were definitely interested in seeing what else Bateman and Ghai had up their sleeves.
Their subsequent appearances, on the other hand, were far more notable. They returned to face the Nerd’s Watch in what was one of the biggest nail-biters of the 2017 season. After spinning ‘Action/Adventure’ on the wheel and living up to their name, they made an incredible comeback and sent the match into triple overtime. Despite registering a loss, they had now made a name for themselves in the league.
Their third match put them head to head against first-time fan fighters and illustrious Schmoedown reactors, Robert and Vanessa of Late to the Party. And while their opponents’ debut was the headline of the match, it was still a game changer for Team Action after an incredibly lucky spin of ‘Action/Adventure’ once again put them back in the game. After sweeping the final three questions and setting a new points record, they had solidified their seat in the Ultimate Schmoedown.
While Team Action may not be the most highly regarded duo, they still hit every point in terms of what a great team should be. They can deliver on the mic without any help from a manager or a faction, they’ve had some of the most creative entrances in the history of the league, and they perform consistently.
With most teams, you can spot which competitor is the weak link, but they both show up every single time. They certainly have their weak spots, particularly in animated and family films. In fact, you could argue that they’re too similar to make up for each other’s holes in trivia. That being said, they have performed well in general categories like comedy, drama, and directors, so they definitely have a solid range of movie knowledge.
Many naysayers might still think Bateman and Ghai are nothing without their signature category, but that would be doing them a disservice. After all that talk, they have shown they can also walk the walk.