Battle of the Brains 2013 Recap

Editors Note: The Sporcle Live Battle of the Brains was held on October 26th, 2013. 58 teams competed to win a huge cash prize and bragging rights for the year. Sporcle Live Content Manager Daniel Baker wrote the following recap of the amazing event.

Battle of the Brains Iphone 374Twenty minutes to show time, and the Royal Oak Music Theater was buzzing. Down on the floor, teams described the aura as ‘exciting’, ‘fun’, ‘thrilling’, and ‘sexy’. (Okay, I made that last one up!) Backstage, final preparations were being made: Staff were changing into costumes. Jeff LeDuc, the Master of Ceremonies, was pacing the hallway nervously reviewing his notecards. Another group of staff was crowded into a single room admiring some of the more…interesting drawings left on the green room wall by previous performers. Needless to say, the ancient tradition of  phallic art is alive and well in Royal Oak!

Back upstairs, Motor City Soul was rocking, while fifty-eight teams, ranging from hardcore trivia regulars, to families, friends, and strangers just looking for a good time gathered in their seats. To top it off,  Sporcle Live’s Office Coordinator Leanne Vassallo entertained everyone with a rousing dance performance in the lobby.

After an inspiring video montage, Sporcle VP Mark Adams took to the stage for the first ever Roast of Sporcle Live. Fast and furious, Mark joked about his entertainment pedigree, including his youth figure skating career (no joke), his coworkers (Ryan Lamb, Sporcle Live’s Senior Director of Sales and Operations doesn’t actually sell or operate anything), and of course, the teams (the Wolfpac REALLY like professional wrestling).

Leave it to the Sporcle Live teams to provide the biggest laughs, however, as Mark unveiled his top 10 favorite team names of all-time, ranging from hilarious and timely (“The Jackson Four”) to downright dirty (We’ll just leave those to your imagination). With that, it was time to get the show on the road.

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The first question of the night was asked by Sporcle CEO Ali Aydar, who flew in from San Francisco for the event. Not just an observer, Ali worked the event as a spotter, collecting answers right along with the other hosts who volunteered their time to work the event. How cool is that?! His Wikipedia page may describe him as a computer scientist and internet entrepreneur, but I describe him a great boss and a cool dude.

The format for the event, four rounds of varying style, lent itself well to a wide range of subject matter. Visual questions littered the screen, Jeopardy superstar Ken Jennings, actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, and The Impractical Jokers checked in with video questions, and live in-person, luminaries like Fabio, Einstein, Freddy Krueger, and Vigo the Carpathian made appearances! I could swear that I heard Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Halle Berry reenacting their famous Oscar speeches as well. History questions? Check. What about sports? Of course! And poetry? You betcha! Teams had to carefully navigate around flags of the world, Dr. Seuss, classical music, bizarre car commercials from the 1980s, and, of course, presidents, leading into a final round that no team could have seen coming: The Logic Puzzle.

That’s right, a logic puzzle to decide the winner of $4,000. What a logical conclusion to a great event! Teams were given a sixteen box grid to fill in based on clues given (The numbers 1-16 each used once), and twenty minutes to do so. In addition, teams were given logic clues every other minute for assistance, and bonus points for how quickly they finished. No doubt strategies were being thrown around wildly as teams embarked on this final daunting task. I could feel the tension from where I stood, as I collected Brain Sportz Trivia All-Stars’ answers at the fourteen minute mark, and Steele Shivers’ answers at the seven minute mark. Two contenders turning theirs in early in an attempt to gain as many bonus points as possible! Meanwhile, The Moops worked feverishly, and longer, on theirs, waiting until just a few minutes before time was up to turn in their answers. Which strategy would pay off?

Battle of the Brains Iphone 416We soon found out, with a slim margin of just five points, The Moops were crowned the champions of Battle of the Brains 2013 over Independence Hall and Oates. The difference? The Moops scored a perfect 48 points on the logic puzzle, while Independence Hall and Oates flipped two answers, scoring just 42 points. The Mr. Potato Head Battle of the Brains Trophy was THAT close to taking a road trip to Philadelphia for the year!

The night concluded with the presentation of over-sized novelty checks, photographs, smiles, and high-fives. The floors were swept, chairs were collected, the band packed up their equipment, and just as quickly as it filled up, the theater was empty. The memories of a fun, successful Battle of the Brains remained, beckoning us to look forward to next year, and Battle of the Brains 2014.

See you all then…