Jeopardy! has announced the field for the 2022 Tournament of Champions.
Headlining this year’s field include long-running Season 38 champions Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, and Mattea Roach, all of whom captivated North America with their impressive knowledge. The field was unveiled on the third episode of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, released yesterday evening.
The field includes the following players:
1) Jaskaran Singh, 2022 National College Championship winner
2) Sam Buttrey, 2021 Professor’s Tournament champion
3) Amy Schneider, 40 wins
4) Matt Amodio, 38 wins
5) Mattea Roach, 23 wins
6) Ryan Long, 16 wins
7) Jonathan Fisher, 11 wins
8) Brian Chang, 7 wins
9) Courtney Shah, 7 wins
10) Eric Ahasic, 6 wins
11) Zach Newkirk, 6 wins
12) Megan Wachspress, 6 wins
13) Andrew He, 5 wins
14) Tyler Rhode, 5 wins
15) Jackie Kelly, 4 wins
16) John Focht, 4 wins
17) Margaret Shelton, 4 wins
18) Christine Whelchel, 4 wins
19) Maureen O’Neil, 4 wins
20) Second Chance Tournament – Week 1 Winner
21) Second Chance Tournament – Week 2 Winner
The expanded field also requires a new postseason format: Amy, Matt, and Mattea have been given byes to the semifinals. The remaining 18 players will play over six quarterfinals to give 9 semifinalists. From there, we will have 3 semifinals, and then the three finalists will play a final structured similarly to the 2020 Greatest of All Time Tournament, where the first player to win 3 games will win the tournament overall.
Ken Jennings will host the tournament, which will be filming shortly after the Second Chance Tournament and will begin on October 31.
Editorially: I think that it’s a great move of Jeopardy! to expand its Tournament of Champions field; it’s a change that is long overdue (and one that I wish the show had elected to do for the 2019 event when many very deserving players were left on the outside looking in). If you include the NBA’s introduction of a play-in tournament, the MLB, NFL, and NBA have all expanded their playoff format in the last five years, and the MLB and the NFL have both expanded their respective playoff systems multiple times since 1985 (when Jeopardy! started its current Tournament of Champions).
Also, I am very glad to see that the general tenor of discussion towards the postseason expansion has been generally positive.
My primary concern—and it’s one that could be headed off if sufficiently planned for—is a reasonable chance that the final’s length will be spoiled by online television listings (and their respective episode descriptions). Moreover, with the way the tabloids have been looking for every chance to highlight angry Jeopardy! fans over the last seven months, this would undoubtedly turn into a story if it happens.
It’ll be interesting to see how the tournament goes without wild cards into the semifinals; the concept was certainly counterintuitive to casual viewers, though—which should make for a net positive.
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