Girsky is the Mastermind in the Eron Musk Chronicles
Girsky is the inside conman. He plowed his own and his new investment companies/clients money into Nikola. Maybe he himself was originally conned by Trevor and saw huge IP potential especially as they like to fall back on, "tHeY aRE rEAlLy a hYdrOGeN cOMpAnY", maybe he knew. Then at some point he came to realize what we all know now, Nikola doesn't have shit. His 700 million dollar play netted him a giant hotwheels truck, a dirt patch, no IP, no hydrogen production, no near future production of vehicles and a ship helmed by Milton & Friends. At some point as he watched Milton & Friends spend more time enjoying their newfound wealth than actually making a fucking product, he probably realized that unlike Papa Elon making his own car company wasn't going to grow his hair back. He also probably realized that he is completely fucked and needs to salvage his own and clients money before they plug his holes like the hair plugs he will now never get. So what does he do? Well he can't magic up Enron Musk's claims into reality and he can't get his money out until lockups end. This really leaves him two choices.
Fake it till you make it.
Maximize stonk value until you can unload your concrete bags onto some robinhood retards.
Honestly, his match making with GM is truly an amazing play in this regards. It sets them up for both. He knows they can't just go to anyone, asking for a partner to give them something big enough to meet his goals or "invest" is risky as they would probably actually do some DD. Trying to offer the GM deal to anyone else is also very suspect, as why would this exploding company with awesome tech, potential and IP just be handing out free money for things they allegedly can already do? But with his previous ties with GM he has an inside track and can frame this as using his previous connections and expertise to form forward thinking partnerships. Selling it to GM was easy, offer them free money, EV credits and some hype maybe even a chance to boost some stock prices as they greedily eye the EV stocks mooning. Plus Girsky probably remembers from his time at GM that they are fucking retarded and their number one product is running the company into the ground since the 90's. That play has now set up both the options. Either this lends enough cover for them to fake it until they make it, while they work out how to rebrand from innovator to integrator and try to piggy back of GM to make some half assed product. Hoping people forget about what was originally promised by the time it is ready for market. Or it sets them up to lend enough credibility and make GM a willing accomplice in propping up stock price as now if GM wants to turn that monopoly money into real cash they need to commit to "supporting" nikola. Which considering how outside of bad optics for a company with really not much reputation to lose seems like a no brainer. Finally, why all this? Because unlike Enron Musk, Girsky probably doesn't want to go to jail for fraud. The GM deal is an elegant solution to lie to people with out actually lying to people. Since he probably has at least two more IQ points than Milton he won't just come out and make some easily disprovable claim. Watch this collapse after lockup ends. TL;DR? Girsky is the real mastermind, idiot YOLO'd money onto Enron Musk playing tonka trucks in the dirt and orchestrated the GM deal in only a way he could to save his ass and his money. $NKLA $25p 1/15
A week has passed since last and the meta continues to slowly evolve as time passes. Additionally we're not too far away from Code Geass Collaboration either and i'd expect them to start teasing that more over the coming week. But what has happened in the previous week ? Read on and find out ! Forestcraft In the great Forests amidst buzzing fairies we find Arisa and Selwyn in heavy discussion about Wolfraud and where he keeps getting all those things he's carrying around. The only thing they've been able to get out of him so far is that it just "Merely fell of a truck" though they're not buying that one. After pressuring him some more all they get is "Well you can't spell Wolfraud with Fraud!" and then he runs away.. For Forestcraft there's Terrorformer forest at the peak, followed by Amataz Forest, Roach Forest and Evolve Forest. Overall Forestcraft possesses quite a bit of deck diversity though overall strength of the class remains more modest despite that, still there is a selection of decks to pick from. Terrorformer forest A midrange.. combo deck thing built around the Terrorformer and accelerate cards that looks to either kill the enemy with the Terrorformer or overwhelm them with a number of other threats. By now Colosseum on high has become a standard inclusion as it allows for more effective stalling and additionally makes Terrorformer and other storm followers bigger giving the deck a bit more punch though overall its success remains mostly modest though it is relatively popular. A decent deck that does require some skill to pilot properly. Amataz Forest An aggro combo deck built around Amataz that looks to swiftly overwhelm the enemy with Fairies typically by giving them storm and can occasionally chain multiple Amataz or Divine smithing for a combo. A somewhat inconsistent deck it has nonetheless climbed in popularity as it can blast through some of the decks in the meta with ease though will struggle quite a bit with the recent surge in Elana decks. A solid deck it will require some decent skills to make the most out of . Roach Forest A combo deck built around roach. It's seemingly getting a smidge more popular as of late as there are slightly fewer aggressive board decks about and more stalling control decks which gives the deck more room to maneuver though it still has a very bad time against Reanimate Shadow and other board decks as it can't effectively slow them down. a decent deck but with high skill requirements for proper success. Evolve Forest A control deck built around evolve synergies. It remains mildly popular and while it performs well against certain decks it does have a terrible time against Dirt rune and other burn/combo decks as it can't do enough to really slow them down. So definitely not a deck for the average player at the moment. Swordcraft In the halls of the Eternal Castle Swordcraft Albert suddenly is suffering from a small case of panic as he suddenly realizes that he and most of the Levin troops will be rotating out but Latham is quick to appear and calm him down and assure him it won't be that bad.. Just that Sword is almost unplayable in Unlimited, but it's no big deal. A guy as popular as Albert should easily get a remake.. Latham on the other hand.. who knows ? For Swordcraft Evolve Sword remains steadfast at the vanguard followed by Rally Sword, also there's a bit of Hybrid Sword going on currently pushing things up to 3 decks. Overall though Sword struggles due to a lack of a finisher in a meta filled with AoE and a lack of ways to protect its boards or build really big ones fast and consistently like reanimate shadow. Evolve Sword A midrange deck built around Evolve synergies. The deck continues to be the most popular Sword deck as it can handle a variety of threats and has some counter plays but even then it does struggle from a way to close out matches at times which does leave it hanging a bit. Overall a good deck but one that will require some skill to pilot succesfully in the current meta. Rally Sword A tempo deck built around triggering rally synergies and either running down your opponent fast or building a big board your opponent can deal with. Notably less popular as the AOE heavy meta is quite discouraging for it, though it can still win in it, just not as easily and the lack of a consistent finisher means you're gameplan in a lot of cases is to hope to build a big enough board your opponent can't deal with, which Rally Sword can struggle to pull off consistently. Still a decent deck if you know how to pilot it, but it is on the more skill intensive side of things at the moment to get the best out of it. Additionally there is some experimentation with a Levin Variation for Lounes, Levin Justice and Jeno for a bit extra push at the low end and a way to help Amelia draw other cards more consistently. Hybrid Sword A mix of Evolve and Rally for a slightly faster Midrange deck that can get more aggressive and under decks but like the other two will struggle to close out in certain situations. Additionally as a hybrid deck it will be tougher to pilot as you have to manage the two halves of it. Not sure how relevant Honoured frontguard general is, but it looked neat. Ultimately just one build of Hybrid Sword so keep that in mind before delving into it, not a recommended deck for new players. Runecraft In the mystical academies of Runecraft it is Erasmus great Triumph ! .. or so he'd like to believe but he is starting to feel like it's actually Karyl who's pulling the strings and he is doubting how much in charge he actually is.. The girl is frightening he quickly concludes and he wonders how much longer he may actually be in charge if he ever was. For Runecraft Earth rite Rune remains the leading deck by far followed by Arcane Item shop, additionally there are signs of the return of Karyl rune. Overall Runecraft is in a strong position due to multiple strong cards like Vergewalker and Madcap Conjuration that can easily keep a board clear while allowing it to advance to its win conditions at the moment. Earth Rite Rune A midrange deck built around Earth rites. Overall the deck continues to change and by now is actually featuring fewer earth rites as Madcap Conjuration has become a full part of the deck allowing it to clear all boards, cycle through cards and even put threats into play, all for 2pp. A strong deck with few direct weaknesses currently. Arcane Item Shop Rune A combo deck built around the Arcane Item Shop. It's steadily been getting less popular as Earth Rite rune and other decks appear in larger numbers like Reanimate Shadow which it struggles with heavily so while it can win out here and there the small 15 minutes of fame of the deck are over. That said it can still win here and there. Overall the cheapest deck in the meta which is one reason it was so popular in the first place and probably what sustains it for now. Decent but hardly all powerful. Dragoncraft In the great caverns of Dragoncraft it's the big cleanup day as all the trash is discarded with all sorts of means and everyone is effectively trying to discard Valdain as well. But he is proving to be a tough nut to crack in that department and continues to stick around having learned a lot of the place by now. Rowen swears he'll get rid of him one way or the other and Forte joins him in that vow!. For Dragoncraft Discard Dragon is by far the most popular followed by Natura and the occasional Big Dragon deck. Dragon remains in a steady position largely by virtue of Discard Dragon which can handle a lot of decks in the meta though the rest of Dragoncraft at the moment is a bit vestigial. Discard Dragon A midrange deck built around discarding cards. The deck remains a solid deck that can threaten a variety of decks though it may struggle with Elana Haven which can easily get under it and ignore most of what it does so that could pose a problem for Discard Dragon down the road. A trickier deck to pilot due to having to manage hand size and discard the right cards at the right time it is not recommended for everyone. Natura Dragon A midrange deck built around Valdain and Natura synergies. The deck seems to be making a tiny comeback as of late though i am less certain why, perhaps a rise in less interactive decks has given it an opportunity to prey but it is still going to struggle against Reanimate Shadow. A sort of decent deck it is not one i'd particularly recommend to the average player. Big Dragon A combo deck built around Titanic Showdown. It's a weaker one on the fringes that sees play mostly for fun. Not one i'd particularly recommend but it does see play and it does have its fans. Shadowcraft In the great Catacomb of Shadowcraft where Death Reigns with a rusted fist. We find Aisha dealing with the shocking revelation that everyone had actually forgotten her. Finding herself unable to deal with this fact she decides to pretend like it never happened and just act like everything is fine rather than accept the facts. Luna and the rest decides that is an excellent plan of action and goes along with it as they quickly catch on. For Shadowcraft Reanimate Shadow remains at the top of the Necropolis followed by Hades Shadow, at the very farthest fringes there is some Natura shadow but i don't even have any lists to use for that so won't make a writeup for it. Overerall Shadow is largely succesful thanks to the power of reanimate and its ability to throw up big boards other decks will struggle with. If that were to get nerfed Shadow would be in a worse spot than Sword most likely. Reanimate Shadow A midrange deck built around burying and reanimating big threats and overall build a big board most decks can't easily clear out. A potent deck base off that though it still has its issues and can struggle to gain back board if it first loses it. But a potent and relatively straight forward deck to pilot in the current meta. Hades Shadow A combo deck built around Hades. The deck continues to see some play but by now has for the most part been eclipsed by Reanimate Shadow as its win condition will be too slow in a lot of cases though may find some success against Elana Haven. A decent deck but not particular popular and rather dependent on player skill for success. Bloodcraft In the great and decadent manor of Bloodcraft where sin runs like rivers. We find Vania wondering when she's going to get her remake. Garuda is back and theren's an awful lot of new things out there that sound suspiciously much like her. So where's her remake ? ANd preferrably something a bit more playable this time she asks out loud.. to no one in particular since Medusa is off doing a cross over event in some other game. For Bloodcraft Control Blood remains the most played by far followed by Midrange blood and Wrath Blood. Overall reliant on Control as it has no great threats in the current meta to consistently play aggressively with and most attempts at Aggro so far seem to have little success, but who knows, success may be found eventually. Control Blood A control deck built around Burn and AoE. It continues to be the most popular blood deck as it can handle a variety of threats and even deal with some finishers thanks to Azazel, that said it is coming under pressure and is seeing a slight drop in play as a result. Overall a more challenging and skill intensive deck but in the right hands quite good. Midrange Blood A midrange burn deck. It continues to see some play but as of late not that much and the increase in Elana Haven poses a significant issue for it as it effectively counters Midrange bloods strategy leaving it out to dry. So while decent it is a bit tougher to recommend at the moment. Wrath Blood A midrange deck built around Wrath and self harm. The deck is not seeing that much play as it lacks the strong tools of Control blood and can't quite push faster in its current incarnation either. So a decent deck but from my experience mostly sees fringe play at the moment. Havencraft In the great Cathedral of Havencraft Elana's Prayers ring out, even as Elana Herself has yet to appear. With the good seraph serving as a stand in for now.. even as she mumbles about getting a remake soon. Garuda meanwhile is despondent that his remake took off as well as the previous one and that his reign of angry birds has yet to materialize.. once more. For Havencraft Elana Haven is by far the most popular followed by a smattering of Amulet Haven and at the very fringes, the occasional Ward haven deck. Overall haven is in a decent position thanks to recent successes of Elana Haven, if that were to fail, the rest of the class would be worse off too. Elana Haven A midrange deck built around Healing. Having seen some restructuring the deck is back in some force with a more aggressive plan built around storm followers and buffing them up, additionally Blind Justice is starting to be run. with some running a single copy and others a full 3. It is starting to see a lot of competetive play with these changes as it can handle a lot of threats thanks to its healing and ability to pump up big threats fast and even dodge some amulet removal thanks sweetwing seraph. A solid deck that will require some skill in piloting properly. Amulet Haven A midrange deck built around Amulets. It sees some fringe play here and there as it can make for some spectacular high rolls, but owing due to a lack of consistenty it does see minimal play as it ends up as a sort of highrolly reanimate shadow that when it does not highroll.. performs very poorly. A weaker deck that is mostly played for fun. *Portalcraft In the Vertex Colony, amidst alien technology. We find Nexus all on her own as the rest are off to buy a new wafflemaker as the last one grew sentient and proceeded to go off on a quest to seek the holy sword Excalibur and Nexus.. well doesn't do too well in social situations. So she is left behind with a box of crayons and some paper to draw on and the rest hope the Vertex colony hasn't crashed and burned in the meanwhile. For Portalcraft Artifact Portal leads the pack followed by Control Portal. Overall Portal remains in a weaker spot as it has no strong finishers and lacks any ways to build consistent big boards or any counter play to all the big finishers at the moment. So while it can win, it has a tougher time of it. Artifact Portal A midrange deck built around Artifacts. More and more decks are starting to run Zelgenea and Ragna Awakens as the deck seems to be heading in a more controlling direction which does help in some situations but does leave it vulnerable to decks with faster finishers. So it is a bit of a tradeoff there. A decent deck that does require a good amount of skill to perform succesfully with in the current meta. Control Portal A control deck built around Floating play points. The deck continues to see some play but owing to a lack of more aggressive decks and and increase in combo decks or decks with strong finishers it is having a tougher time of the meta until it can get some combo counter or something else happens. A decent deck but one that requires a good deal of skill. Not something i'd recommend personally. So there you have it. The meta seems fixated around decks that can either build big enough boards to not be easily wiped or decks that can finish consistently enough fast. It is starting to look like the nerfs to Sword were too hasty and it might be an idea to revert them or at least lessen the degree of them perhaps, we'll have to see though. That said there is some deck diversity and variety, but i do think it would benefit from more aggressive decks. Another option could be to perhaps tone down some of the AoE though that may necessitate nerfs to Shadow then. So it's a bit of a tricky one there. We'll have to see what happens over the coming weeks as with the upcoming Collaboration there could be balance changes.. and maybe the beginning of the next story arc. So until next week. Have fun playing Shadowverse!
Top 10 Nikola Naysayer's Baseless Arguments. Try harder, folks.
EDIT: There are now 19 items on this list. Last updated on Sep 15, 2020. If you’re coming from subs that are heavily anti-Nikola such as wallstreetbets and RealNikola, I hope folks there haven’t closed your mind to the point you can’t see facts when they’re presented to you. The following is meant to address baseless claims so that we can move onto legitimate concerns and questions about Nikola Corporation. Now be prepared for some serious due diligence (DD). This will take awhile... Before you read the items below, I suggest first watching the following videos: - Real Engineering Video (Sep 5, 2020—a great summary of Nikola’s business model) - Tesla Joy Video (Aug 24, 2020) - Tesla Daily Video (Jun 2, 2020) - TESLA Charts Podcast (Jul 19, 2020) - Autoline Network Video (Jun 11, 2020) - This Week In Startups Video (Jul 31, 2020) 1) They ripped off Tesla's name! FACT CHECK: What does this even mean? So...don't invest or at least take a look at a company given their name? Are you telling me that the inventor Nikola Tesla licensed his name to Elon Musk? That would be a no. Did Tesla Inc. trademark Nikola? Also a hard no. The only thing this tells me is that two clean energy companies honored a great inventor...a father of modern energy. I made this baseless claim #1 on this list since there are way too many people who just can't get over the name and refuses to took deeper, or if they do look deeper, they're already blinded by hate/disgust and can't look at the company objectively. Fun Fact: See who truly honors the great Nikola Tesla (click on the following names). Is it Tesla’s Elon Musk or Nikola founder Trevor Milton? 2) They're diluting their shares with the merger! FACT CHECK: Nikola Motor Co. and VectoIQ are conducting a reverse merger, which will come to a shareholder vote on June 2, 2020. If you don't know what a reverse merger is, click here. VTIQ's 29.6M shares will be combined with the 320.7M private shares of existing Nikola Motor Co. Another 52.5M shares will come from VectoIQ's PIPE (see #16 below as well for those who are worried PIPE investors are about to sell their shares). VTIQ will convert to $NKLA 1:1 meaning whatever price per share VTIQ is at pre-merger will be the same price it will be post-merger. Furthermore, existing Nikola private shareholders (not VTIQ shareholders) will be under a lock up period for 6 months where they are barred from selling their shares. I wouldn't be concerned with dilution until the lock up is lifted, but even then, Nikola World 2020 would have revealed major progress with the company that I'm sure most investors will want to hold tight for the long. Trevor Milton on dilution. Read the SEC filed S-4 to learn more about the merger. Post-Merger Edit: No signs of dilution. NKLA continues to trade above its IPO price despite all the PIPE, warrants, and employee stock options entering the market. The only remaining shares left are the 2M (max) that the Diesel Brother can earn for Badger sales. 3) They sued Tesla...a bunch of amateurs! FACT CHECK: Here's a video of an unbiased deep dive onto the patent lawsuit, which btw, Nikola is winning and winning at the highest patent court in the country. If another company infringed on Tesla’s patents, would that be okay? 4) Trevor Milton is a fraud! He will dump his shares once the 6-month lock up is over! I don't like his face and I find him annoying and inconsistent. FACT CHECK: Part of the agreement on the merger was for Trevor Milton to lose some shares to own up to 40% of the company. The agreement also elevated him to Executive Chairman from CEO so he wouldn’t have to run the day-to-day operations of the company and instead focus on leading the board of directors and the strategic direction of the company. All in all, institutional investors wanted to limit Trevor’s control over the company. The CEO of Nikola is Mark Russell who has no social media presence and rarely seen, as it should be for the guy running the show. When Mark does speak, it's clear that he's the more calculated and reserved executive of the company. Comparatively, Trevor is a visionary. Those who follow him closely know he tends to speak in the future. As the Chairman of the company, he is fulfilling his job in pointing the Corporation's strategic direction. Edit 1: A modification has been made to Trevor Milton’s lock-up clause. Edit 2: Trevor Milton dumped 6 Million of his own shares! See...he doesn't even want the stock! Fact Check: On Aug 26, 2020, Trevor announced that he would GIVE 6 million of his shares to the first 50 employees of Nikola. He then later announced that he would give the other 350 of his employees a total of 1 million of his own shares. Nikola haters love to spin the truth. They're so blinded by hate and disgust for Trevor and Nikola that anything he does is processed negatively. 5) Trevor Milton started two companies that went bankrupt! He’s even a college dropout! FACT CHECK: Now we're getting into the SPIN ZONE! Get the full dose of truth in this Forbes article. You’ll find that Trevor actually started two businesses that he sold for millions of dollars. For whatever reason, some people assume great entrepreneurs have been 100% successful in their endeavors. They couldn’t be more further from the truth. To those who tease Trevor for being a college dropout, see this list of successful business leaders who also dropped out of college. 6) Hydrogen tech is unproven! Nikola is just vaporware! FACT CHECK: It seems you are ill-informed of the industry. Here's hydrogen fuel cell tech use in South Korea, in California, in Germany, and in the United Kingdom, to name a few...oh, and there's Nikola's H2 fueling station at their Phoenix, Arizona HQ. Do these videos of the Nikola Two look like vaporware to you?
Video 8 Trevor Milton showing the Nikola Two Powertrain
To learn more about hydrogen, read this peer-reviewed study on the 20 Hydrogen Myths. Furthermore, if you go through the Hydrogen FCEV Technology and Hydrogen Technology post flairs in this sub, you’ll find other companies vouching for FCEV tech as well to include Shell, Hyundai, BMW, Bosch, Ballard, Jaguar Land Rover, Daimler, Toyota, and Hyzon...I’m sure I’m missing others. What are all these companies missing that you see? Is it because Elon Musk said hydrogen is "fool cell"? They all must be trying to fool us I guess. 7) My shares will be $10 post-merger! FACT CHECK: VTIQ will convert to NKLA 1:1 meaning whatever price per share VTIQ is at merger, will be the same price it will be post-merger. Post-Merger Edit: We did not see NKLA start at $10. In fact, on Jun 4, 2020 listing day, NKLA opened at $37.55. 8) They took PPP money meant for small businesses. How dare they do that?! FACT CHECK: Before Nikola received close to $1B from the VectoIQ merger, the company was strapped in cash and had over 300 employees and their families to care for during COVID-19. They eventually paid tax payers back as you'll hear in this clip where Trevor sets the record straight with CNBC. 9) I don't understand warrants, so this company is a fraud! FACT CHECK: If you don't understand warrants (NKLAW), either get smart or just buy NKLA common shares. See this reference and my thoughts on NKLAW. 10) They're asking me if I want to redeem my VTIQ shares for $10.36 when I bought it at $25. This is 100% a scam! FACT CHECK: VTIQ shareholders received messages on whether to opt into redeeming their shares by May 29, 2020. If they did, they would only receive $10.38. No one in their right mind would want to do that if the price of VTIQ is currently way over that price. Not only does this hurt you, it also hurts Nikola Corp as you would be taking cash from the merger. Read this Article. Bottom line, if you receive a message asking if you want to redeem your VTIQ shares, don’t do it. This is an option that they made available, but VectoIQ and Nikola Corp. highly suggests against redeeming your VTIQ shares. 11) Their revenue projections are fake! Anyone can preorder with $0 money down! FACT CHECK: This article explains why preorders are $0.00. Also, read this Tweet from Trevor Milton. Moreover, go to pg. 14 on this SEC filing. Notice how the vast majority of the preorders are from legitimate institutional fleets. See this Tweet as well. Note that Nikola has stopped taking orders for their FCEV semis since Fall 2019. They’re only taking orders for BEV semis, Badgers, NZTs, and WAVs. The $10B 14,602 preorder semis where for those FCEVs. Trolls can’t add to that number and are just wasting their time especially since Nikola runs scripts to filter out their submissions. 12) No one wanted to invest in Nikola! That's why they went public...to take your money instead! Nikola is SCAM! FACT CHECK: Go to Pg. 10 on the prospectus. You'll find over $500M in funding from several companies prior to the merger with VectoIQ. Post-merger, Nikola’s institutional investors include Bosch (German), Hanwha (S. Korean; 6.13% ownership), CNH Industrial/Iveco (Italian; 7.11% ownership), Nel Hydrogen (Norwegian), Fidelity Management and Research Company, Inclusive Capital Spring Fund (~5.6% ownership), Black Rock, and P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP. To doubters, what do you see that these companies fail to see? These companies fully vetted Nikola before investing in them. Nikola even received a $1.7M grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to the merger, VectoIQ’s CEO Steve Girsky, who is known for getting General Motors out of bankruptcy as their former Vice Chairman, did a top-down vetting of Nikola, Trevor Milton, the leadership team, their strategy and vision, etc. Steve is now a member of Nikola’s board of directors along with leaders from Bosch, Hanwha, Iveco, Ace Disposal, and Caterpillar's Thompson Machinery (Source). EDIT: Along with partnering with Nikola on producing the Badger, General Motors also invested ~$2B in Nikola on top of saving Nikola $4B in capex. GM undoubtedly did their homework on Nikola and on Trevor prior to this investment, which grants them ~11% stake in the company. Furthermore, Nikola went public via a SPAC reverse merger to save time and capital going through the traditional IPO route. They wanted to go public to be completely transparent and demonstrate to investors that they aren't another WeWork company doomed for failure. The reserve merger brings about $1B in capital to kickstart their major projects (hydrogen infrastructure and factory construction). Although their stock went through a tough road during their first couple of months since listing on the NASDAQ, Nikola continues to survive and trade above their IPO price. Three months after listing, Nikola even secured a binding contract for 2,500 Nikola Refuse trucks from Republic Services worth at least a $1B and may be increased to 5K trucks ($2B max order) (Source). For those who think Nikola is riding on the backs of retail investors, see pg. 34 of this prospectus. Retail investors own about 10% of NKLA. Now the real questions: Should retail investors invest in a pre-revenue company? I invested in NKLA/VTIQ for the same reason why venture capitalists (VCs) invest in pre-revenue/pre-IPO companies. The big difference is that Nikola decided to go public via a reverse mergeSPAC, which allowed retail investors to participate, thus democratizing investment in a pre-revenue company, which until recently only the very rich VCs can. Does Nikola deserve their pre-revenue valuation? Valuation is based on investor sentiment and Nikola cannot control their stock price. Literally the last share buyer does. I came in when NKLA was still VTIQ and my valuation was based on the 14.6K FCEV pre-orders worth ~$10B to include binding contracts with Ab inBev and U.S. Xpress. We then witnessed what happened when the Nikola Refuse order with Republic Services became a binding contract. Investors decided that they were willing to come in now before the order gets fulfilled as they believe the stock price will be much higher later when the order materializes. Lastly, senior leadership at Nikola will take no more than $1 per year in salary and will be compensated instead with stock bonuses if they meet benchmarks. This shows good stewardship of investors’ money, not add to the company's CapEx, and letting their performance dictate their compensation. 13) They’re outsourcing everything! Definitely not vertically integrated like Tesla! FACT CHECK:Outsourcing is a misleading term. Technically, you can't outsource to a company that invests in you and/or has partnered with you. The more appropriate term is joint venture. For example, Nikola and Iveco has a 50/50 JV factory in Germany (Nikola Iveco Europe GmbH). Iveco's parent company CNH Industrial also invested $250M to Nikola in cash, goods and services. Bosch is providing the fuel cell and powertrain for the semis. They too invested heavily in Nikola. Outsourcing would imply that Nikola is the customer of a contract company and Nikola is paying them...not at all the case. Together, these companies that have invested heavily in Nikola enable vertical integration. Fun Fact: Just as how Nikola is using another OEM to manufacture the Badger, Tesla also used another OEM to build one of their vehicles. It was their very first vehicle...the Roadster. The OEM was Lotus, but notice I said “used another OEM to build” the Roadster. I didn’t say “manufacture”. The point here is that Testa didn’t do everything themselves as Nikola haters dog the company for. 14) The cost to create hydrogen is $13/kg. That's way more than what diesel costs. No company will switch! FACT CHECK: Nikola has dropped the cost of producing hydrogen to below $4/kg . Their hydrogen will also be made onsite, thus removing distribution requirements. Furthermore, Nikola will take advantage of both renewable energy (wind and solar) as well as cheap excess power from the grid...hours where energy companies are actually releasing energy (wasted electricity) due to grid overload during low-usage hours. They also won't be getting power within municipalities, but rather through PPA (Power Purchase Agreements) on main federal transmission lines saving them a ton of money (Source). 15) Trevor Milton sold millions of NKLA shares to buy his $32.5M ranch when Nikola has made ZERO revenue!! FACT CHECK: First, see #4 above. Beyond these shares Trevor had to sell as part of the merger, he cannot sell the rest of his shares as they’re locked up for 6 months post-merger with VectoIQ. Furthermore, Trevor bought the ranch a year before the merger and before VectoIQ and Steve Girsky approached Nikola. Lastly, Trevor made bank from selling dHybrid to Worthington Industries. The seed money from Worthington to start Nikola was separate from Worthington's purchase of dHybrid. 16) PIPE investors are going to sell their shares! The disparity between NKLA and NKLAW will tank the stock! SELL NOW!! FACT CHECK: Please see this piece that I wrote, which addressed this fear mongering by naysayers. Post-Warrants Edit: NKLA continues to trade above its IPO price. The downward pressures from the warrants are now gone and none of the PIPE investors have signaled dumping their stocks. 17) The Badger is just a GM EV rebadging of the Silverado. 100% GM technology with a Nikola badge! I can't believe Nikola gave GM 11% stake of their company for this! FACT CHECK: The Badger will utilize GM's powertrain (Ultium battery tech and Hydrotec fuel cell stack technology), but the rest of the truck is Nikola's IP/design. Furthermore, the two existing prototype Badgers were completely made by Nikola without GM's help and will be revealed during Nikola World 2020. GM will then engineer their tech with Nikola's tech/design, test, validate, and manufacture the pickup truck. See this Tweet from Trevor: >Nikola to share hardware like ASILD Inverters, batteries and other validated parts. Nikola will always own; the brand, cab, chassis modifications, infotainment, controls, OTA, sales, service and warranty & customer interaction. GM to help us build it to last and cut cost. This interview explains a lot more about the partnership between Nikola and GM. I also encourage you to read the 8-K filing. It’s not that long of a read and shows what’s part of this deal beyond just the Badger, which justifies the 11% stake. The partnership with GM on the Badger is also only good for 6 years. After that, Nikola would be free to manufacture the Badger themselves once they have a factory and the capital to do so by then. Their next-gen battery would surely be ready by then as well. 18) Nikola's Director of Hydrogen Production/Infrastructure is Trevor Milton's brother who was just your average joe construction worker, You've got to be kidding me! FACT CHECK: Trevor's brother Travis Milton is Nikola’s Director of Hydrogen Production/Infrastructure; however he doesn’t have to know much about hydrogen technology to do what he does as Nikola hydrogen supplier is Nel Hydrogen. I assume his role is to find industry experts, such as Nel, and oversee Nikola’s contracts with them. Furthermore, there’s actually other hydrogen-related executives in the company (see pg. 16 of this prospectus presentation filed with the SEC). You have Dale Prows as Head of Hydrogen Supply Chain and Livio Gambone as Head of Hydrogen Storage. Also, check out these recent hires. They added Pablo Koziner, who came from and was an executive at Caterpillar, to be the Nikola Energy President overseeing stations and energy. 19) Nikola faked the Nikola One video...LMAO! They even admitted to it! FACT CHECK: Yes, the Nikola One in this 2018 video did not drive in its own propulsion, hence the title "Nikola One Electric Semi Truck in Motion". The allegation is that Nikola fooled its investors. The truth of the matter is that Nikola's investors at the time were private investors as Nikola was still a pre-IPO company (Nikola Motor Company), to include Bosch and Nel. In Nikola's own words, "Nikola investors who invested during this period, in which the Company was privately held, knew the technical capability of the Nikola One at the time of their investment." Furthermore, Nikola's strategic partners have come out in support of the company after shorter Hindenburg Research's desperate hit-job article to support their short position after the GM partnership announcement that sent NKLA up ~50%. Moreover, NKLA investors find this hit-piece irrelevant as what matters now is what Nikola already has (working prototypes as seen on #6 above, strategic partners as listed on #12 above, 800 binding orders for FCEV Nikola semis from Ab inBEv and 2,500-5,000 binding orders for the Nikola Refuse by Republic Services) and what's to come (strategic partnership announcement on building out fueling stations, Badger reservation numbers, Nikola World 2020, and potentially more major binding contracts). — Now that we’ve gotten the baseless arguments out of the way (and I’ll continue to add to them when necessary), I encourage you to go through NikolaCorporation and read through the DD that have already been and continue to be shared. Filter topics by post flairs to find info you’re interested in. Cheers, KaiserCyber
Disclaimer and Risks: This is not financial advice, and you must always be cautious when betting against Winnie the Pooh. One major risk factor is the fact that BIDU owns 50% of IQ, and even more worrisome is that 30% of BIDU’s revenue stems from IQ. Whether or not China will intervene to prevent the plunge in value of its own version of Google is unknown, but is certainly a risk that should be hedged against. I’m very confident on this trade and have verified some of the more important arguments lined in the paper, but as always do your own DD and hedge appropriately. Hello you beautiful bastards, it’s been a while. I’m back with another DD, but this time it’ll be a little different than my usual options-exclusive DD. As we all know, volatility was crazy during most of last week, making the Unusual Options Strategy extremely difficult to use due to the amount of noise that was in the options market. In addition, me and the gang are hard at work perfecting our analysis and filtration strategies, so it was a good week to diverge from my usual spiel on Unusual Options. Now I’ve already seen a couple posts on iQIYI, or $IQ and its potentially fraudulent financial statements. However, me and my team did a deep dive into IQ and the Wolfpack Research report on the subject, and I wanted to offer my own voice in this discussion. What is IQ? About a month ago, Wolfpack Research released this report on its findings of evidence of IQ inflating its numbers. While Wolfpack doesn’t exactly have the best track record, the report was corroborated by Muddy Waters, who have a much cleaner track record for spotting these potential frauds. IQ is known as the "Netflix of China", and is valued at around 12 billion dollars currently. It allows users to stream videos. The company is based in Beijing and is partly owned by Baidu, the "Google of China". It had its IPO in 2018 and is currently sitting at $17.95 per share. Some of you have pointed out that it’s not the same situation as LK, as LK was cut and dry fraud and the IQ is simply inflating the numbers. I am here to tell you not only is IQ inflating the numbers, it’s actively taking steps to disguise its completely fabricated revenue, user count, and investments. Here is a detailed outline of what exactly the Wolfpack Report has found and see for yourselves if you think IQ should be valued at 12 billion right now. How is IQ inflating its share prices?
Inflation of user numbers
Wolfpack has talked to several independent advertising firms, who both have concluded that IQ's user numbers are 60.3% lower than the 175 million claimed by IQ.
There is evidence of click-farming. Tibet and Hainan, both with small populations, have more user activity than a majority of Tier 1 Chinese cities, activity that could not be feasibly supported by the population in these regions.
Quest Mobile report showed IQ users were overstated by at least 62%.
By inflating users, it can heavily inflate revenue numbers.
Barter revenues on average draw in 1-5k RMB per episode. In 2018, IQ reported 1 billion RMB in licensed barter revenue. The total number of TV episodes produced in China for 2018 was 13,726, implying a barter price of nearly 80,000 RMB per episode.
Large scale barter transactions are already a red flag for the SEC due to their easily manipulatable nature. IQ almost entirely deals with barter transactions.
Deferred Revenue Inflation
IQ users prepay, so there is always a significant amount of deferred revenues on their financial statements.
However, the reported deferred revenue to Chinese creditors vastly differs from the SEC, with some numbers inflated almost 70% and more to the SEC through their Form F-1
Deferred revenue is also increasing significantly faster than its user growth, suggesting that at least one of these numbers is fraudulent.
Dual Membership and Partnerships.
31.9% of users are VIP users. These VIP members come from affiliate services, such as buy 2 services for one, with one of the services being a subscription to IQ. These revenues are recorded in gross basis, with revenues fully recognized and partner share of revenue is expensed immediately, a practice not generally accepted by GAAP.
IQ has also failed to disclose partnerships, very opaque reporting on revenues and expenses.
IQ claims to have a 32% stake in Beijing's Xin'ai Sports Media Technology from a $115.77 million investment, but Xin'ai's documents show only a $5.6 million investment by IQ in 2018.
IQ claims the majority of its investment as "content to be delivered". It has deferred revenue of $100 million, which is most likely completely fraudulent as no content has been delivered to Xin'ai as of 2020.
IQ's share of Xin'ai has actually been diluted due to lack of additional contributions and increased investments by other parties.
The 796 million RMB investment shows up nowhere on Xin'ai's balance sheet as of 2019.
Inflated Advertising Revenue
Cumulative overstatement of 5.1 billion RMB in advertising revenues from 2015-2018.
Info collected from IQ's primary and secondary advertising companies indicate an overstatement of 74% in advertising revenues reported to the SEC.
IQ acquired Skymoon for an astronomical $300 million in 2018, shortly before a Chinese court found that the company's only mildly successful game was stolen IP.
Go to Skymoons.com and please tell me that it's worth 300 million dollars.
They've also created a website called crimoon.net . Same question as above.
IQ was suspected to have acquired the company to siphon off inflated cash balances as well as dump expenses from their income statements.
IQ has also completely failed to consolidate Skymoon's financial statements into their own, claiming "undue cost" to convert Skymoon's financials into GAAP. However, the purchase agreement provided to the SEC directly contradicts this, which documents that skymoon had already provided IQ with GAAP adjusted financial statements.
This fact basically either proves the fraudulent nature of IQ's financials or the complete incompetency of IQ's management, both of which play into the bear thesis.
How Items are Displayed on Financial Statements
Business-wise, IQ is structured very similarly to Netflix. However, the way to two list their content acquisition differs greatly. While Netflix lists content acquisition in Cash Flows from Operating, AKA the cash flows from the core business, IQ lists them in Cash Flows from Investing, a place that is usually reserved for Capex and investments in infrastructure.
IQ further inflates their cash flows by reconciling the amortization of these assets, assets that never showed up in operations in the first place.
There's more and more evidence piling up against IQ. Here is Wolfpack's full report. There are numerous red flags on IQ's financial statements, and the fact that the stock is still trading at such a premium is absolute insanity. Any single one of the factors above could mean a HUGE drop in share price, and yet we have almost a dozen of these factors congruent to each other. It’s safe to assume investigations of IQ are already well underway, and any negative news will send this stock drilling to the fucking core. Options Activity In terms of Options Activity, IQ had a fairly large put buy ahead of their earnings. However, that is not the real focus. If you were to look at the option chain on the LEAPS for IQ, you'll notice huge open interest in the January 2021 put contracts. This indicates that either funds are hedging against a downturn in IQ or are betting for a downturn in IQ's price similar to LK's earlier this year. Either situation plays very much into the bear thesis. There is also significant put option open interest on BIDU. What the move? What to play? IQ is a fraudulent company, so their earnings report on Monday is not necessarily going to reflect reality, and therefore the stock price will most likely not drill. However, the prices on the May 22 expiry options imply that you would only need a 1-2 dollar movement in price to be profitable with a strangle, regardless of IV, thus allowing you to profit from both sides in the short term. In terms of the long term play, IQ will go down just like LK did, it's just a matter of when. LK tanked around 3 months after the Wolfpack report was released. This current report was released April 7th, and already numerous agencies and organizations are investigating IQ and its business partners, as well as several independent law firms. My Personal Position and TL,DR I’m personally going with the IQ Sept 18th 15p in order to balance out my cost basis and risk. They’re fairly cheap and will give me plenty of time to roll out to December puts if price action hasn’t moved by July. I’m hedging with 5/22 18C to play earnings and make sure I don’t get burnt if there happens to be a run-up and short term volatility. UPDATE: Huge put buying and call selling right now, looks like institutions are catching on. UPDATE: Earnings Call is 9:00 EST, we will wait until then. EOD May 19: Huge blocks of IQ were sold AH, and new legislation is expected to pass subjecting Chinese companies to regulation by US based auditors and the PCAOB, potentially causing a mass exodus from Chinese equities. BEAR GANG May 20 UPDATE: As will meade says, wow
I heard that opinion thrown around in some circles, but I think it's largely unpopular with the public, so here I go. I'm usually of the opinion that people should not be forbidden from wasting their money, but I still think lotteries should be illegal. Or at the very least the state shouldn't get to run them and preferably limit their options for operating and advertisement. I don't really care about the details, I just want them ended. A lottery is really just a form of fraud that technically doesn't involve falsehoods. A chance of winning one is so tiny that our brain just cannot properly visualize how insignificant it is. We see winning a lottery as a scenario worth considering, even though from a rational standpoint every ticket bought is strictly a loss. And even if you win you are actually unlikely to end up happier for it. The only winner is the government and they basically won by manipulating you into signing up for something else than what you imagined. If the government really needs money and wants to get it from idiots, let it tax people below a certain IQ level. It would still be extremely unfair, but at least you wouldn't get situations where someone commits suicide after betting their family's savings - and yes, I know at least one case of this happening. Screw lottery.
Really struggling with the ethics and viability of my industry
I work in PWM as an 'associate' in Canada for a small team of investment advisors with one of the big 5 banks; total combined AUM is about 300M. I barely make over minimum wage, and my finance education (albeit from a non-target) is barely used on a day to day basis. Knowing what I know now after doing a lot of research on this subreddit, I realize that a lot of PWM is very sales-oriented and not "finance" in the most traditional sense. This isn't even the worst part of the industry/what keeps me up at night. There is stupid earnings potential for advisors who currently have a book of business; very healthy 6 figures when you take the bank's cut off of the average 1% fee on 300M. In my personal opinion; charging 60-80 year old clients 1% fees on their retirement so they can be put in moderate MER mutual funds, purchase GICs that won't match inflation, and provide "advice" that boils down to hand holding is extremely unethical. Some of the mental gymnastics I have heard to justify these tactics really exemplifies the delusion these advisors have when they need to tell themselves they are adding value. This is only part of problem I have with the industry; the other big issues are the extremely rapid reductions in fees (which I personally am happy to see), massive shift from active to passive investing strategies, DIY/online only platforms, and fee-sensitive/well educated millennial and Gen-X professionals who don't give a shit that their dad had his money with 'Brokerage Bob' the last 30 years. My family has been significantly impacted by shady advisors and I feel like such a fraud for being a part of a similar industry. And now that I'm in this role, my career development discussions turn into "here's what your path to being an advisor looks like" which terrifies me that I will be entering what I see to be a dying industry and taking a significant portion of someone's retirement away from them. Important point: I have basically been promised a starter book of business in the next 3 years, contingent on passing CFA L3 But being an associate in PWM provides very little transferable technical skills. Apart from being enrolled in the CFA program; applying for other jobs in finance that I find less shady (institutional asset management, corporate finance, corporate/investment banking) are basically a pipe-dream coming from a non-target who has never had to touch SQL, CAP IQ, Bloomberg terminal, etc. Even applying for graduate programs coming from client services seems like a reach. For those of you in PWM, am I just in the wrong shop or do you also see the upcoming problems that the industry will have to face? I welcome anyone to provide a counterpoint or another perspective to my thoughts here; are my concerns justified? Should I try and find a new line of work? Am I just being a bitch? TL;DR Canadian PWM is kind of a joke and I feel like it robs clients blind while providing little value added. I think the industry is dying and I'm stuck inside a burning building with no transferable skills to get out. I have the option to ride it out for a bit and get a piece of the action myself, but it's eating me from the inside. Please help.
Final Standings: 14-13-7 (W-L-D), 49 pts, +3 GD, 6th in the West In one word, the 2019 Portland Timbers season was draining. It was an endurance test for the players. It was an endurance test for even the most ardent supporters. And it was certainly an endurance test for a Front Office that invested serious capital into organizational infrastructure. Bookended by snowy affairs in the Rocky Mountains, a year filled with tantalizing potential melted away, leaving a passionate (some might say capricious) fanbase searching for explanations. So, what went wrong? Well, it was always going to be an uphill battle from the opening kick. Starting with the coldest game in MLS history in Colorado, the Timbers faced a daunting 12-match road trip to accommodate the impressive renovations to Providence Park’s East stand. After accumulating 1 pt from the first six matches, including blow out losses to both FC Cincinnati (!) and then-winless San Jose, the fanbase collectively smashed the panic button entering a match against ex-coach Caleb Porter and his Columbus Crew. However, for the next few months, we witnessed a different team and a different mentality. Three consecutive quality victories against Columbus, Toronto, and RSL brought the team back from the abyss. And a subsequent win against upstart Philadelphia saw Portland finish its road marathon at a respectable 14 points. Suddenly, the narrative flipped. Pundits consistently listed the Timbers at the top of their power rankings, and with 17 of the final 22 matches at one of the best home-field advantages in MLS, it seemed the positive momentum would prevail indefinitely. More importantly though, the Timbers had found their final piece to the puzzle: an elite, ruthless, and fiery DP striker in Brian Fernandez. Fresh off an impressive campaign with Necaxa in Liga MX, the Argentine became the first player in history to score in five consecutive regular-season games to open an MLS career. His clinicality and intensity raised the level of the squad, leading Steve Clark to don the classic Michael Myers mask from Halloween, declaring Providence Park as a “House of Horrors” for the opponent. But as it turned out, the team never truly reacclimated to the friendly confines of its home pitch. After four months (incl. preseason) away from home, the squad’s lethal counter-attacking style was far more suited for road matches which provided no impetus to play attractive soccer. Away victories at elite opponents including NYCFC, Seattle, and LAFC provided a stark contrast to disheartening home performances against the likes of Colorado, Orlando, and 10-man Chicago. And soon, the atmosphere off-the-field began to match the team’s sudden struggles on the pitch. Political viewpoints aside, the Iron Front protests and Diego Valeri’s contract impasse ignited an already contentious relationship between the Timbers Army and FO. Meanwhile, as the squad racked up disappointing home results due to uninspired offensive play, home attendance began to waver more so than years past. While the home sell-out streak remains to this day, the increased number of empty seats in Providence Park was a pretty blunt indication of increased apathy towards the organization. And then, there was the cherry on top. After missing consecutive matches due to a reported “stomach bug,” it became pretty clear Brian Fernandez was not the same player he was in the early summer. With a complicated and somber family history, Fernandez had struggled with substance abuse issues in the past but seemed to be on the path to full recovery during recent years. However, in October, Fernandez entered the league’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program, and just as his story arc in green-and-gold faded to black, the Timbers season finished with a whimper. Jefferson Savarino’s 87th-minute goal in snowy Utah knocked the Timbers out of Cup contention. Eleven months following an exciting run to MLS Cup, Portland entered the 2020 offseason weary, drained, and searching for a new beginning.
Giovanni Savarese I expected 2019 to provide more clarity on Giovanni Savarese’s coaching aptitude, but as I sit here one year later, I’m still left with more questions than answers. Gio’s passion and fervor was a refreshing juxtaposition to Caleb Porter’s often smug demeanor, but his far more conservative style still ruffles the feathers of fans who yearn for the days of “Porterball.” While Savarese implemented a high-pressing, dynamic, and open style during his time at the Cosmos, he has yet to find similar success doing so in the Rose City. The past two seasons have exhibited nearly the same progression: start the season trying to play pressing-style soccer, get beat badly, and then resort to a conservative, counter-attacking approach. The truth of the matter is the conservative style fits the Portland Timbers. When the defense is solid, Diego Valeri and Sebastian Blanco are talented enough to win the game on the counter by themselves. However, this tactical inflexibility is essentially the sole on-field contributor for why the team struggled so mightily down the stretch. When teams packed it in and eliminated the possibility of counter-attacks, Portland could not break down the opposition, resorted to launching an MLS record number of crosses, and got scorched on counters going the other way. A taste of their own medicine if you will. In 2020, Savarese has no excuse. There’s no road trip to start the season, he has a loaded arsenal of complimentary attacking weapons, and now it’s abundantly clear the Timbers must learn how to control games from the front foot. An identity is useful, but flexibility is a requirement to be great. The club wants to (has to) win now, and they’ve invested significantly into personnel and infrastructure to do so. Now, it’s up to Savarese to lead the team to silverware.
Brian Fernandez (ST): This one hurts. There are no two ways about it. Fernandez truly convinced GM Gavin Wilkinson and TD Ned Grabavoy that he was past his struggles, but unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be the case. As Wilkinson stated in The Athletic, “if we could go back and do it again, we wouldn’t have done it,” adding “what I will say is the word fraud exists for a reason.” Rumors suggest Necaxa covered up a failed drug test, and MLS is currently launching a lawsuit to help the club recoup the transfer fee. While Wilkinson suggests Fernandez was a bust, the truth is he scored 15 goals in ~25 games in all comps, showing a ruthlessness in front of goal that rivaled the Martinez’s and Ruidiaz’s of the league. As people who have met him can attest, he’s a vibrant and kind individual regardless of the fact he continues to face difficult obstacles off the field. It's just such a disappointment that it didn’t all come together, and I pray for his health and safety. Zarek Valentin (RB): This one hurts too. Zarek was a staple of the community, someone who embraced Portland as his home, and was as approachable as any professional athlete. With initiatives like wearing a rainbow ribbon in his hair to fundraise for homeless LGBT+ youth, Zarek was an ideal steward for the club and community. With our lack of fullback depth, leaving him unprotected in the expansion draft was far from a popular decision - one that strained an already frayed relationship between the Front Office and some fans. That said, as amazing as Zarek is, his lack of athleticism was starting to catch up to him. He even admitted some struggles down the stretch, and as more talented/athletic wingers enter the league, his minutes might soon reflect it. Zarek’s versatility, eccentricity, and civic involvement will certainly be missed though. Houston, you’ve got a great dude. Claude Dielna (CB): The most puzzling move of 2019, it didn’t take an acute observer to recognize that Dielna struggled in MLS. Wilkinson and Grabavoy took a one-year flier on Dielna to be the 4th-stringer, and the outcome was fairly predictable. He possesses a silky left foot which allows him to pick sharp passes out of the back, but he can’t run, can’t jump, and can’t defend 1v1. All of those attributes are pretty essential requirements for playing CB in any league, so it’s no surprise to see the organization not renew his contract. In the end, I wouldn’t suggest Dielna self-immolated like many horrific Timbers CBs of yesteryear (see McKenzie, Raushawn), but I highly doubt anyone will be pining for his return. Foster Langsdorf (ST): Langsdorf may be used as an example of a Homegrown the Timbers failed to move through the ranks, but letting him go makes sense (unfortunately.) In a 2019 season essential for his development, he failed to make any significant impact at the USL level, and at 24, he would’ve entered the 2020 campaign in the exact spot he did the previous two seasons. Despite some clever finishes in the 2018 USL season, he’s not a legitimate option for the first team in this day in age - especially when similarly-aged strikers Felipe Mora, Jaroslaw Niezgoda, and Jeremy Ebobisse boast far more developed skillsets. Modou Jadama (CB/RB): Jadama made two total appearances for the first team over two seasons, including one start at RB at Montreal in 2019. To be frank, he didn’t particularly shine as an MLS-caliber player during that time, so his opportunity to cement himself in the organization’s plans came and went. Now at Atlanta United 2, I think he’ll be a good fit for a full-time USL position, although we probably could have used CB depth with Bill Tuiloma’s injury. Kendall McIntosh (GK): McIntosh was an undersized goalkeeper whose frame and athleticism is reminiscent of the likes of Nick Rimando. For the most part, he was a career T2 netminder that was far too raw in some areas to mount a challenge against experienced keepers like Jeff Attinella and Steve Clark. Now a member of the Red Bulls via the Re-Entry Draft, I doubt McIntosh finds many more minutes outside of the USL, but he seemed like a good dude and we all wish him the best.
So, where does that leave us for the 2020 season? Well, pretty close to the same spot we found ourselves last year. In the preceding two seasons, it was clear the Timbers possessed enough talent to capture silverware, yet surpassing the final hurdle proved to be too much. As a result, continuity in terms of roster management remains among the league’s most stable. Ultimately, Portland took the field March 3 in Colorado with 10 of the 11 starters from MLS Cup the previous December, and this season, the only departure considered a surefire starter was Brian Fernandez. However, the main difference in 2020 comes down to the acquisitions. The Timbers FO utilized the abnormally long break to load up with an arsenal of talent, providing a stark divergence from the quiet transfer window in 2019. As much as I want to compliment the FO for its hard work this offseason, acquiring fresh blood was essential. Key pieces of the core including Larrys Mabiala, Diego Chara, Sebastian Blanco, and Diego Valeri are all exiting their prime window, and the Timbers must capitalize before that window slams shut. Consequently, four of the five names you’ll see listed in the acquisitions section below were brought in to have an immediate impact and elevate an already talented squad. As a result, in terms of pure on-paper talent, this is a Top 5 caliber MLS team. Whether Savarese can coalesce that talent into a functioning, dynamic, and successful unit is an entirely different story however. It honestly feels like a boom-or-bust type season, and I’m worried about how they’ll navigate the natural roller-coaster swings that MLS’s parity generates. So, I’ll leave you with this: if the Timbers figure out how to maintain defensive structure without resorting to a conservative shell, they’ll be one of the best teams in the league. If not, all bets are off.
Jarosław Niezgoda (ST): The Polish DP doesn’t have to single-handedly replace Brian Fernandez’s goal contributions, but make no mistake about it, the Timbers brought Niezgoda in to make an immediate and profound impact on the scoresheet. At only 24, Jarek arrives with a high pedigree having notched double-digit goals in multiple seasons for one of Poland’s powerhouses in Legia Warsaw. Ultimately, it makes sense European clubs like Bordeaux and Torino were sniffing around the striker, as he’s quite mobile for his size, can finish well with both feet, and is clever with his movements inside the box. And say what you will about the Ekstraklasa, it has a strange knack for producing efficient goalscorers, including Niezgoda’s Legia predecessor Nemanja Nikolic. However, there is a massive catch: Niezgoda has struggled with injuries throughout his career. In a league famous for physical play, and on a team that has experienced its fair share of injury-riddled seasons, Jarek’s fitness is a legitimate concern. While his congenital heart issues seem to be held in check, Legia fans are quick to mention “he's made of glass, and it's hard to keep him in shape for the whole season.” The Timbers’ physio staff will have their work cut out for them to keep Niezgoda on the pitch and scoring goals. Note: Niezgoda has yet to feature in preseason due to the recovery timeline from a heart ablation procedure during his medical. We likely won’t see him in the XI for the first few weeks of 2020. Felipe Mora (ST): Niezgoda’s injury-checkered past is an important factor for why Mora’s arrival is such a critical addition. The 26-year-old Chilean seemingly fell into the Timbers lap in a series of fortuitous circumstances, as they acquired him on a TAM loan deal from Pumas in Liga MX. Normally, Mora would be a DP caliber acquisition, and in fact, he was considered a serious target for the final DP slot last year before the club opted for Fernandez. However, after falling out of favor, Pumas were willing to let him go in a manner that accommodated Portland’s limited remaining budget space. Mora provides a divergent style from Niezgoda’s channel-running and Ebobisse’s hold-up ability. He operates on a true poacher’s instinct, and his industrious approach will provide a complementary presence to any of the other strikers. Dario Župarić (CB): If there’s one offseason acquisition that is more critical to the team's success than the others, Dario Župarić is that guy. Throughout the Timbers MLS history, CB has easily been their most troublesome spot, and they’ve yet to replace Liam Ridgewell’s contributions since his departure last year. Say what you will about Liam’s off-the-field persona: his magnetism, leadership, organizational skills, and distribution were undoubtedly influential to the club’s performance. Župarić, for lack of a better statement, is essentially the true Ridgewell replacement. At 27-years-old, the Croatian arrives with 90+ matches under his belt at Pescara in Italy and Rijeka in Croatia, a club that has already produced productive MLS players like Héber and Damir Kreilach. Early reports in training regard him as “smooth and confident,” and even if that confidence has gotten the better of him occasionally, those characteristics exemplify why Gio had never received “more messages from friends saying you’ve brought in a very good player.” In the end though, the pressure is on Dario to perform on the pitch. MLS athleticism poses a unique challenge, and there’s little flexibility to compensate for any struggles. His adjustment to MLS must be quick. Yimmi Chara (RM): Recognize the last name? In a courtship that has lasted as long as the Timbers MLS era itself, Wilkinson finally brought the youngest Chara brother to the Rose City. Acquired as a DP from Atletico Mineiro, there is concern about whether Yimmi’s G+A output will justify the reported $6 million transfer fee. Throughout his career, he’s never been the type of player to light up the scoresheet, but it’s difficult to dispossess him and he provides lightning-quick pace that this roster lacks. With multiple attacking options, I honestly don’t anticipate much pressure to fill the stat sheet, and his familial connection to the organization should facilitate a more seamless transition. Plus, it’s difficult enough for the opposition to face one Chara - it’ll certainly be a pain in the ass to confront two. Blake Bodily (LM): The HG left-footer is a fairly highly-regarded prospect coming out of the Pac-12, and he showed flashes of quality during his time at T2 a few years ago. With the depth on the wings, I can’t imagine he’ll see much of any first-team minutes. I could be wrong, especially if things go south for any reason, but let’s revisit this signing a year or two from now.
A word on everyone else:
Goalkeepers: Steve Clark (GK): Without a doubt, Clark was the surprise player of 2019. Boasting the highest save percentage and second-lowest GAA in the league, Clark made numerous highlight-reel saves after taking over for Jeff Attinella in late April. While the occasional mental lapse defined much of his career up to this point, the 33-year-old was nearly flawless in all phases of play last season. However, there’s legitimate concern that this outstanding form is not replicable throughout the next campaign. After Attinella’s regression to the mean following a career year, one can understand why the Front Office might have been apprehensive to give him a sizable pay raise - even if his performances warranted it. That said, Clark’s got the new deal in his pocket and will certainly be the starter opening day vs Minnesota. Jeff Attinella (GK): As highlighted above, few Timbers had a more ill-fated 2019 campaign than Jeff Attinella. After a torrid 2018 season, Attinella’s performances were marred by poor decision after poor decision until his year concluded with season-ending shoulder surgery. You have to feel for the guy too, as for the first time in his career, he entered an MLS regular season as the unquestioned starter. We’ll see how he recovers from the shoulder injury, but if Clark’s consistency remains and Aljaž Ivačič shows promise, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Timbers move him while he still has some value. Aljaž Ivačič (GK): If there’s a Timber who had a more disastrous 2019 than Jeff Attinella though, it’s probably Aljaž Ivačič. The 26-year-old Slovenian was acquired last offseason to be the goalkeeper of the future, but a significant leg surgery last February took him out of team activities for most of the year. When he did return with T2 in late summer, things did not look great to say the least. It is undoubtedly difficult to adapt to a new country, but Ivačič’s struggles were worryingly apparent. Most of his goals conceded for T2 looked similar to this, where he was either in the wrong position, extremely hesitant to come off his line, or strikingly late to react to the opponent. These are fundamental issues that can hopefully be chalked up to rust and then addressed with a full preseason. If not, Aljaž might go down as one of the worst signings in club history. Defenders: Jorge Moreira (RB): Moreira possesses the talent to be the best RB in the league, but sporadically found himself a liability last season. After years spent with Argentine powerhouse River Plate, the 30-year-old Paraguayan was naturally inclined to push up the pitch since his teams had often dominated the game’s flow. As a result, the Timbers’ conservative style and league’s athleticism caught him off guard, as he had an unfortunate propensity to be out of position early in 2019. However, he mostly adjusted over the course of the year, and his power, crossing ability, and dynamism are crucial to the team.Even with the occasional poor clearance, Moreira is a lockdown starter and few RBs in MLS have his offensive weaponry and pedigree. His loan only lasts until June 30 however, though I’d fully expect the Front Office to lock him down on a permanent deal. Update: the Timbers right-side defense has been tragic this preseason, and much of that has to do with Moreira’s play. He’ll have to re-adjust or else he’ll revert back to being a liability again Larrys Mabiala (CB): With his pearly-white smile, cool demeanor, and commanding aerial ability, the big French-Congolese CB is one of the most respected players in the Timbers’ locker room. In a position that is a perennial revolving door of underperforming wreckage, Mabiala has been the one “written-in-ink” starter since mid-2017, and his veteran savvy is integral to the squad’s success. But at age 32, Larrys’ value is not embodied by his individual qualities but more so the partnership he forms with Župarić. His physical presence will always be vital to an otherwise undersized team, however, he lacks the turn of pace and distribution ability that would place him among the elite CBs in MLS. As a result, Larrys and Dario must discover how to paper over each other’s weaknesses by performing to their unique capabilities: Župarić covers ground well and can initiate attacking movements while Mabiala handles physical strikers and cleans up loose balls in the 18. In the end, his consistency will be as influential as any player on the roster. If for any reason he performs below the norm, there is simply not enough quality depth behind him to overcome it. Bill Tuiloma (CB): Tuiloma is not spectacular by any means, but he’s an ideal player to provide sporadic minutes. The 24-year-old Kiwi is cheap, versatile, and possesses enough technical quality to score the odd banger. It’s a shame a calf injury will rule him out for the next few weeks, as the team could use his flexibility for spot duty at CB, RB, and even defensive midfield. If he recovers fully and Župarić struggles to adapt to the league’s athleticism, expect him to mount a challenge for starting minutes. Julio Cascante (CB): The Costa Rican CB is best described as a high-ceiling, low-floor player whose ceiling continues to lower year after year. As far as backup CBs go, he’s probably adequate, but the guy went from a fringe national-teamer to virtually off-the-radar since his arrival in Portland. Though his height and build forge a formidable aerial presence, he’s yet to resolve occasional mental lapses and improve his subpar distribution. But Julio’s most maddening characteristic is his inconsistency. Perhaps the best thing you can say about a Cascante performance is that you didn’t notice him. Unfortunately, he tends to stick out for all the wrong reasons. Maybe a little more familiarity with the league will help the 26-year-old raise his level in 2020. I’m not exceedingly hopeful though. Jorge Villafaña (LB): El Sueño hasn’t been the same player since his departure to Santos Laguna after MLS Cup 2015. Still an excellent crosser, Villafaña really struggled with pacey wingers towards the beginning of the season, although there are some whispers he was often gutting through minor knocks. Even with an uptick of form over the course of the campaign, there is legitimate concern he’s lost a step and will be a liability in the backline. I love the man as much as the next guy, but I’d say the uneasiness is valid. Let’s hope he proves us all wrong. Marco Farfan (LB): The lack of confidence in Villafaña would be less of an issue if Zarek Valentin were still suiting up in the green-and-gold because Marco Farfan is as fragile as a potato chip. The HG LB is not the most athletic individual, but his technical quality is probably proficient enough to play at this level. Farfan still has to evolve as a 1v1 defender, though he’ll certainly get looks this year if he can manage to stay healthy. Note: We still need a backup RB. It could be former NYRB, IMFC, and Dynamo player Chris Duvall. 20-year-old Venezuelan Pablo Bonilla is another option, but he’s at T2 for the meantime. Midfielders: Diego Valeri (CAM): When all is said and done, I hope MLS fans and media take a moment to appreciate just how good Diego Valeri was. Since 2015, we’ve witnessed impressive names take home the Landon Donovan MVP award including Giovinco, Villa, Josef, and Vela. Sandwiched in between those names you’ll find Diego Valeri. Only the ninth MLS player to reach the elusive 70G, 70A Club, Valeri took the Timbers from a hapless expansion side to a perennial playoff contender. And from my admittedly biased perspective, I don’t think he gets enough credit for doing so. But don’t take it from me, take it from Albert Rusnak, who accurately captures the true essence of the Maestro in this interview. For the miracles performed on the pitch, his importance and presence in the community are just as admirable. However, times are changing for Valeri, and it’s best exemplified by the fact we almost lost him over a contract dispute this offseason. By taking a TAM deal, Diego not only affirmed his commitment to the organization but allowed them to make moves to best ensure he doesn’t retire with only a single major MLS title to his name. I’d expect the Timbers staff to exercise more load management with him this campaign, but by no means does that change his status as a pillar of the club and community. Build the statue. Sebastian Blanco (LM/RM): Sebastian Blanco is one of those guys who never seems to score a bad goal. The fiery Argentine may not be the face of the franchise off the pitch, but the decision to extend his DP contract over Valeri is a hint towards Blanco’s importance on the field. After posting his second consecutive double-digit assist campaign, Blanco’s quality across all attacking midfield positions is unquestioned. That said, 2020 is a pivotal season for the Timbers’ oldest Designated Player. Soon to be 32, the clock is ticking on Blanco’s heyday, and he’ll certainly aspire to outperform 2019’s underwhelming tally of six goals from 106 shot attempts. Now surrounded by a wealth of complimentary attacking pieces though, I’d expect a rejuvenated Seba come March. Bet the over on six goals. Diego Chara (CDM): If there’s anyone who can conquer the inevitability of fathertime, Diego Chara is the guy. Soon to be 34-years-old, Chara’s performance metrics — involving areas such as speed and distance covered — reached all-time highs last year. His importance to the club over the past decade cannot be overstated, and we were all ecstatic to see him finally partake in an MLS All Star Game last season. The Colombian possesses a pillowy first touch, an immense soccer IQ, and a fearless presence in the middle of the park, and there simply will be no replacing him when he finally does choose to retire. But to be honest with you, I think he’s still got a few more Best XI caliber seasons in him. He just ages like a fine wine. Andrés Flores (CM): Hell, I’m just gonna copy and paste exactly what I wrote last year because it’s still just as applicable. Andres Flores is like a Toyota Camry - solid if unspectacular. He doesn't have the sexy style that will garner all the attention, but when push comes to shove and you need to get from point A to point B, he’ll do the job (at a very low price too!). Look for him to assist in spot-duty once he returns from injury, but his most important contributions will likely be found in the little things off the pitch. Cristhian Paredes (CM): At only 21 years of age, the full Paraguayan international started over 30 matches the past two seasons and has also emerged as the surefire midfield partner to Diego Chara. After a 2018 campaign that saw a significant adjustment period, Paredes looked far more composed in 2019, adding late-runs into the box into his arsenal midway through last season. However, no longer on loan from Club America, Paredes will face more organizational pressure to be a day-in, day-out starter this campaign. His ranginess and ability to break up play are unquestioned, but he needs to become a bit cleaner on the ball and more confident playing out of tight spaces. That said, there’s a reason the club has invested more capital into the promising midfielder: he has the potential to be a significant contributor for years to come. Marvin Loría (LM/RM): In the next few seasons, I’d wager Marvin Loría will become the poster child for the Timbers youth development structure. With a comparatively underdeveloped and shallow Homegrown talent pool, Portland picks up guys like Loría out of foreign youth programs to develop through the Timbers pipeline. The 22-year-old Costa Rican international showed significant promise last season, and he can play a true inverted winger role - a unique style in terms of this roster. While he may see time at LM and CAM, I love him cutting in from the right, as he can deliver bangers like this and allow Jorge Moreira to bulldoze forward. At a league minimum salary, Loría provides the cheap and talented depth which makes this attack’s outlook so promising. I can’t wait to see what strides he makes this season (once he returns from an underpublicized/undisclosed injury). Andy Polo (RM): Not many people in the Timbers fanbase understand why Andy Polo is still on the roster, let alone competing for starting minutes. In 2,860 MLS minutes, the Peruvian winger has only managed a dismal one goal and three assists - a statline that is considerably worse than ineffective wingers of the past including Kalif Alhassan, Sal Zizzo, and Franck Songo’o. He’s not an outright liability, and occasionally puts in a shift defensively, but he essentially exists solely to occupy space. Now entering his third season, Polo’s best string of matches came as the third CM in a 4-3-2-1 just before the 2018 World Cup. He’s since gathered looks in preseason as a #8 in a 4-3-2-1 and showed flashes but is still incomplete. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Tomas Conechny (CF/LM/RM): The 21-year-old Argentine enters the 2020 campaign a relative unknown, and though the club thought enough of him to exercise his full-time purchase option from San Lorenzo, his fit on the squad has yet to be fully discerned. Rumored to be one of the better headers-of-the-ball on the team, he showed occasional creative sparks in late-game situational appearances but has yet to prove he deserves starting minutes. We hear quotes akin to “he doesn’t yet know how good he can be,” but it still isn’t obvious that a particular position suits him well or if he even possesses a skillset that allows him to be a difference-maker at this level. For all intents and purposes, he’s likely to end up Diego Valeri’s understudy even if Conechny has yet to show the same precision and danger at a playmaking second-forward role. As a result, it remains to be seen if the high-rated prospect grows into a significant piece of the puzzle or if his lack of positional clarity ultimately hampers his development. Dairon Asprilla (RM): Dairon Asprilla plays at an all-star caliber level if one of two things are true: the Timbers are on the verge of postseason elimination or he’s playing on T2. If neither of those two things are true, he’s often more useless than a turn signal on a BMW. Some wonder if he possesses compromising pictures of Wilkinson or MP, otherwise there’s very little to explain why he’s one of the longest-tenured Timbers - especially considering he’s been in-and-out of the doghouse almost every year. Word out of training suggests he’s been one of the best players in camp, but we’ve been down this road before - if it’s not Oct. or Nov., Asprilla often looks lost on the pitch. Sidenote: 99% of Dairon’s shot attempts get thwarted due to his foolishly long windup, but when he does get a hold of one, they stay hit. Eryk Williamson (CM): The HG midfielder (by way of D.C.) found starting minutes in spot appearances last fall, and he looked competent if unremarkable. For T2, Williamson often occupied more advanced positions, but I think he projects best as a ball-shuttling #8 in this squad. In particular, I can see him fitting into Andy Polo’s old role as a CM next to Chara and/or Paredes in a 4-3-2-1, as his passing and combination play provide a diverse look from the other two. Overall, Williamson finds himself in a decent situation to get game action this year, and I’m interested to see how he develops and grows in confidence in 2020. Renzo Zambrano (CDM): Another international brought through the T2 pipeline, Zambrano is essentially Diego Chara’s backup at the #6. Since George Fochive left following the 2015 season, the Timbers have struggled to find a suitable defensive backup in the central midfield. Renzo is now that guy. The 25-year-old Venezuelan appeared in 10 matches last season and struggled immensely in fixtures against Colorado and Atlanta, but showed flashes of positivity in thrashings of Houston and Vancouver. 2020 will require more consistency from Zambrano who doesn’t possess the same physicality or power as Chara - but then again, few do. As a result, if I were Savarese, I’d try to mold Zambrano into a fulcrum/anchor type midfielder in the form of a Uri Rosell or Scott Caldwell. He’s a capable passer, and if he simplifies his game to shield the backline, he’ll be an asset to the team. If not, he’ll likely over-extend himself, and his midfield partner will be forced to work more tirelessly to maintain solid defensive shape. Renzo is likely the first option off the bench whenever Chara or Paredes are unavailable, so his growth is critical to the team’s success this year. Forwards: Jeremy Ebobisse (ST): Since Niezgoda and Mora’s arrival, some fans and media have denounced the organization for burying the 23-year-old American on the depth chart and hindering his development. Here’s why I think that’s an overly-sensationalized viewpoint:
As Wilkinson has correctly identified, Ebobisse will miss a good chunk of the early season for Olympic qualification, and with Niezgoda’s injury history, there needs to be other legitimate options to start upfront (i.e. not Dairon Asprilla).
In 2018, Ebobisse entered the season ‘stuck’ behind two DP-type strikers in Fanendo Adi and Samuel Armenteros. Guess who emerged on top? Ebobisse. There will be multiple competitions, two-striker formations, and rotations that allow him to earn quality minutes.
This idea that the organization is almost trying to sabotage his development is an outrageous claim. Ebobisse was the only player on the squad to play in every match last season and only finished behind Chara, Blanco, and Valeri in terms of total minutes played. Granted, he played a fair few matches at LW (not ideal, but he wasn’t outright terrible), but the team did have its best stretch of success with him and Fernandez on the pitch together.
But the one factor people must acknowledge is this: Ebobisse still hasn’t developed the it factor that other MLS strikers have - at least not yet. When Fernandez arrived, his ruthlessness was a stark contrast to Ebobisse’s often less-goal-hungry runs and occasional lack of clarity in the final third. Jeremy is a decent finisher, even with a few missed sitters, but he’s still not consistent enough with the direct runs off the shoulder that separate good from great. He’ll hopefully continue to develop a wider range of skills, but he’s not yet the guy to put this team over the top. Predicted Starting XI: Primarily: 4-2-3-1 Other likely options: 4-3-2-1 or 4-4-2 Best Case Scenario: A top playoff seed and a challenge for either the Supporter’s Shield or MLS Cup. Savarese effectively implements tactical flexibility, Niezgoda and Mora combine for 20+ goals, and Cristhian Paredes takes the next step forward in his development. While Župarić locks down the defense, one of Valeri or Blanco mounts a Best XI campaign, and Diego Chara makes a second consecutive All-Star Game appearance. Sprinkle in a Cascadia Cup alongside a harmonious relationship between the Front Office and Timbers Army, and you have a damn successful year. Worst Case Scenario: Pretty much the opposite of what you see above. Niezgoda can’t stay healthy while the core pieces’ form collectively falls off a cliff. Those in the Army who hold a personal vendetta against Merritt Paulson blow a trivial issue out of proportion causing a full-on revolt from the supporter’s group. Savarese proves to be an average coach with exploitable flaws, and the team fails to qualify for the playoffs in a competitive Western Conference. Significant spending, no tangible results. A wasted year. Realistic Scenario: Well, either of those two scenarios could qualify as realistic. But like all Timbers seasons, it’s most realistic to be somewhere in between. There’ll be stretches of outright panic, and there’ll be other times where we all convince ourselves the Timbers will win MLS Cup. Some of the signings hit: let’s go with Župarić - while other signings underwhelm due to extenuating circumstances: probably Niezgoda (and his glass skeleton). The team finishes in the middle of the pack - a team that no one wants to face in October - but one that is equally liable to beat themselves. Prediction: Even for someone as pessimistic as I am, I won’t predict the worst-case scenario. Nevertheless, I can’t shake the discouraging feeling that the Timbers will squander its immense talent again. A disappointing 6th or 7th place finish is in store after another taxing roller-coaster season. However, I’ll go out on a limb to say Portland does win a Cascadia Cup or USOC - some sort of silverware that convinces everybody the obvious flaws can be overcome in 2021. Blanco has a great 2020 season. The other pieces show flashes brilliance, yet can’t quite string together enough consistency to let the attack fire on all cylinders. Savarese will keep his job but enters the 2021 campaign on the hotseat. It’ll be another case of “close, but not close enough.”
Just some background: I am a 25+ year scout in the NFL. I have either interned or scouted for the Cardinals, Steelers, Bills, Seahawks, Giants, and Redskins. I am doing this with 11 other league scouts, both young and old, and 6 data scientists. This ranking is formed after a study we did that spawed from January to approxamately a week ago, and is based off multiple hundreds of game film. We made this project because we are sick of the media and award voting panels continually anazlyzing and comparing QBs wrong, and creating narratives that score brownie points isntead of keeping it real, such as all of ESPN, CBS, FOX, the money laundering frauds that are The Athletic, and even so called (fake) analytics websites like PFF and Football Outsiders. In this study, there is no bias, there is no meaningless metrics, there is no social baiting. Just the facts based on modern analytics and pure game film. This is an analytical ranking of QBs based on metrics that truly define a QB, not pure box score stats, not highlights, not feel good pieces, not dumb speculation on how running QB number 15 is going to revoluzionize the NFL. QBs will be judged based on the acronym PROFITS, which is 7 categories of analysis: Playmaking under pressure- We don't mean going away from the plan, we mean sticking to the plan and making the play even under pressure. Realism of situation- What situation team wise the QB is in and how they adjust to it Off-field composure- How the QB handles himself off the field, how committed they are to football, how they balance social media and work. Fit in offense- How the QB fits what the offensive game plan is and stick to what the coach calls for. We don't take kindly to so called "off script" bullcrap. It's selfish and more often than not cheapens the prestige of the game. Intelligence Quota- Knowledge of the game on and off the field as well as general IQ that can translate into gameplay (example: talking with substance on social media and in interviews) Time benefit- How long is their play maintained for? Sorted ratio- Emphasis on pass vs emphasis on run Here are our rankings of the NFL' starting QBs, locked in or potential, for 2020 as a result of our findings. You don'r really have a right to object to this if you haven't put in hundreds of hours of game film watch per quarter. Here we go :
Tom Brady: He is the greatest QB of all time. No question about him being the top position.
Carson Wentz: It is ludiocrous how much hate Wentz gets from the media. He is the most composed QB outside of Brady and throws beautiful balls, and has overall carried the Eagles on his back.
Drew Brees: Irreplacable IQ, passing record leader in multiple categories.
Matt Ryan: Best pure passer, but sliver of knock for having high quality weapons.
Kirk Cousins: Redskins mistake is the Vikings treasure. Kirk has only gotten better every year and has the 3rd most total touchdowns since 2015.
Daniel Jones: Keep hating on the kid, media. Jones analytically and game film wise was an elite QB his rookie season. Arguably the highest football intelligence, flawless ball placement, extremely clutch, and is a class act on and off the field. "BUT DER FUMBLEZ" fumbles are not a function of the QB. They are a negligable stat. Jones is elite in every other category, and took the league by storm even without Saquon and a poor offensive line.
Phillip Rivers: His line did him zero favors last year and outside of Keenan Allen, he had pedestrian reciever play. Rivers is still a top QB, despite what talking heads will tell you, and will thrive on a powerhouse Colts team.
Patrick Mahomes: The reason he is this low is because he very often refuses to stick to the offensive gameplan. Not to a ridiculous degree like Russell Wilson, but enough to where it feels as if he does not have the meanor to evolve when defenses do and when coordinators are switched out. He also puts himself in danger often. Other than that, he is an elite passer. He just isn't the messiah that the 2018 MVP voters say he is.
Derek Carr: This is a group of QB I like to call, "actually does his job and performs well but the media and twitter circlejerks don't watch film more than once or do it properly". Derek since 2015 has been an upper echolon QB that dealt with injuries that weren't his fault, allowing for true injury adjusted analysis (something that Mahomes doesn't justify).
Baker Mayfield: Falls in the same category as Carr except for adjusted scheme downside analysis this time. He would be higher if he didn't have a relatively good (albeit overrated) group of weapons, but he was visibly elite to anyone during his rookie year. His play stayed around the same adjusted last year (when he had a Hue Jackson level head coach, just not as dumb). Ball placement is on key, is very good against the blitz, and maybe 4 of his interceptions were his fault. The bias against him is astounding. He's considered cocky yet Lamar isn't, and Odell Beckham Jr never gets any blame for being a team cancer and giving up on routes.
Sam Darnold: Darnold tape is somewhat worse than Jones but he elevates a poor team the same way and plays with the same drive that a lot of media darlings lack. Still one of the highest football IQs.
Marcus Mariota: "OMG WHY IS A BUST THIS HIGH REEEEEE" Oh my god can people actually watch Mariota's tape for once? He is, as always, doing the right things but is let down by either a subpar cast, a horrible coaching staff, or both. There was no reason for him to randomly get replaced by Tannehill, a move that screwed them over in the AFC Championship. The Raiders arguably have the best QB room right now but Mariota should be starting for a team like the Redskins or Titans or Patriots.
Aaron Rodgers: Oh look, a big name that the media has hyped to ungodly proportions. Look, 3-4 years ago Rodgers was a top QB, but now he is just solid to pretty good, but is a team cancer. He is the reason the Packers fired a super bowl winning head coach and he is responsible for the Packers moving on from him very soon. Still a good player nonetheless and he has a few years left of starting play.
Joe Burrow: I don't care if he hasn't played a down. Analytics predict the NFL well and they show that Burrow is a very good and wildly smart player with lightning accuracy. His big downside is his arm is average at best and he played with great talent at LSU, but the player himself is a long term franchise QB, and there's no reason why that won't continue, so here he is on the list.
Drew Lock: Looked elite last year and has the makings of a surefire star but is going to have a deep cast this year so he will need to transcend higher if he wants to rise up the list. Easily the second best QB of the 2019 class though.
Jared Goff: Had a down year in 2019 but his 2017 and 2018 were Kirk-esque high quality-elite.
Russell Wilson: Good passer? Yes. Big flaw in his game? H*ll yes. Despite what idiots claim the Seahawks have consisntely formed clean pockets for Wilson. What does he do? He always ventures out of it. That's a basic lack of football intelligence. Also, runs too much for our taste when passing produces higher EPA on those plays. He's good but is wildly overrated and always has been, mostly for social pandering reasons. In addition, is constantly distacted by social media.
Tua Tagovailoa: The Redskins being the Redskins lands the Dolphins a potentially elite QB prospect. He lands this low because he is more of an unknown still than Burrow or other youngsters but the potential is sky high.
Josh Rosen: Again, turn on the tape and you'll see Rosen doing everything right (albeit not special) and teams letting him down, He still has a very bright future in the NFL if given the proper chance.
Jimmy Garoppolo: Not the most physically gifted but he is wicked intelligent and doesn't put the offense in danger. Works well for the 49ers.
Case Keenum: Did a great job in 2019 considering the total dysfunction of the Redskins. Fell off mid season but was their best QB and was very unfairly benched for a fat lard. He is a starting level QB, and a solid one.
Andy Dalton: Isn't super talented but one of the best at processing and going through reads. There is an argument for him being the starter if Dak continues his charades.
Deshaun Watson: A decent QB but another media hype machine. He is wildly inaccurate at times and, whether you social justice baiters like it or not, is carried by O'Brien and his system. Not an automatic pay and is primed to regress this year. Weakest arm for a first round prospect in ages too.
Kyler Murray: Efficient passer, too many mistakes, too reliant on legs. Potential is there but also is too short to ever be a top QB over an slightly inconsistent but solid long term passer. Should not have come close to winning rookie of the year over Daniel Jones.
Josh Allen: Super high ceiling, superb playmaking ability, but super inaccurate.
Gardner Minshew: Passable but nothing special. A gen Z meme guy who happens to be a good bridge option.
Matthew Stafford: Garbage time master. Pretty stats, great arm, but little impact when it matters. Not nearly as good as pundits want him to be.
Ryan Tannehill: Looked okay for part of the season, crapped the bed in the playoffs. Fringe starter.
Mitchell Trubisky: Overall not good last year but still has upside. Was the best 4th quarter QB in 2018. He's not completely useless like Dwayne Haskins or Cam Newton or anything.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: Lots of TDs and lots of boneheaded INTs. Most polarizing QB.
Dak Prescott: Grossly, GROSSLY overrated. Can look pretty but completely shuts down when it matters, just like Romo, but this time is an off the field cancer and has the audacity to ask for the largest contract when he's shown he's nothing more than a fringe starter. Also has a criminal record.
Kyle Allen: Backup material for the most part but showed some promise playing for a horrible coaching staff that was about to get fired. Will be the starter in Washington soon enough, though.
Lamar Jackson: Unanimous MVP? Give me a break. This has to be the biggest joke in NFL history for him to get that status. Folks, Lamar Jackson is an elite runner, but he might be one of the worst passers in recent memory, don't let his stats fool you. Horrid mechanics, never stays in the pocket, minimal or non-existant football IQ. He's a RB that throws balls too. He's propped up due to media pandering to Baltimore hoods. He's not an NFL QB. Sorry. Oh and let's completely ignore him recording himself wreckless driving at 105 mph?
Colt McCoy: Strict backup but smart mind and good mentor; probably the best borderline strict backup and possible starter. Could be a spot starter at some point for another team mid-season so he's on this list.
Jarrett Stidham: LOL
Jameis Winston: LOL (also should be in jail instead of in the league)
Will Grier: Has a sliver of potential but looks bad last year. Was a solid prospect though.
Tyrod Taylor: LOL
Nick Foles: This guy somehow won super bowl MVP. He hasn't done anything outside of Philadelphia.
Teddy Bridgewater: He has a good arm and is not a statue at least? Highly injury prone and can only perform for a stretch of 2-3 games.
Ben Rothlesberger: Completely broken and unusable.
Jacoby Brissett: LOL
Mason Rudolph: Some flashes but also lots of LOL
Cam Newton: LOL (also is a social media nuance)
Dwayne Haskins: His pass to Jabril Peppers told me everything I needed to know about this piece of crap. He is arguably the worst QB I've seen in all my years of scouting. I have never seen anyone with as little NFL talent, with as poor a body, as slow, as low an IQ, as cancerous off the field as Haskins. The only reason why he's taken seriously is because of social justice points and how the Giants were "racist" for passing on this scrub for a star like Daniel Jones. He spends more time flaunting on social media than he does working on his game. That's the type of player and person he is. Also spends more time around rappers than actual NFL players. It shows big time in his game film where he throws some of the worst passes we've ever seen for a QB in our years of scouting and NFL analysis. The fact that he was picked 15 has Dan Snyder's name all over it, because actual NFL GMs and scouts knew he was garbage, and he would have fallen out of day 2 if the Redskins didn't pick him.
Girlfriend applied for a job, within 24 hours they hired her, and sent her a check for $4,000 to buy supplies. Scam?
I dont know if this is the right place to post this. My girlfriend applied to a job at a place called HCI group. Within one conversation online they hired her, and said they will send her a check for $4,000 to buy necessary equipment like software. This morning, she received an overnight check from Patelco Credit Union for $4,415. My dad used to tell me "If it seems too good to be true, it is". And this seems like one of those things. Does anyone have any info on HCI Group, Patelco Credit Union, company scams where they send you a cashiers and rush you? Edit Email she just received: You're to deposit the check to your account and scan and email the atm deposit slip to me on ( redacted ) once done for confirmation, no need to send the slip to any other email address or email any worker that you got the package even if a note came with the check, have already contacted them they just want to make sure you get it, so you email the slip to my email address only, thanks NOTE: Make sure it's an atm deposit because atm is 24 hours service and funds availability, you need to order the equipment tomorrow once the full funds are available so that you can receive the Equipment by next tomorrow and get started. you only need to take your atm card with the check to your bank's atm machine then deposit it into your bank account okay ? you will see the option when you get to the atm Edit 2 Just talked to Patelco. A check for $4,415 was never issued from their company. Sending Patelco a picture of the check since they said its a fraud, and then shredding that son of a b. I've read all your comments by the way! We're just figuring out how to respond to a very needy spammer. Edit 3 Scammers are angry at our non-responsiveness. They threatened us by saying "you better cash in that check or their agents will find you". I promptly told them to fuck off and blocked them. Patelco was very happy we called them, since now they know their company is being used for scams. Edit 4 Just wanted to do another quick edit. My girlfriend received this job offer from her schools job network. She goes to a small, expensive private college and she got hit with this fraud through a secure network that needs to be approved by the school first. Always be on the lookout for scam. Edit 5 We did NOT shred the check. We decided against it and are going to report it. Edit 6 Blowing up much further than I expected this too. iac74205 said I could report it to the postal inspectors if it came by USPS. It came by FedEx, is there a postal inspector for that? Edit 7 We've contacted the school once to report the scam! My girlfriend is taking a shower and right afterwards shes A: Reporting it to the FBI and B: demanding that the school sends out an email blast to all of the students going there. Edit 8 I said it in a comment below, but I just wanted to thank all of you for all of your advice. I've read every comment and we have a ton on our plate to take care of. The users of /personalfinance rock! Edit 9 Reported it to the school, this was their message: Hi Girlfriend, Thank you for sending over this information. We have flagged this employer in Handshake as fraudulent and have removed them as an approved employer as well. I know that REDACTED, our Office Manager, has already created a warning in the system for them, and I will do the same with the information you have sent to me. I will also discuss with our Directors about any further steps that need to be taken. Thank you so much for reporting this! Please let me know if you have any other concerns. Edit 10 Using edits to answer FAQ's now. She did not give any information besides what would be on a resume. Work history, name, etc. She did NOT give bank account details or her SS number. Edit 11 Just in case someone wanted to see what the fake check and the letter she was send looks like, here you go Edit 12 I just wanted to confirm this, both Patelco and HCI are legitimet companies. We called Patelco and they have their fraud working on it. We didn't call HCI but I've had enough messages saying they've worked from HCI I believe its legit. I think this guy was just using the names to sound legit. Edit 13 Ladies and Gentlemen, I need to give a shout out to dotonfireKell_Naranek and meanreds . They pointed out that the signature is Thomas Jeffersons. The dead are rising, and they're scamming /s Gilded edit 14 I was just given gold. As much as I appreciate someone thinking a thread for asking advice is good enough to pay real money too, its unneccessary! If you are really feeling charitable, consider giving to a charity. Personally, I suggest Doctors Without Borders or PACER . Use it for something more important than bragging rights. Final Edit 15 Final edit unless there's anything super important that happens. Everythings been reported to the proper agencies, like the FBI. Hopefully we find this guy or get a response. Nothing on our end was lost and we took all security percautions so we're safe. Thank you everyone for the advice and help! Final Edit 15.2 For some reason I can't see this post on Reddit anymore besides direct link? Anyways, school sent out an email blast for other students safety. MAKE SURE TO REPORT FRAUD TO PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP PREVENT IT Final Edit 15.3 I told my dad this got tons of upvotes. He replied with "awesome". Finally my dad is proud
Every character from the new Super Smash Bros Ultimate represented by an NBA personality - with explanations
Marking the official announcement by Nintendo for Super Smash Bros Ultimate for the Switch, I'll be comparing every member of the Smash Ultimate cast(so far) to an NBA player respectively. The comparisons were made on the basis of appearance, name, competitive history, play style, etc. Be warned that most of these comparisons are probably reeeeeally bad due to the vast cast list but judge as you may. It's mainly composed of current NBA players but some other historic players may have snuk in there too. If y'all wanna know where I got the tier lists that I based many of these comparisons from, you can find em here. Going in official order of the addition of characters to the franchise: 01 Mario - Dirk Nowitzki As some of the oldest boys in the games, they are each a staple of their franchise. A common similarity between Dirk and Mario players is that they just put in their work every single day, a real Einstein of the game, really put in the work everyday, and, of course, they always hustle for the win, even in eras in which they're most certainly outmatched. 02 Donkey Kong - Tyson Chandler Both are some big, strong creatures who have played the game for what seems like forever. They also got some massive muscles with some tiny legs. 03 Link - JJ Redick Traditional sharpshooters known for they're accuracy and willingness to attack from anywhere on court/battle. With these persons' long range arsenals, they are most notably a threat from long range where a close out is seemingly impossible given the circumstances. Similarly, both do their best to evade opponents' attempts to stay with them as they are constantly running away towards freedom. 04 Samus - Dwyane Wade As Samus is most knwon for her spacing ability and need to run away from opponents to free herself from constant and intimate defense, so is the Flash. Wade used his speed, just like Samus, to evade opponents not only to get himself more open, but also to allow better opportunities for his team. 05 Yoshi - Vince Carter Has been defining and integral parts of their respective games for almost 20 years. Both the Yosh and Carter share many similarities most primarily being their seemingly invulnerable jump and means of attack. Also they've both done bad things that they seriously regret: Yoshi's act of committing tax fraud and Carter's mistake of undercutting McCaw. 06 Kirby - Gerald Green Fun to play with but can suck at times. These boys jump HIGH 07 Fox - Kobe Bean Bryant At the height of their successes in their games, these animals(a fox and a mamba) couldn't be stopped by anyone and it was hard to see an end to their reign. It wasn't until a setback(brawl tier & achilles) prevented the competitors rom dominating the games. 08 Pikachu - John Wall Sometimes lighting-fast offense also has the capability for strength and strategy. Both Pikachu and Wall use their speed in order to attack the opponent and catch them off guard and exposed. 09 Luigi - Klay Thompson The memeiest boys who both have similar skill sets to their partners in action but made a name for themselves by their ability to be weird but exceptional. From weegee to ChinaKlay and all their other variations they share the title of some of the moth loved by their community. 10 Ness - Carmelo Anthony Even though both characters are super fun to play as/watch they are kinda just stuck in places of mediocrity. If you didn't know, Ness wears a pretty identifiable hat, but a little known fact is so does Melo, elo, eloayyy 11 Captain Falcon - David West These buff men spent most of their competitive careers underutilized in their respective systems without a championship to their names. But when placed in the right hands(Wizzrobe/Kerr) they can be correctly utilized to perfectly benefit the situation and even work their way to winning a finals. 12 Jigglypuff - Michael Carter-Williams The first few times we saw them they were unbelievably good and fairly, fans were shocked by how good they performed in their first few games. In the past years they seemed to have simply dropped off in their impact in their games and frankly today are seen as trash. 13 Peach - Chris Paul Exceptionally adept on both the offensive and defensive sides of the game. Can use defensive pressure to will opponent into making mistakes allowing Paul/Peach to take advantage. Both have a plethora of tools capable of tiring out the opponent and finding weaknesses. 13e Daisy - Ron Baker Because they are exact clones of Peach/Chris Paul. Exact. There's a reason people call him Ron Baker, turnip taker. 14 Bowser - DeMarcus Cousins Both some big, burly, and emotional creatures that do their best when they overpower the opponent and dominate the game. It helps that I secretly think Bowser is also an emotional lesbian which is why he steals Peach. 15 Ice Climbers - The Gasol Brothers Both are pairs of members from a family/tribe that play for the same team(Spain). Since they were at their peak, fans have seen a drastic decline in their contribution to games both by absence and age. 16 Sheik - LeBron James It's hard to find sustained greatness like his in smash. Both utilize a very versatile but aggressive play style. Sheik and Bron go to majors and finals many times but have a losing record in the long run against for dominant players or teams(Fox and Warriors/Spurs). Also the hype from a Sheik f-air to win a set mirrors that of a LeFuckYou 3 pointer. 17 Zelda - Ben Simmons Zelda, just like Simmons, is a precursor to the domination that exists as Sheik and LeBron. Many fans are rooting for these characters to only become better. With Zelda's redesign and Simmons' exponential growth of his skill, fans cannot wait to see how these two will turn out. 18 Dr. Mario - Julius Erving Simply because they are both the Doctors of the game 19 Pichu - JR Smith Despite both being immensely, yet jokingly, beloved by their respective fanbases, Pichu and JR have the capacity(very commonly) to hurt themselves and their teams throughout the whole game but also in dire situations. Their mistakes add up, costing them even the victory in some cases. 20 Falco - Buddy Hield "Buddy Hield is the camcorder recorded bootleg version of Kobe Bryant." - reversebayleycanrana just as Falco is "the camcorder recorded bootleg version" of Fox in Smash 4 21 Marth - Kevin Durant Both have a versitile yet consistent play style, a long range(sword), and many different tools: combo game, edge guarding, and great neutral for Marth in addition to length, shooting ability, and great defense for Durant. Marth's tipper = Durant's cold blooded shot 21e Lucina - Nicholas Batum Just as Lucina is a worse Marth, "Nicolas Batum is a Poor Man's Kevin Durant" as stated by asafianow some 7 months ago. In the same way Lucina lacks a tipper, Batum lacks almost everything Durant brings to the game. 22 Young Link - CJ McCollum Both are some sharpshooters that aren't the first ones you think of in their respective games. It wasn't long until many fans realized that these play styles are more fun to watch and play as than the traditional characters/players in their roles. 23 Ganondorf - Russell Westbrook Often watched for their insane abilities and the hype they bring to their respective games, it's a sad truth that they'll never be able to win a championship given their play style. 24 Mewtwo - Shaun Livingston Both Mewtwo and Livingston experienced a great absence in their careers as they were unable to participate in the game as fans were furious and disappoint at such an atrocity. In their latter up to their current years these presences have proved they can still make a competitive mark on their games. 25 Roy - Brandon Roy lol He's our boy 26 Mr. Game & Watch - Lance Stevenson G&W and Lance were both the most random personalities I could think of in each of their games. With their skill set, both sides are completely unpredictable as they either blow out the opponent or become the laughing stock of fans. 27 Meta Knight - Dwight Howard In their heyday, they were nearly unstoppable forces and MVP caliber parts of the games. But as time went on, they became plagued by future mediocrity. 28 Pit - Tony Parker Both known for their speed while also being known for their fragility and likeness to a pretty girl. 28e Dark Pit - Bruno Caboclo Dark Pit is not needed in Smash just as every NBA roster doesn't need a player that's strongest argument is being 2 years away from being 2 years away from being 2 years away from being 2 years away from being 30 years old 29 Zero Suit Samus - Anthony Davis In their most recent iteration/season they were each one of the most dominant forces against ALL of their opponents. The only true difference I could distinguish is a space between the eyebrows on ZSS that lacks the warm fur of a unibrow. 30 Wario - Ron Artest/Metta World Peace Who would REALLY wanna mess with these guys? 31 Snake - Derrick Rose Once a pilar and unstoppable presence in their corresponding games, their absence left a sad mark on fans everywhere who wanted to continue to celebrate their greatness. It is only now that we will see the next chapter of their careers and what success awaits them. 32 Ike - Kyle Korver It may seem like an odd comparison but the two are first and foremost one dimensional players in the specific aspects of their game. In short, Ike hits hard; Korver hits long(although not in the finals). 33-35 Pokemon Trainer - Michael Malone The person in charge of the development and the maintaining of their pokemon/players 33 Squirtle - Jamal Murray Beings with a lot of potential but a ways to go in their development. 34 Ivysaur - Will Barton They have had some honing of their skills but a multitude of their evolution/maturation still remain. 35 Charizard - Paul Millsap A force to be reckoned with as even in their final stages of progression they are still bettering their game and their team. 36 Diddy Kong - James Harden Recent iterations of both have proven to be MVP caliber yet gimicky and annoying to play against. These entities provide polarizing sides to their individual communities as fans both fall in love with the success of each or dislike the ways in which they will their way to victory. 37 Lucas - Joe Ingles With both of their boyish charms and glowing blonde beams of hair. How could someone decide between a cute boy like this and an adorable little man like this? 38 Sonic - Kyrie Irving Both are ball dominant and insanely fast; can outspeed their opponents in most circumstances. Just like Sonic was put into the Super Mario Bros franchise behind Mario, Kyrie was put into the situation behind LeBron; in both situations it was hard to stand out as their own. The only pitfall of this comparison is that Kyrie probably believes Sonic is flat. Or he's just raising questions? 39 King Dedede - Blake Griffin A big, strong, and powerful presence that can break through many defensive schemes by using a lotta strength or, at times, finesse and grace. 40 Olimar - Mike Conley Everyone just kinda forgets about em sometimes but they can be pretty good given the right circumstances. 41 Lucario - Rajon Rondo Both can be seen as a wild card due to their quickness and usually high iq. They share a relatively unique attribute in that they only get better as the game/season go on becoming like their most powerful selves. 42 R.O.B. - This basketball-playing robot made by Toyota that never misses a free throw but if it were in the NBA 43 Toon Link - Bradley Beal Both maintain similar yet diluted roles compared to the previously mentioned links and their corresponding players. These two are not usually the first ones thought of when choosing favorites but these sharpshooters can be well utilized and, at times, become better than the others. 44 Wolf - Steven Adams Strong and aggressive play style that has multitudes of safe options. Also Steven Adam's hair is pretty long and wild kinda like a wolf eh. 45 Villager - Kawhi Leonard The play styles of both Villager and Kawhi are extremely defensive, but they have the capability to destroy you on the offensive end as well. It also always seems like Villager players do their best to spur themselves to victory. 46 Mega Man - Jahlil Okafor Many fans were extremely hyped for their respective releases but in action they played as one trick ponies with some easily exploitable weaknesses. Everyone just wants hem to succeed though :( 47 Wii Fit Trainer - Jimmy Butler Couple of extremely fit chaps with amazingly lax personalities 48 Rosalina & Luma - DeMar Derozan and Kyle Lowry Both are seemingly inseparable duos that may be competitive but lack the prowess to truly get to the next level. Although the teams are fun to watch and can be very annoying to play against, fans are skeptical of their amount of future success. 49 Little Mac - Karl-Anthony Towns Could anyone think of two more similar glass canons than these two. Generally, both of these meaty bois have their play styles revolve around their fast offensive tools but where they struggle is on the defensive end. While it seems as KAT lacks the quickness and anticipation on defense, Little Mac misses much needed air agility and a serviceable recovery. 50 Greninja - Victor Oladipo Both in the past season and in Sm4sh, these quick and agile combatants proved themselves to be forces in competitive settings. Their rise to stardom was certainly unexpected on both ends but they brought a new life to the games. 51 Mii Brawler - Damien Wilkins Mr. Irrelevant #1 52 Mii Swordfighter - DeAndre Liggins Mr. Irrelevant #2 53 Mii Gunner - Xavier Munford Mr. Irrelevant #3 54 Palutena - Joakim Noah Once such a cool part of their respective games who each had an emphasis on defense. Then people saw, even with their current abilities, they're trash 55 Pac-Man - Boban Marjanović In their current conditions, both titans have serious holes in their games in regards to their speed and acceleration respectively. But damn if they aren't two of the most delightful and entertaining parts of the their realms. 56 Robin - LeBron James Y'know I'm just gonna put LeBron hear again cuz both are obsessed with reading their spell book and leGodfather respectively. 57 Shulk - Jrue Holiday Multi-faceted play styles contribute to their continued success as they seem to change their game plan depending on the game. 58 Bowser Jr. - Nikola Jokic Crafty and creative setups are these rascals' bread and butter. Such setups that these two create can only fully be understood after watching replays of the action several times over. SO fun to watch and fans look forward to what new moves they'll see everyday from this type. 59 Duck Hunt - Rudy Gobert This one may initially seem like an odd choice but there exists the simple truth that both are just good at keeping the opponent out of the desired area. Both Gobert's and Duck Hunt's unparalled range prevent anyone who wishes to attack sent back. 60 Ryu - Timothy "The Big Fundamental" Duncan As one of the most technical and fundamental characters in the Smash series, Ryu could not be more similar to any player other than the one and only "Big Fundamental". Their shared ability to out-duel the opponent by technique, game iq, and a grit and grind attitude puts them in the conversation as some of the best in the games. 61 Cloud - Wardell Stephen "Skyfucker aka a cloud" Curry What more apt comparison could there be? Not only are Cloud and Steph the most annoying but spectacular parts of their corresponding games, but they also both bear astounding similarity to an actual cloud that fucks the sky for everyone else. Fans also are always trying to be these two whenever they play the game. 62 Corrin - Draymond Green Some of the best defensive movement that a viewer could see. Always has a counter that can reverse the momentum of a match and/or stop the opponents in their tracks. Also hated by many. 63 Bayonetta - Giannis Antetokounmpo Who wouldn't equate these two hot freaks to one another?? Both share an unstoppable, indomitable presence against all who stand in their path of success. And they also have little signs of slowing down, barring a nerf of Bayonetta. (Sakurai plz) 64 Inkling - Luka Doncic Both are highly promoted inclusions in their respective games but many are skeptical of their abilities at a competitive level. 65 Ridley - DeAndre Ayton The most hyped additions to the game———also Manute Bol - "Too big for the game" and finally: Daddy Sakurai >>>>>>>>>>>> Adam Silver Explanation: do I really need one? Feel free to explain any differences you might see cuz frankly this was difficult af. Edit: Waaaaaaah I guess waluigi is Steve Blake, except people actually want the WAAAA
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