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Championship of Champions XIV
Championship of Champions XIV was the first regular Championship of Champions tournament since 2009. It was broadcast from 4 to 22 January 2016, occupying the first three weeks of Series 74. It was won by Dylan Taylor.
CoC XIV's existence was announced on the c4Countdown forums on the evening of 31 July 2014 with initial plans for a January 2015 transmission date. However, it was later postponed to make way for the special episodes at the end of Series 71, and a transmission at the start of Series 73 was also infeasible due to frequent horse racing coverage in the summer.
This tournament's qualifying standards were undoubtedly the highest of any Championship of Champions to date. All sixteen participants in CoC XIV are – or have recently been – practising Apterites. Fifteen are also octochamps (the only exception being Callum Todd). Despite this, however, only one of the entrants, Giles Hutchings, has never been defeated, largely on account of many recent series winners having previously competed and later being asked to return to the show. Of the ten highest-scoring octochamps in Countdown's history up to this point, six became CoC XIV participants, including the three highest of all time (Dylan Taylor, Giles Hutchings and Jen Steadman, all three of whom reached the semi-finals). The average preliminary-game point total for a CoC XIV entrant was 867 points, significantly higher than the octototals of either of the two previous Champions of Champions, Paul Gallen and Steven Briers. With the exception of those from Series 67, which featured none of its members, all octochamps in CoC XIV belonged to the 800 club.
In strong contrast to CoC XIII, CoC XIV's vowel and consonant piles featured virtually no consecutive repeating letters, making for a higher average frequency of nine-letter words; moreover, every nine-letter word available in the competition, with the exception of PETROLAGE in the grand final, was spotted by at least one contestant. The average score achieved by all winning and losing contestants in all games of CoC XIV was 107.4 points, not surprisingly the highest ever by some margin.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the series is set to be repeated between 29 June and 17 July 2020.
The bracket structure and first-round pairings for this Championship of Champions were announced on c4Countdown on 7 September 2015. They ran as follows:
|Tom Cappleman (72) vs Glen Webb (69)||Tom Cappleman vs Giles Hutchings|| Giles Hutchings |
| Dylan Taylor |
|Heather Styles (67) vs Giles Hutchings (68)|
|Andy Platt (68) vs David Barnard (67)||Andy Platt vs Dylan Taylor|
|Dylan Taylor (69) vs Tracey Mills (72)|
|George Ford (71) vs Jen Steadman (69)||Jen Steadman vs Callum Todd|| Jen Steadman |
|Callum Todd (69) vs Samir Pilica (70)|
|Dan McColm (71) vs Paul James (67)||Dan McColm vs Mark Murray|
|Antoinette Ryan (71) vs Mark Murray (70)|
The numbers refer to the series in which each contestant originally played in the finals.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|6278||4/01/2016||CP||Tom Cappleman||133 – 115||Glen Webb||Gloria Hunniford||Susie Dent||147|
|6279||5/01/2016||CP||Heather Styles||73 – 132||Giles Hutchings||Gloria Hunniford||Susie Dent||135|
|6280||6/01/2016||CP||Andy Platt||98 – 90||David Barnard||Gloria Hunniford||Susie Dent||129|
|6281||7/01/2016||CP||Dylan Taylor||120 – 73||Tracey Mills||Gloria Hunniford||Susie Dent||124|
|6282||8/01/2016||CP||George Ford||99 – 126||Jen Steadman||Gloria Hunniford||Susie Dent||137|
|6283||11/01/2016||CP||Callum Todd||127 – 88||Samir Pilica||John Inverdale||Susie Dent||137|
|6284||12/01/2016||CP||Dan McColm||106 – 69||Paul James||John Inverdale||Susie Dent||122|
|6285||13/01/2016||CP||Antoinette Ryan||88 – 125||Mark Murray||John Inverdale||Susie Dent||140|
|6286||14/01/2016||CQF||Tom Cappleman||97 – 114||Giles Hutchings||John Inverdale||Susie Dent||134|
|6287||15/01/2016||CQF||Andy Platt||125 – 127||Dylan Taylor||John Inverdale||Susie Dent||145|
|6288||18/01/2016||CQF||Jen Steadman||107 – 85||Callum Todd||Naga Munchetty||Susie Dent||125|
|6289||19/01/2016||CQF||Dan McColm||112 – 99||Mark Murray||Naga Munchetty||Susie Dent||145|
|6290||20/01/2016||CSF||Giles Hutchings||108 – 118||Dylan Taylor||Naga Munchetty||Susie Dent||122|
|6291||21/01/2016||CSF||Jen Steadman||117 – 125||Dan McColm||Naga Munchetty||Susie Dent||146|
|6292||22/01/2016||CGF||Dylan Taylor||121 – 104||Dan McColm||Naga Munchetty||Susie Dent||154|