Though there was a very definite series of unfortunate events that cost 1712 this year on Archimedes, I think a better example is perhaps from a couple years ago while I was with 116.
It came on Galileo back in 2007. The qualifications were a bit rough, with 116 facing 10 opponents (11 if you count the fact we faced #1 seed 1425 twice) who were in the elimination matches and only having one partner who did the same. Match 68, where we score 6 tubes but ultimately only have 2 points due to spoilers and penalties, sums up pretty well the qual matches. Needless to say we didn’t seed in the top 8 (3-4 record, 54th seed) despite being one of top individual competitors.
We were picked 6th by 1595 and were joined by one of my favorite teams in FIRST, 93. We became the only alliance to stop the Thunderchickens before Einstein since 2004 when we defeated 2272, 45, and 217 in quarters.
The semis where the real unfortunate events begin. We squeak out a victory in match 1 against 173, 1902, and 1319. Match two was much rougher, with what we referred to as the cursed spider foot (4 distinct scoring attempts resulted in tubes on the ground) and a massive row of 7 for the other alliance. We spoiled their row (cutting it into two rows of 3) and placed a single tube. If we had went back to 93s ramps earlier and not bothered with the tubes we might have won 30-16, instead of losing 16-2. The worst part was when 1595 lost their arm to a (completely legal) hit by 1319 at the end of the match, costing our alliance one of our scoring machines.
The third match involved 1595 attempting to play defense without their arm. With hindsight being 20/20, we should have opted to replace them with #1 back-up 1382 (a defensive ramp-bot) who would have likely filled this defensive role better. 1595 accidentally de-scored an opposing tube while defending 173, which resulted in a 10-point penalty. Going into the end of the match, both 116 and 1595 are on 93s platforms, which raise into the air. With only seconds left it appears both will receive bonus points, but then 1595 slides off as time expires, falling to the ground. We were still leading with 116’s bonus points and our rack scores, but the penalty from earlier flipped the outcome of the match, and helped the other alliance advance to the Galileo finals (and eventually to Einstein).